Night of high drama at Tullyroan Oval

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

IT was a night of high drama at Tullyroan Oval last Saturday, with some superb racing in amongst some huge crashes and spills.

During the hard fought action Portadown’s Gary Grattan took his first ever victory in the 2.0 Hot Rods formula, whilst fellow Portadown star Lee Davison took the spoils in the outstanding Superstox.

Randalstown’s Mick Rodgers came out on top of the Stock Rods whilst Glenavy’s Mark McCambridge was victorious in the Lightning Rods.

The Ninja Karts rounded off the programme, with Antrim ace Leyton Hughes taking a superb hat-trick of wins.

2.0 Hot Rods

Drogheda driver Noel Reynolds was the first to show in the opening 2.0 Hot Rods heat, which saw a big incident on the back straight and then another huge crash on turn four, which together eliminated a number of cars.

Reynolds continued to lead before Gary Fowler nipped past two laps from home to take the win.

A depleted field for the second heat saw Gary Butler this time take the honours, again after demoting Reynolds.

The final saw former Superstox ace Gary Grattan set the pace out front, and despite Fowler getting close over the closing laps, Grattan held on for the first win for his Vauxhall Nova-bodied car.

It certainly was a night for the Gary’s, as all three races fell to a different one – Fowler, Butler and Grattan – and they then locked out the top three spots in the final too!

Superstox

There was yet more outstanding action from the Superstox, and Birches driver Alan Haugh took the win in the opening heat having led all the way, ahead of Ethan Dilly and his brother Steven Haugh.

The drama continued thick and fast in heat two, with Ethan Dilly this time grabbing the chequered flag ahead of David Beattie and Alan Haugh.

Another full grid took the green flag in the final which turned into a terrific race.

James Stewart and Dilly argued over the lead before two caution periods for big crashes for Paddy Murphy and David Beattie.

With the field closed up for the restart it played right into the hands of the star men, with British Champion Lee Davison surging through in style to collect the silverware over Irish Champion Kyle Beattie and Jamie McCann.

The evening finished with a ten lap Dash for Cash sponsored by JMC Custom Paintwork, and after some great exchanges of blows it too fell to Davison.

Mark Taylor also put up a nice cash prize for the first white roof home, which went the way of a delighted Dilly.

Stock Rods

The Stock Rods were joined by welcome Scottish visitor Chris Lattka, and there was also a very welcome return to action for Victor McAfee after his recent bout of ill health.

Joshua McMullan ran out a deserved winner of heat one ahead of Marc Morrell and Shane McMillan, before Cavan driver Ryan Andersen raced home to victory in heat two for his first ever win, with Morrell and S McMillan again the placemen.

Andersen set the pace in the final, but this time is was Mick Rodgers who put his earlier problems behind him to set a great pace.

Rodgers soon went ahead, as the main focus became a great places battle between Morrell, Colin McNiece, Shane McMillan and the rapid World Champion Derek McMillan.

Rodgers kept them all easily at bay to land a telling and morale boosting win, with Morrell grabbing his third runner up spot of the evening ahead of McNiece.

Lightning Rods

A very healthy field of Lightning Rods were joined by welcome Tipperary visitor Paul Whelan.

A very messy opening heat saw a number of incidents, with Strabane’s James McKinney taking the win after the others did their utmost to trip over one another.

James then had a fantastic run around the wide outside line on the final lap of the second heat to take his second win by the narrowest of margins ahead of Ronan McNally.

The final saw visitor Whelan pull clear out front, before Mark McCambridge broke clear from the blue grade to chase him down. McCambridge soon found a way past, and raced clear to land the silverware in some style and lay down a marker ahead of the European Championship later in the month.

Whelan impressed in second ahead of McNally and Aaron Stewart.

Ninja Karts

Scottish lad Kenzie Bell joined the locals for another great Ninja Kart meeting, with Belfast’s Ethan McQuillan being the latest star of the future to pass his Junior Driver Assessment and join the grid for his race debut.

Leyton Hughes was the driver of the night, the Irish Champion taking a faultless hat-trick of victories in both heats and the final.

Leyton led home Bell and Andrew Hawe in the opening heat, before Ryan Berry and Bell filled the places in heat two.

The feature race final also fell the way of Hughes after he worked his way past the whole field to win from impressive visitor Bell and Noah Teggart.

Next Meeting

Attention now switches to the Summer Speedweekend at Aghadowey Oval on Sat/Sun July 17th/18th, featuring the 2.0 Hot Rods World Championship, the Lightning Rods European Championship and the Ninja Karts National Championship.

Racing continues at Tullyroan Oval on Saturday July 24th, featuring Stock Rods, Superstox, Junior Productions, Thunder Rods, 1300 Stock Cars and Classic Hot Rods.

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