Valvoline Raceway is very proud to present the running of the prestigious 2019 New South Wales Speedcar Championship this Saturday night, April 27.
This year marks the seventy-seventh staging of the great race that has found a definite place in world Speedcar racing history.
This venue has become the headquarters of the state title in the more modern day era of the event after the championship was first run here on November 29, 1981 and won by Queensland's Danny Davidson.
The state title has been held at a number of NSW tracks over the decades however Parramatta City Raceway/Valvoline Raceway has often hosted this race in its recent history and tonight marks the twenty-second time the title has been held here. The state title was conducted on 26 occasions at the hallowed Sydney Showground – more times than at any other venue incorporating a record 16 consecutive years, yet incredibly it was the neighbouring Sydney Sportsground that hosted the title for the first five championships decided. The Sydney Sports ground held the event eight times before its closure in 1955.
When people talk of the New South Wales Speedcar Championship winners, drivers such as Adam Clarke stand tall with six victories to equal Barry Pinchbeck's record. Adam achieved the milestone with wins in 2000, 2001 (twice that year for the hat-trick), 2006, 2013 and 2018. Glenn Revell won in 1994 at Newcastle Speedway to emulate his late, grandfather, Ray Revell who won three times (1947, 49, 50)). Australian Sprintcar Champion Robbie Farr took out the NSW Speedcar Championship in 1996 while current Sydney car owner Brett Morris has his name on the 1995 trophy.
Two names who quickly come to mind from days of yesteryear are four time winner Frank Brewer and triple champ Johnny Harvey.
We're going back to the fifties and sixties here and a time when the two drivers from these decades were the only competitors who recorded a hat-trick of state title wins.
Others have come close with back-to-back wins but there is another driver who came the closest to reach the unique hat trick in a short time bracket. That driver is Aaron Benny who, won three times in four years – and in 1991 won two in that same year as an example of one season/year overlapping another. His first 1991 victory was on January 18 at this venue, while on December 28, 1991 at PCR he retained the title for his third win overall.
It's all part of the magnificent history of this race. Six time winner Barry Pinchbeck has the record for the most consecutive wins with five. After that initial 1974 success, his six victories are in a time capsule between 1974 and 1981 with his sixth crown at Sydney's former Liverpool City Raceway.
What started off as a four lap race billed as a NSW Championship for Speedcars at the former Sydney Sportsground during the 1937-38 season, has evolved into one of the longest running Midget events in the world.
With a history tracing back to the thirties, the state title for the Mighty Midgets is tradition as one of the oldest Speedcar championship events in the world.
The winners' list is not only mighty impressive, but some of the stand-out highlights over decades of NSW Speedcar racing have occurred in this prestigious event. The historic race has been won by drivers from America, New Zealand, Germany, and several Australian states.
Some of the toughest men who strapped into the cockpit of a Speedcar have their name engraved on the trophy, sharing the glory with modern day heroes, Matthew Jackson, Adam Clarke, Nathan Smee, Matt Smith, Darren and Troy Jenkins and Kiwi Michael Pickens, who when he won in 2011 at this venue, became the first New Zealander to win the state crown since the late Barry Butterworth took the title at Liverpool City Raceway in 1971. Australia's late, great former three times World Formula One Champion Sir Jack Brabham AO, OBE, even took out a NSW Speedcar Championship – way back in 1948 at the Sydney Showground.
Sydney Sportsground, Sydney Showground, Westmead Speedway, Liverpool City Raceway and Valvoline Raceway are the capital city venues where the NSW Speedcar Championship has lived, though several NSW country circuits also have conducted this race. So much history associated with one race – and just look at the names of some of these champions:
In addition to Brabham, Revell, Brewer, Harvey, Pinchbeck and Brock, the illustrious list also includes Johnny Peers, Andy McGavin, Werner Greve (Germany), Peter Cunneen, Bryan Cunneen, Bryan Meyers, Lew Marshall, Hank Butcher (USA), George Tatnell, Johnny Stewart, Ron Mackay, Barry Butterworth (NZ), Danny Davidson (Qld), Michael Meyer, Terry King, Bob Woods, Steve Graham, to name only a select few.
Other Americans apart from Brewer and Butcher who have won include Cory Kruseman, Tony Elliott, Lealand McSpadden and Larry Rice.
Some unique facts are associated with this event.
In the mid sixties Lew Marshall won thee times (1964, '66 and 68). Each victory was recorded with a different car and owner. In 1964 it was the Bill Wells Holden, 1966 (the Don Mackay Offy) and 1968 (the ex-Billy Humphries, Eric Morton owned Offenhauser.)
In 1990 the NSW Speedcar Championship was held as a “mini series” at two different tracks – the Newcastle Motordrome and Sydney's Parramatta City Raceway (Valvoline Raceway). It got down to a two man battle between ultimate winner Terry King and former champion Aaron Benny.
The final was one of the all-time great races as the two diced it out for the win.
The legendary Johnny Stewart was a three times National Speedcar Champion who won just about everything there was to win in Australian Speedcar racing, yet he only ever took out just one NSW Speedcar Championship – an incredible statistic in view he contested so many state titles.
When Lance Burgess became the inaugural winner on January 30, 1938, little did he realise way back then the dynasty all these decades later he has created!