Popular racer Steve Wright proved that surviving a 50-lap encounter is a crucial part of becoming Mr Modified, after he beat some of the best opposition in the country in round one of the V8 Dirt Modified Mr Modified series at Lismore Speedway on Boxing Day.
The Mr Modified series is one of the most popular events on the speedway calendar, with a unique compulsory pit stop on the infield midway during the 50-lap feature.
Multiple Australian Champion StuartHerne picked up pole position ahead of Wright after two dominant heat wins and led the field most of the way.
Mark Robinson in his Eagle 1 showed the huge crowd the speed of the Ford, but electrical gremlins forced him from the race after 13 laps. While focus was on Robinsons race, Herne slowly increased his gap on the rest of the field.
Lightning Luke Oldfield showed plenty of speed in the heats, but while attempting to overtake Wright, made contact in a risky, outside manoeuvre, and crashed heavily into the wall in turn one.
After Robinsons demise, the positions after the first 25-lap stint were: Herne, Steve Wright and Alan Jarvis.
Concern was evident in the pits of Herne, with a definite noise coming from the Farmer Charlies entry. With no time to rectify the problem, Herne was sent back in for the second segment.
As the race entered lap 35, Hernes V8 started to slow, allowing Wright through. Then, with just seven laps remaining, Hernes ailing differential jammed and locked the rear wheels, forcing him out of the race. This left Alan Jarvis and Michael Butcher to inherit the podium positions where they eventually finished the race.
Wright was elated with the result.
This is my first-ever, fair dinkum feature win. Its been five years in the making, so Im glad it has finally happened.
Alan Jarvis paid tribute to Wright.
We had an up and down night tonight, but Steve is a class act, he said. He did well tonight, but we are happy with second.
The unexpected visitor to the podium was Michael Butcher.
I am so surprised to get up here on the podium; this is excellent, he said. We made some great changes to the car, my crew worked hard all night, and to get up herein third spot is unreal.
The series now moves to Grafton Speedway on Saturday, January 30, and then returns to Lismore Speedway for the deciding round three on January 6.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.