Jason Sides from Bartlett, Tennessee has claimed the 30-lap flag-to-flag Preliminary A-Main on night one of the $50,000-to-win Scott Darley Classic at Tyrepower Sydney Speedway ahead of a fast-finishing Joey Saldana and early race leader, Marty Perovich.
Inclement weather threatened the night’s proceeding but that didn’t prevent the Preliminary A-Main running 30 laps non-stop. Marty Perovich led the opening stanza closely followed by Shane Stewart and Garry Brazier. The trio hit lapped traffic early and that enabled Cody Darrah to swoop on the top three from sixth place and make his way to second.
About the third race distance, Garry Brazier began to fade and Jason Sides began his march to the front. Sides passed Brazier than took care of Shane Stewart and surpassed Cody Darrah on lap twenty to move into second place. A few laps later he rounded up Marty Perovich and from then on, was unchallenged to the chequers.
The minor positions were less than finalised as Joey Saldana began to make his way to the front from the mid-pack. With just three laps remaining Saldana passed Perovich for second but didn’t have enough speed left to get near Jason Sides.
At the presentation third-placed Perovich was just pleased he made it to the podium at the event named in honour of his great mate: “I really wanted to win tonight but these guys were just plain better,” quipped Perovich. “I will be going all out to win tomorrow night and I can’t wait.”
Runner-up Joey Saldana conceded: “We have lost more of these races than we’ve won and the one we lost a few years ago on the last lap just devastated me,” without even daring to mention the name of the driver who has won the $50,000 eight times.
“We will make a few changes and hopefully be better for tomorrow night,” capped Saldana.
Jason Sides was keen to get things right for tomorrow night, stating: “We will keep working at it and be better for tomorrow night. Winning would be great and I just got to thank car owner Brent Kratzman and the team for having me over here.”
Earlier heat race action saw Joey Saldana win heat one in a new 12 lap track record time. Tony Stewart then won heat two and in the process bettered the 12 lap track record. Craig Dollansky claimed heat three with Andrew Wright and Garry Brazier first home in Heat 4 and 5, respectively.
Peter Bourke claimed the C-Main from Domain Ramsay and Craig Geering.
Warren Ferguson won the B-Main from Matt Young, Kelly Linigen and James Thompson.
In Time Trials, the 1-lap record was smashed as Cody Darrah lowered the time to 11.564sec claiming quick-time.