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Shawn Ward put his hand up as a serious contender for the 2019 Victorian Title at Rushworth Speedway on the 12th Jan after taking out the win in round 4 of the Ballistic Performance Parts Masters Series at Nyora Raceway on Saturday night. Ward had had trouble all night with his injectors but got the #V44 Huntsman Products car repaired in time to shine and lead all the way during the feature race.

The first round of heats saw the much anticipated contest between the Australian Champion Trevor Perry and the Victorian & NSW Champion Danny Stainer drawn alongside each other on the front row. Crawford and Blackeby were on the 2nd row, with Fowler and Denning, Ward and Chalcraft rounding out the field of starters. The crowd didn’t have to wait long for the battle between Perry and Stainer to heat up with Stainer grabbing the lead from Perry, Crawford, Fowler, Blackeby, Chalcraft and Denning on lap 1. Perry tried to make his move on lap 2 resulting in Stainer and Perry making contact in turn 3. Stainer finished up on the infield with a giant whole in his motor and his night was done whilst, Perry was deemed the cause of the contact by the officials and sent to the rear of the field. Jason Crawford inherited the lead and he continued on his merry way after racing resumed, with Fowler trying to chase him down followed by Blackeby, Chalcraft, Denning and Perry. On lap 3 Chalcraft pulled infield after losing a chain and by lap 8 the leaders put a lap down on Perry who had mechanical issues as a result of the earlier incident. Denning had issues with a faulty fuel pump and had no choice but to pull the #V52 infield for the remaining laps. The white flag came out and Crawford looked like he had this one wrapped up however Fowler had other plans and caught Crawford napping going into turn 3 and made a last ditched effort up the front straight with both cars crossing the line together. Fowler was awarded the win by the stewards from Crawford, Blackeby and Perry. Ward was also a non-finisher after pulling infield on lap 1 with injector troubles. After the heat Perry assessed his car and decided he was not able to repair it at the track and loaded the car in the trailer for the remainder of the night.

Heat 2 saw Chalcraft take pole with Denning alongside then Fowler, Blackeby and Crawford. Ward continued to have trouble with his injectors and did not take his position up for the heat 2. It was Denning who with a new fuel pump rocketed to the lead in turn 1 and led Fowler, Crawford, Chalcraft and Blackeby on the first lap whilst Fowler moved into the lead on lap 2, a lap later Crawford made the move on Denning to take 2nd place and was now trying to chase down Fowler. It didn’t take long as Fowler pulled infield on lap 5 with a broken engine mount handing the lead over to Crawford who continued on to victory from Denning, Chalcraft who threw a chain as she cross the finish line and Blackeby. The fans were treated to a great fireworks display prior to the feature race and the kids enjoyed a visit from the Santa. The highest point scorers would have to come from the rear of field and series leader Jason Crawford would have a task ahead of him if he wanted to take his first feature victory for the season. Shawn Ward had the pole position and other ideas believing the team had found the injector problems, along side Lisa Chalcraft was hoping to just make it through the race with her chain intact, Denning and Blackeby had the second row with Crawford having the third row and all the work to do.

At the drop of the green Ward leap to a commanding position gaining 3-4 car lengths on the field by the end of the first lap whilst Crawford was making it 3 wide on the high side of track trying to find some grip to get around Blackeby and Denning. On lap 2 it all nearly came undone for the rest of the field as Ward continued to increase his lead when Chalcraft’s front axle let go and the crash crew had to chase her wheel down the back straight. On the restart, Ward led Crawford, Denning and Blackeby but Crawford was trying hard to chase the leader down knowing that he wouldn’t have much time with such a reduced field. The white flag was shown and the spectators on the hill grit their teeth as Crawford had one more crack at Ward but Ward was cool calm and collected and took the chequered flag. It was a popular victory with the Ward clan on the hill making a lot of noise as he rolled around once more with the chquered flag in hand. Ward after the race seemed more relieved and said he was happy to just finish the race let alone win it. Ward is now very excited to see what the car can do when he gets to his home track at Rushworth on the 12th January for the Victorian GP Midget Title.

The Victorian Grand Prix Midgets association thank Club Supporters: Ballistic Performance Parts TM Lineboring & Engineering Super Balance Automotive Shepparton Pitstop Mowers Jacobson Transport AJ's Motorcycle Parts and Apparel Shepparton Vern & Jackie Parker Photography Written by Dean Thompson DMT Sports Media For Victorian Grand Prix Midgets Association

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