Two years after suffering a near career-ending crash at Lismore Speedway, Benjamin Stead last Saturday night made a return to Lismore Speedway and it resulted in a NSW National 4s Title victory.

In what was an emotion-charged night, the 23-year-old racer from Kingaroy in Queensland drove outstandingly throughout the NSW Title-deciding feature race and was rewarded with a sensational win that was a new career highlight.

Since returning last season from a back injury, which occurred at Lismore Speedway, Stead has been hampered with mechanical gremlins aboard his SB # 48 Ollies Towing supported Honda Prelude. However, just like he managed to recover from his back injury with pure determination, he has persisted and worked hard to get on top of the issues.

0 Benjamin Stead

Heading into the NSW Title, Stead was full of mixed emotions, as it was his return to Lismore Speedway since his crash, and he was also battling ongoing mechanical issues with his race car that had constantly shown front-running speed.

Stead’s NSW Title campaign couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start, when he failed to finish his opening heat race, due to a mechanical issue. He was able to bounce back in the best possible form with wins in the remaining two heat races. Despite dropping a heat race, he still managed to qualify as the sixth highest point scorer heading into the feature race.

In the feature race, Stead endured a tough start, as he dropped back to ninth during the opening laps. From there, he was able to regain his composure and begin his charge to the pointy-end of the field. By the fifth lap, he had moved up to fourth and then up to second seven laps later. Once in second, he chased down leader and current Queensland Champion Justin Weir and had closed in on him and passed him for the lead on lap 15. For the remainder of the 30-lap distance, he controlled the pace and went on to record a comfortable victory.

For Stead, not only was this a new career highlight, but it was the best possible way to celebrate his comeback from adversity.

“Since I returned to the track last season, I’ve struggled with the car’s consistency, but for the NSW Title everything came together when it mattered most and I can now call myself a state champion,” expressed Stead, whose previous career highlight was a third-place finish in last season’s Queensland Title.

0 Benjamin Stead 111

“This win is a massive achievement for me, along with all of my family and friends who have supported me over the past two years, and this is a perfect example of how important the support around you is, and what can be achieved if you never give up.

“My start to the night couldn’t have been any worse with the DNF in the opening heat race; however, I didn’t let it get the better of me as I knew I had great car speed and it all worked out in the end with the best possible result.”

The next outing for Stead is going to be at his home track – Kingaroy Speedway – for the annual ‘Kingaroy Show’ race meeting on the Saturday night of May 6.

Stead would like to thank his 2016-17 season sponsors: Ollies Towing, Kingaroy Windscreens, A1 Race Cars, Season Restaurant - Noosa, Repco - Kingaroy, RaceFX Australia and Kingaroy Bearings and Belts. Special thanks: Vicki Oliver (mum), Ken Stead (dad), Ron and June Oliver (grandparents), Jack (brother), pit crew members Paul McBride, Bill Ricketts, Jake Davison, Wade Glover, Chris Gray, Shaun Huston, Will Kling, Amber and Ashleigh Oliver, and the rest of his family and friends.

To find out more about Stead, LIKE him on Facebook by searching Ollies Racing Sb#48.