According to the Oxford dictionary, the word influential means: having great influence on someone or something. Totally Speedway’s Daniel Powell put together his list of influential people in today’s Australian speedway landscape. This is the second and final installment of his article covering the drivers, car owners and suppliers.
McFadden and Co
They might be in their early 30s, which isn’t considered young anymore, but the likes of James McFadden, Jamie Veal and Scott Bogucki, have the future of the sport in their hands, particularly when it comes to 410 Sprintcars. McFadden and co have large fan bases – both young and old – and they are the key to making sure we continue to keep generations of race fans engaged in the sport. The above-mentioned drivers are also flying the Australian flag on the international scene and showing the younger generations just what is possible when it comes to making it in America.
410 Sprintcar drivers like Jock Goodyer, Marcus Dumesny, Rusty Hickman (pictured below) and Jordyn Charge are entertaining a whole new generation. Over the years, this sport has been guilty of neglecting generations of race fans, which has affected the drop of the sport in various sections of Australia. The drivers under the age of 21 are appealing to a whole new fan base and it’s important that they continue to help foster their growing fanbases.
When it comes to the veteran 410 Sprintcar drivers, such as Kerry Madsen, Brooke Tatnell, Robbie Farr and Max Dumesny, they well and truly still have their place in helping this industry grow. It’s their vast experience that not only helps the younger drivers, but they help entertain their large legion of fans. They might be towards the latter stages of their careers, but their impact on this sport can’t be questioned.
Photo: Richard Hathaway Photography
Leaving a Mark
There is no question that Glen Beaton is regarded as one of the country’s leading 410 Sprintcar crew chiefs and because of this is in high demand. The Warrnambool, Victoria-based spanner man has enjoyed plenty of success with James McFadden and Jamie Veal and rapid improvement has been seen from Glen Sutherland and most recently exciting youngster Jock Goodyer (pictured below with Beaton) under his watch. Now with Beaton’s move to the Jason Pryde Motorsport team with new driver Robbie Farr, there is no doubt that the team will go to another level.
Photo: Corey Gibson Photography
The Krikke Motorsport and Monte Motorsport teams have been leading the way in 410 Sprintcars for well over two decades. Both teams have the right people in the right places, and it’s reflected in their success – both on and off the track. Both teams are hotly sought after when it comes to drivers wanting to join the team. This sport has a lot to thank Peter Krikke from Krikke Motorsport and Luch Monte from Monte Motorsport for.
When it comes to other team owners, a special mention must go to NSW-based 410 Sprintcar and Speedcar team owners Sean and Felicity Dyson, David Dickson from Dickson Motorsport (pictured below with his team) and Western Australian-based Speedcar team owner Rod Bennett. The Dysons have lifted the sport’s image to a whole new level, and it includes bringing out American star drivers over the years, such as Kyle Larson, while Bennett’s passion and commitment to Speedcars cannot be questioned, which at one stage saw him run a five-car team. Dickson has over the past 15 years been a massive supporter of the 410 Sprintcar scene in his home state of Victoria, which includes supporting drivers from here and America with either sponsorship or providing them with a seat in his team car.
Photo: Corey Gibson Photography
When it comes to the sedan classes, there are plenty of drivers that have a big influence on the sport in a positive light.
In Super Sedans, you can’t go past Darren Kane and Matt Pascoe. The fierce Queensland-based racers have for over 15 years ran at the front of the field and most of the time they love beating one another as much as the other. Kane and Pascoe’s influence on the Super Sedan scene is a massive one.
The Late Models are lucky to have several influential businessmen in their ranks. In Western Australia, there is Paul Stubber, and then in NSW, there is Bruce Mackenzie (pictured below). It’s a shame that the sport doesn’t turn to guys like Stubber and Mackenzie more, as they could certainly shake things up and the best thing is that they have the runs on the board.
Photo: Corey Gibson Photography
In classes like Modified Sedans, Street Stocks and Production Sedans, there are a few racers that have made their mark on their classes in a good way. You have Aidan Raymont in Modified Sedans, Anthony Beare, Jamie Oldfield, Brad McClure, Robbie Faux and Todd Auton in Street Stocks and veteran Stephen Laidlaw in Production Sedans. Although there are a lot of youngsters in these classes, the veterans a lot of the time still hold rank.
Karratha in the north of Western Australia has a lot to thank Steve O’Dowd for, as he is one the area’s biggest speedway supporters and sponsors close to 20 race cars. Apart from being a sponsor, he is the current president of Nickol Bay Speedway Club. There’s certainly no lacking commitment from O’Dowd.
Over the past decade, Liam Williams has been the benchmark in Formula 500s, and he has four Australian Titles to prove it.
By virtue of this success, Williams is looked up to by many racers in the class, especially within the Junior Formula 500s, and it’s a role that he has taken on with plenty of class and isn’t afraid to share his vast knowledge to help fellow racers.
Ken McNamara from KRE Race Engines and Peter Morris (pictured below) from Maxwill Racing Engines are both held in high esteem in not only 410 Sprintcars but various other classes in the Australian speedway industry.
There is no doubt the positive influence that both McNamara and Morris have made and continue to make to speedway racing in Australia. They both set the standard when it comes to the engine room.
There are a fair few part suppliers within the Australian speedway industry and it’s hard to go past the positive influence from Ian Boettcher from Ian Boettcher Race Parts (pictured below), Bill Mann from Queensland Speedway Spares, Mark Cooper from American Tire & Racing Services, Michael Nairn from Performance Racegear, Adrian Parr from Parr Motorsports, Graeme and Wendy Cowin from Rocket Industries, Matt Eastham from Victory Lane Racegear, Max Dumesny from Max Dumesny Motorsport, and Daniel Harding from HRP Specialties. Not only do they supply the industry with quality parts and accessories, they aren’t shy when it comes to giving back to the sport in the form of sponsorship.
In recent years, there has been a rapid rise in some incredibly talented race car graphic artists, and they have certainly helped lift the bar when it comes to the presentation of race cars.
The increase in sharp looking race car graphics is a great thing for racers and associations alike, as it helps with individual sponsorships and also lifts the professional of classes and make it more attractive for track promoters to give a class with well presented cars more race meetings.
Leading the way in race car graphics are the likes of Emma Hutchinson from EB Graphics (pictured below), Joel Berkley from Down Under Graphics, Jarred Ash from Ash Speedway Media, Jeff Byron from Design EFX Signage, Andy Hibbert from Andy FX, Jason Priolo from JP Signs, Sean Mayo from BadAss Graphics, and Joel Goff from Killer Image.