Anthony Beare and Donald ‘Hoody’ Irving have been good friends for nearly two decades now and in last Saturday night’s NSW SSA Street Stock Title at Moama’s Heartland Raceway, they joined forces and managed to come away with a winning result.
Running his brand-new VE Holden Commodore, Beare encountered engine problems in his second heat race and that brought his night to a premature end, well so he thought. That is when Irving came into the picture and offered his VE Holden Commodore for Beare to use for the remainder of the night.
After initially taking some persuasion to accept Irving’s offer, Beare took his place in the third and final heat race from the back of the field, which he was able to drive the unfamiliar car up to third place. Due to changing cars in the final heat race, Beare was able to maintain his previous heat race points and started the feature race out of position two.
In the NSW Title decider, Beare, who last won the event back in the 2017-18 season at Leeton’s Brobenah Raceway, didn’t make the best of starts but managed to recover. Once he hit the lead in the early stages of the 25-lap event, he was never headed all the way through to the fall of the chequered flag.
Following his engine woes early in the NSW Title event, Beare didn’t think he would end the night in victory lane aboard the Irving-owned car.
“It was a crazy night but to be able to jump into one of my best mate’s cars and drive it to the win is a really special moment between the two of us,” expressed Beare, who now the holder of 29 National and State Title wins in the Street Stocks class.
“Hoody (Donald Irving) didn’t have to give up his own car so that I could continue the night, as he had already qualified for the feature race, but that is the type of person he is and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity.”
Irving echoed Beare’s by saying what a special moment it was to have Beare drive his car to victory in the NSW Title.
“I had crashed the car in my second heat race and the car was quickly repaired and then Bearey was able to jump into it (the car) for his final heat race, and prior to the feature race we made some further improvements and it all worked out with the best possible result,” he explained.
“It’s a very special moment to have Bearey drive my car to a victory in a major event and I’m glad that I was able to provide him with the car that good enough for him to do it.
“Bearey and I have been mates for nearly 20 years now and he has been one of my biggest supporters, as he helps with the preparation of my car with his engine and suspension work, and to be able play a part in one of his major wins is one of my fondest speedway memories.”
Photo: Tanya Eastwood
After stepping into speedway in the early 2000s from a Demolition Derby background, the Hamilton, Vic-based Irving chose the Street Stock class. It was at the same time Irving met a teenage Beare and they have been mates ever since. During Irving’s time in Street Stocks, he has two major career highlights, which have both taken part at Arunga Park Speedway in Alice Springs (NT), with a third in the 2006-07 season National Title to winner Beare and a second-place finish in the 2013-14 season Northern Territory Title to winner Beare.
Irving’s teenage son, Jye, recently graduated from Junior Sedans has been a massive fan of Beare since a four-year-old. For next season, Irving will be joined in the Street Stock class by his son.
There is no question that last Saturday night’s NSW Title victory with Beare driving his car was the latest addition to Irving’s list of career highlights.
Irving would like to thank his 2019-20 season supporters:
Hamilton Exhaust Centre
Grampians Tyre Service - Hamilton
Special thanks to Irving’s partner Trudy, his son Jye, along with Anthony Beare, Emma ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson, and Kathy and Lindsay Beare.