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Added: 01 Jan 2013 Category: 2013 Oval Racing
2013 - #1 – Ballymena Raceway – 1/1/13
First of all Happy new year to all my readers and followers. As is traditional, the Ballymena Raceway festive meeting took place on New years day and included the National Hot Rods Winter Nationals, Stock Rods, Junior Rods and Gp 2 Lightning Rods.

For a change I didn’t arrive at the new years meeting nursing a hang over and wishing I’d stayed at home. I did as seems to be tradition now, arrive at Ballymena after the start time and just about made it out the gate for the opening heat.
The Gp 2’s kicked off proceedings with a 17 car opening heat which included Ricky Shaw in a tidy 306, the other half of NIOval TV Jonny Teggart and if I’m not mistaken the Aghadowey 1600 Lightning Rods Irish Champion Gregg McMullan, as well as a tidy new paint job for Curtis Greer.
Mark Turtle took the opening heat win and race of 2012. Gregg McMullan went on to take the final win.

The Junior Rods were dominated throughout the day by Jamie McCurdy and Aaron Moody. McCurdy was first across the line in all three races, but was docked in heat two which gave the win to Moody. Moody was runner up in heat one and the final.

In the Stock Rods Chris Gordon showed he means business in 2013 as the world champion took the opening heat win, a top three in heat 2 and went on to win the final from pole. Gary Butler was second with Victor McAfee third. Heat two went to Carl Sloan after Ben McCully who has been first across the line was judged to have jumped the start and was docked places.

The big title of the day was the winter nationals for the National Hot Rods and was a little disappointing in car turnouts and not what the meeting has been in previous years with visiting drivers and nearly all our on cars out. The meeting seen Petie Donnelly make the step up to the Nationals and Andrew Murray out in Paul Crawford’s Tigra. Nine cars took to the track for heat one, with early drama as Ian McReynolds, Andrew Stewart and Mark Heatrick tangled in turn two, taking Heatrick out of the remainder of the meeting.
Keith Martin led home Andrew Murray and Stewart Doak in heat one, with the top 3 reversed in heat 2.
A ruptured petrol tank took Murray out of the final, where Keith Martin drew pole and went on to take the win, McReynolds got past Doak in the opening lap and held second throughout the race with Doak third.

2013’s oval racing has begun!

Approx Car Turnout: 56 cars (17 Gp 2’s, 12 Juniors, 18 Stock Rods, 9 National Hot Rods)

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