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Organiser: Incarace When: March 13 Championships: National Hot Rod Series
Danny Fiske may not have set the world alight in the heats but he made amends in the final at Hednesford. He drove a stormer around the outside of the leaders to take a convincing victory.
With all cars in all races, rather than split in the usual fashion, the track looked pretty crowded right from the start of the opening event.
Martin Heath and Dave Garrett led them away from the front rank of the grid, with Heath establishing a slim lead over the first five laps.
Alistair Lowe spun at the West bend and was lucky to avoid any damage as the field streamed past.
Garrett continued to keep the leader honest until he suddenly pulled up, leaving the way clear for the speedy looking trio of Rich Adams, Aaron Dew and Mark Edwards to close in on Heath instead.
Heath eventually responded to the pressure by going a touch wide at the West bend, allowing the others past shortly before mid-distance. Then it became a three-way fight for the lead between Adams, Dew and Edwards, with Edwards ducking under Dew just before Dew’s motor blew in an impressively large cloud of smoke.
That left Adams and Edwards to duke it out over the remaining distance, with Adams managing to hold on at the front until flagfall.
Shaun Taylor, who’d been waiting patiently in fourth to see if he could pick up the pieces from any heroics by those ahead, took third despite having to defend against Steve Dudman over the last couple of laps.
There was some drama at the start of heat two after Dick Hillard and Fiske collided at the East bend, the incident leaving Hillard almost stationary in the middle the corner.
Heath had his hands on the lead once again and looked pretty comfortable there for a while until second man Dudman closed in to mount a challenge. Their dice was in full swing when Hillard got into hot water again, this time becoming involved in synchronised spinning along the home straight with David York. With both cars stopped across the track, it wasn’t too much of a surprise to see the yellow flags out.
The restart pitted Heath against Dudman again, an encounter made even more interesting by a swathe of oil going down on the West bend exit when Jason Kew’s motor let go.
But Heath kept both his head and the lead all the way to the finish, despite Dudman piling on the pressure on the final tour.
Adams, Edwards and Dudman locked horns straight from the green flag in the final, with Taylor running fourth and trying to fend off Fiske and Chris Haird.
Fiske and Haird shot past Taylor in a heart-stopping one-either-side three wide moment along the back straight, with Fiske the man out by the barriers. The pair were still together once they’d cleared Taylor, but Fiske was looking very determined indeed, as he zipped ahead of Haird and then by-passed Dudman to assume third spot.
Adams and Edwards were still locked in combat for the lead and didn’t look like they were going to leave any easy openings either, but Fiske didn’t appear to notice and simply stayed on his outside charge. He worked his way past Edwards after a handful of laps but found Adams a much tougher nut to crack. Several times Fiske surged ahead only to have Adams fight back and it took a number of laps for the challenger to finally hit the front.
Once ahead, Fiske drew rapidly clear, and was long gone before the destiny of the lesser places was settled. It was Haird who finally got up to second and started to zoom in. But it was all too little too late and Fiske’s win was assured.