• The 2017-18 season has been quite a character building experience for Mick Saller, who has previously struggled to convert his track time into results; but that all changed last Saturday night at Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway when the he broke through for his maiden 410 Sprintcar feature-race win.

    With four seasons of Sprintcar racing under his belt, Saller’s journey towards achieving this major milestone has certainly been a long one, with 2017-18 proving to be his most challenging season yet, mainly due to contesting the highly-competitive World Series Sprintcars Championship, which takes place throughout each state of Australia and features some of the country’s best drivers.

    Finding it difficult to hit their stride in the opening half of the season, the Windsor Downs, NSW-based team was quickly forced to get used to life on the road, as they travelled around the country with a host of World Series Sprintcar regulars who were all too familiar with the gruelling schedule.

    Despite gaining significant experience and knowledge during his World Series Sprintcars campaign, Saller couldn’t help but let doubt begin creeping in, having been unable to consistently qualify into feature races, let alone claim a feature-race win.

    However, refusing to give up, Saller and his team continued to persevere and rally around each other; an effort which ultimately paid off, with the team going on to qualify into the feature race in their past five World Series Sprintcar outings, as well as going on to display great pace throughout the Easter Trail, despite some varied issues, coming home a pleasing sixth at Lismore Speedway.

    “Our improvement during the second half of the World Series schedule was fantastic and it was definitely the best ending to the championship that we could have hoped for,” commented the determined 21-year-old racer, who believes that not running the Grand Annual Classic and Australian Title in his own car allowed the team to take a much-needed mental break from the road.

    “We felt that we were almost at rock bottom after the beginning of the season, but we all just persisted and kept trying to lift out motivation, then when we started to qualify for feature races, we began getting our confidence back.”

    After a herculean effort in the shed to fix his car following a wreck at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway a fortnight ago, Saller was happy just to make it to last Saturday night’s event at Archerfield Speedway and was simply hoping to qualify for the Dash and potentially come away with a top-eight finish in the feature race.

    Achieving more than he bargained for in what was a still slightly bent NSW # 56 Kings Roller Grilles and Shutters (KRGS) / Superman Energy Drink supported XXX car, Saller was quick from the outset, timing sixth in time trials, placing sixth and fifth in his heat races and sitting equal fourth on points heading into the dash, where he managed to clinch an outside front-row start for the feature race.

    Getting the jump on pole-sitter Lachlan McHugh off the start, Saller took the early lead and reminded himself to maintain his composure. Thinking he had a chance to win as McHugh lunged for the lead on the outside, ultimately spinning out and ending his race, Saller began to think of the feature like a heat race, with cautions coming out at 10-lap intervals.

    Disaster almost struck for Saller in the closing stages, when Mitchell Gee drove around him for the lead. Telling himself he wasn’t going to lose after coming so close, Saller gave everything he had to steal the lead back from Gee in the same lap, continuing to hit each of his marks and going on to claim an exciting victory.

    “On crossing the finish line, I honestly didn’t care about prize money or the trophy, I just wanted to enjoy the moment,” added Saller, who believed his karting race craft has helped him immensely in Sprintcars.

    “Once I actually got into the lead, I just needed to keep reminding myself that I can stay there. Being able to reward mum and dad, the rest of the team and the sponsors with this win is just an amazing feeling after all of the hard work and support they’ve put in.”

    Keen to keep his momentum flowing, Saller’s next appearance will be at Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway this Saturday night for the Ultimate Sprintcar Championship Queensland Grand Finale, followed by the Queensland Title at Archerfield Speedway on May 5 and 6 and the remaining two Archerfield Speedway outings on May 19 and 26.
    Saller would like to thank the following 2017-18 season sponsors for their continued support: Kings Roller Grilles and Shutters (Clayton and Phil Blackman), Superman Energy Drink, Lucky Bling, Eliminator Race Wings, Hi-Tech Dynamic Engine Balancing, Pass Powdercoating, Blackshaw’s Smash Repairs, and Saller Motorsport. Special thanks go to his mum (Monika) and dad (Mark), his sister (Kimberly), his girlfriend Kayla, Andrew Johnson, and Matt Griffiths.

    To find out more about Saller and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Mick Saller.
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