Back-to-back 410 Sprintcar feature-race wins have been the perfect way for Chace Karpenko to begin his 2018 season campaign at his home track: Darwin’s Northline Speedway.
After making the decision to not travel to the southern states during the high-time of this season, and not turning a wheel in nine months, Karpenko, from Darwin in the Northern Territory, elected to stay home and focus on getting his car and team ready for the 10-race meeting season in the top end, and to date, the decision has worked out perfectly.
Utilising basically the same car as last season, Karpenko has been the standout driver of the first two race meetings at Northline Speedway so far with the opening show being the first round of the Northline Speedway Track Championship and the latter being the Darwin Title.
Showcasing his ability to adjust to different situations, Karpenko has greeted the chequered flag on two vastly different track conditions with the opening night being slick and the second night, a more hooked up track greeted the competitors. This certainly augers well for the remainder of the season for Karpenko and his small team.
With his focus being solely on the local Sprintcar season, hopes are high for what is without a doubt the highlight of the season: Chariots of Thunder Series. Held each year in August over two weekends Karpenko performed strongly last season with a feature-race win and numerous heat-race wins which saw him lead the points chase going into the final round.
Unfortunately, a crash on the final night at the start of the feature race saw his aspirations for a series win disappear and he had to settle for third overall in the final point standings. This season’s series is something that Karpenko is very keen to perform strongly in and wipe away last season’s disappointment.
“Last season’s Chariots of Thunder Series didn’t end the way we wanted to, and this season is all about making amends,” the 32-year-old racer said.
“Leading the points up until the final weekend and crashing on the opening lap of the series final feature race was pretty disappointing. Especially since we had a good car right from the opening round of the series, but we’ve learned quite a lot from it and we’ll be back for more.”
Currently in a six-week break due to the scheduling of major races for other classes, Karpenko will use the time wisely and make sure everything is set for the remaining eight nights of racing over a seven-week period at the Northline Speedway which is a venue that Karpenko speaks very highly of.
“It is a great track and the guys are doing a very good job,” praised the NT # 21 Top End Access supported Maxim driver. “The facilities have come along really well, and Northline Speedway is probably one of the best overall facilities in the country. That coupled with the emergence of young drivers like Ben Atkinson Jnr and Kale Quinlan means speedway in the top end is in good shape.”
Once the season has finished up north, Karpenko hasn’t ruled out a return to competing in events in the southern states for the 2018-19 season; however, it will be dependent on budget and time available.
Karpenko would like to thank the following sponsors for their support during the 2018 season: Top End Access, Maley’s Barristers and Solicitors, Mick’s Ally Fab, L&S Offroad, Mobile Car Detailing, Signcity NT, Norton Australia, Lubrimaxx, Bosch Car Service Darwin, Autosmart NT, and Coonawarra Panel Works.
Special thanks must go out to wife (Megan), Hayley, Luke, Yoshi and Russ.
To find out more about Karpenko, LIKE him on Facebook by searching Chace Karpenko Racing.