THERE were plenty of spills and thrills at B and S Earthworks Timmis Speedway on the weekend at the running of the annual Col Beasley Classic and Round One of the Mainline DynoLog Dynamometers All Star Series.
Carnage on the race track meant the hot zone infield looked like a car park during the running of the Sprint Car final while records tumbled on numerous occasions throughout the night in different classes.
It was Daniel Evans though who reigned supreme in the Col Beasley Classic, also claiming Round One honours of the All Star Series.
Brendan Guerin and Michael Tancredi also finished on the podium in second and third place respectively.
Earlier in the Hot Laps Jed Bell got up close and personal with the fence, causing the first delay to racing of the night while it was repaired.
His bad luck continued in his first heat when he plouged into the wall coming down the straight after finishing the race.
It was in this Heat that Daniel Evans broke the lap record at Timmis Speedway - recording a 11.831. The old record stood at 12.104.
While Evans claimed his first race win of the night, Phillip Lock was victorious in the other race.
The second round of Heats was mainly incident free, with former Australian Champion Chad Ely claiming one race while James Wren drove his way to a heat win as well.
Ely didn't get off to the best start in the final, doing a wheelstand as the green flag dropped and Evans was able to capitalise on this.
With 27 laps to go drivers started to pull infield with a range of problems preventing them from continuing to race. James Wren, Shaun McClure and Brendan Quinn were just some drivers who retired.
It wasn't long after that Evans started to put some distance between himself and the rest of the field - eventually crossing the line infront of Guerin and Tancredi.
Speaking just after his win, a jubilant Evans said he was really happy to take out not only the Col Beasley Classic, but Round One of the All Stars Series as well, after some bad luck at Timmis Speedway more recently.
"I've raced here probably 12 to 18 times," the Riverland based driver said, adding he considered Timmis Speedway almost a home track.
"I lost two features on the last lap here last year.
"I really like the shape and size of the track, but just never had any luck."
Being pipped on the post was certainly on Evans' mind given that was the story in his last two meetings in Mildura.
"When I seen the white flag I was waiting for the yellow to come out or someone to go by me again but luckily there was no stoppages and I was just able to hold on," he said.
He was also full of praise for the track, finding it fast and somewhat predictable.
"The track was really good, it blew off a bit towards the end of the feature there but we sort of accounted for that and waited for it to happen," he said.
"I have been here other nights where it’s been a bit ‘how you going’ but the track tonight was really good. I am stoked with that."
Evans, who finished fifth overall in the Series last season, said his win Saturday night was certainly a confidence booster.
All Stars Sprint Cars Series organiser said Saturday nights racing had a bit of everything.
"We tore the fence down twice and we killed half of the cars on the racetrack," she said.
"Apart from that hopefully all the gremlins and everyone’s nervous tension is all done and dusted now and we move on."
Searle said it was great to see Evans claim the win after his last Series was plagued with bad luck.
"He was just so fast tonight," she said. "He was on another planet really."
In Round One of the AMCA SA Country Series, local Darren McCarthy ironed out some problems from early on in the night to drive his way to victory in the final.
Lachie Gwynne came home in second place with fellow local Kelsey Allen finishing in third.
"The car was very tight in the opening heat," McCarthy said.
"The grip level of the track caught me out, so I really struggled to get the car to turn."
His team made some chassis adjustment and changed some shocks in between races and the car reacted positively, with McCarthy saying the car got better each race once they started making changes.
McCarthy, who is coming off a stellar season of racing, said it was great to kick off this season with a win.
"A lot of time and effort goes into racing so to be able to reward our team with a feature win this early in the season really sets us up for hopefully a great year," he said.
In the Wingless Sprints Jason Bolitho proved he was still a force to be reckoned with after a hiatus from racing.
Brad Beasley and Travis Beasley finished second and third behind Bolitho in the final in a night of racing dedicated to their Dad.
Bolitho set a new lap record during the night - completing 15 laps in 3.56.449 seconds, bettering the former record of 3:59.289.
Bolitho was thrilled to prove he still had what it takes to win but admitted he had some work to do off the track. "After my time on the bench last season I've worked out that I need some sort of fitness program as I really struggled on an unforgiving track with jelly arms," Bolitho said.
Jelly arms or not, Bolitho was still able to claim three wins from three races despite having not driven the new Wingless before.
He said after observing the Sprint Cars he could see there were multiple racing lines.
The night wasn't drama free for Bolitho though as just as he crossed the finish line to take the win he heard the steward call on the red light over the one way communicator.
"As I went over the finish line I did say to myself: 'Hmm, where did Jordz (stepson Jordon Bolitho) crash?' and low and behold I get to Turn One and 'Jordz' was laying on his side," he said.
"So I did what any parent would do jumped out to help."
The younger Bolitho's car sustained a lot of damage in the crash - including breaking a rear axle.
In the Street Stocks local prodigy Corey Sandow recorded his first final win in senior racing. Sandow is always at the pointy end of races but has in the past just failed to claim that top spot.
With the MJS Street Stock Series that was meant to be held at Renmark on Saturday night cancelled, it gave the drivers an opportunity to get more track time at Timmis before the Australian Title is held there early next year.
Ben Whitehead crossed the line in second place behind Sandow, while Jason Faux finished third.
Sandow's win came even though the youngster was trialling "a few new things" with his car, which he said worked out great.
"The track and car felt great all night, the amount of drive in the track made it easy to drive harder," he said.
"That was my first feature race win in seniors.
"I came second, third and fourth a lot last season and it was great to start the year with a win."
Despite his ED Falcon having more than enough power to get the job done on Saturday night, Sandow is currently building a car car, which he hopes to unveil for the Australian Street Stock Title held in Mildura in March.
"With the new car I’m hoping to have a better balanced setup and with the current drive line it can only be better," he said.
"Plus my current car has been chopped and changed a lot and I’d love to have a nice clean car at the National Title."
In the Modified Sedans, Mildura's Martin Hawson was firing on all cylinders - claiming all of his heat wins and was unstoppable in the final. David Smith finished in second with Marty Raams rounding out the Top Three.
Hawson set a new track record for Timmis Speedway - taking nearly a second off the old 12 Lap record with 3:23.306.
The next meeting at Timmis Speedway is Saturday, December 1 for the MJS Street Stock Series and Ross Crick Memorial.