JACK Bell grew up close to one of speedway’s Australian meccas.
But success at the Allansford teenager’s home track has eluded the promising formula 500 driver.
Bell, 19, hopes to erase past demons when he hits Premier Speedway for the prestigious Jack Willsher Cup on Saturday night.
The jam-packed meeting also boasts the Victorian sprintcar title, which features 46 high-calibre drivers including Steven Lines and David Murcott and reigning champion, Simpson’s John Vogels.
Bell, who aspires to join 410-cubic inch ranks in coming years, is hoping to put in a strong performance in his number four formula 500 ride.
“Every time I race, you want to finish up the front somewhere,” he said.
“I’ve sort of been pretty unlucky at the start of this season. We’ve put a new car together and it’s been good but I have struggled to finish.
“I’ve only finished two out of four races due to crashing out. Luckily it hasn’t been my fault, but it doesn’t make it any better.”
Bell is hoping it’s third time lucky in the Jack Willsher Cup.
He believes he’s learned lessons from past races at the track.
“I haven’t got a really good history at Warrnambool,” Bell said.
“I have only finished in the top five once at Warrnambool and (I’ve raced there) five or six times.
“I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always just struggled a little bit there.
“I think everyone is pretty even because it’s such a big track for our little cars.
“Everyone is flat out and there’s not much difference between the cars at the front and the cars at the back.”
Bell, who is working as welder, tinkers with his car most nights at his family’s Allansford property which overlooks the Hopkins River.
“We are out here nearly every night,” he said.
“To have a good straight racecar and well-prepared race car, you have to put in the time and effort.
“As the best have said before, races are won in the shed, so pretty much you have to do your preparation well.”
Bell hopes the hard work will culminate in a class jump to sprintcars – once he’s earned his stripes.
“The biggest part is getting the opportunity or being able to afford it,” he said.
“Obviously it’s a big step and you’ve got to prove yourself in another class first, so pretty much I’ve just got to keep doing the best I can do and see what happen.”
Meanwhile, Warrnambool-based stars Jamie Veal and James McFadden will race in Brisbane on Saturday night.
The pair are among a 27-strong field for the World Series Sprintcars round at Archerfield Speedway.