DARING on the track, just as eye-catching off it.
Bendigo teenager Rusty Hickman showed his potential in his first South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic in three years.
Hickman, 18, dug in to progress from the C-Main to the A-Main in Friday night’s opener and won the best presented car award on Sunday for his war-time plane themed design.
He added a heat three win on the final night to his accolades. He missed the main show by two spots.
“We didn’t get to run the previous two Classics due to injuries and I thought I am leading the SRA 410 series at the moment and it would be a good opportunity,” he said.
"I try and not think about (winning the SRA series) too much because every time I start thinking about it I stuff it up.
“We go out and try and finish each A-Main. It’s been pretty good so far.”
Hickman said he his father Darren, himself a former driver, was the brainchild behind the silver car design.
“That is more so Dad’s thing. He sits at home and comes up with ideas,” he said.
“He always said he wanted to do an old bomber so himself and the guy from Choice Graphics, they love sitting down and (designing it).
“He’s said ‘I’ve always wanted to win that one year, so we’ll just keep trying' and this year is the year.”
Warrnambool driver Jye O’Keeffe, on the comeback trail from a serious back injury, won the first of eight heats on Sunday night.
He said he’d experienced mixed results at the Classic – but vowed to be back bigger and better in 2019.
“If everyone gave up when things weren’t going right, there’d be no cars out here,” O’Keeffe said.
Andrew Wright highlighted his sportsmanship after he was involved in a crash with Allansford’s Jake Smith in heat three.
He quickly apologised for his part in the incident, vowing to “buy a shirt off number 72”.
Other heat winners were Portland’s Adam King, who held off former Classic winner Tim Kaeding, Lisa Walker, Sammy Walsh, Jordyn Brazier and Marcus Dumesny.
Dumesny, the son of speedway icon Max, said he was happy to build his own profile in the sport but enjoyed following his father’s footsteps.
“(There’s) Mount Max (up there) – there is a lot to live up to rolling into this place,” he said.
Timboon driver Luke Walker, who is on the comeback after a serious back injury, said he was pleased to be mixing it with the best at the Classic.
Walker, 22, made the 40-lap finale on Sunday night after winning B-Main 1 from pole position.