Rusty Hickman wins 2017-18 SRA Series, Corey McCullagh scores feature win on finale night

WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Bendigo's Rusty Hickman, 18, etched his name in SRA Series' history on Sunday night.
WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Bendigo's Rusty Hickman, 18, etched his name in SRA Series' history on Sunday night.

A TEENAGER whose speedway career is in its infancy etched his name in history on Sunday night.

Bendido rising star Rusty Hickman won the Sprintcar Association of Victoria Series, clinching the title at Allansford’s Premier Speedway.

Hickman celebrated his success at the same track where he produced eye-catching drives against world-class Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic fields in January.

He needed to finish ninth or better in his first heat on SRA Series grand final night to wrap up the title.

Hickman’s second-place showing released the pressure, allowing him to concentrate on the rest of the meeting.

“I was just going to run my own night and find out what the points were at the end of the night but after my first heat when I came in they were all saying ‘congratulations, you’ve just won the series’ and I was like ‘oh wow’,” he said from the pits.

“It is cool. It is weird celebrating at the start of a race meeting, normally it’s after the A-Main.”

Hickman, who competed in 12 of the 13 SRA Series meetings, said it was a learning curve with highs and lows.

“We’ve had two A-Main wins and we’ve had a few podiums, a couple of seconds and thirds,” he said.

“We’ve had our ups and downs, sometimes you’ll crash out.

“It’s been my fault, you know, just being inexperienced and still learning, I still make mistakes but luckily enough we were ahead (on the points tally) and those mistakes didn’t hurt us too much.

“Being up and coming, to be with the calibre of drivers we are, it’s good to be up the front.”

Hickman, whose long-term goal is to race in America, will complete the three-night Easter sprintcar trail, which wraps up in Warrnambool, to finish his 2017-18 Victorian season.

Warrnambool ace Corey McCullagh led from green to chequer in the 30-lap $5000-to-win A-Main – just two months after elevating himself to Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic champion at the same track.

South Australian Luke Dillon finished second and Warrnambool driver Jamie Veal highlighted his ability, working his way from the B-Main to finish third in the feature.

The flag-to-flag race took just six minutes and 56 seconds to complete.

Robbie Farr, Simpson’s John Vogels and another Warrnambool competitor in Darren Mollenoyux rounded out the top six. 

Brock Hallett was seventh and Hickman eighth. Mailors Flat’s Peter Doukas, who started third, ran ninth and Terang’s Jack Lee 11th.

Jye O’Keeffe, another representing Warrnambool, won the B-Main and placed 13th in the feature.