DARREN Mollenoyux had to pull parts from any place he could to ensure he got one last drive at his home track before heading over to America.
The Warrnambool resident, who qualified fastest for heat four with a 10.266 quicktime at night three of the Easter Sprintcar Trail at Allansford's Premier Speedway, will jet over to the states for the first time in four years in June.
"We are going to travel over to Ohio and Pennsylvania in June and compete in about 13 races hopefully," he said.
"It's something we have looked at the past about four years ago and we did quite a few races over there and I'm looking forward to going and having some fun."
Despite his last minute entry Mollenoyux was pleased with how his night started in qualifying, which saw Corey McCullagh (10.188), John Vogels (10.337) and Jamie Veal (10.156) clocking the fastest times for the other three heats.
"Tonight has started out well with quicktime in our group," he said. "We hadn't planned on really running this race as we had sent our equipment over to America a couple of weeks ago and just managed to ram up some gear to put a car together.
"We were lucky to have our engine come back on Thursday so bolted it in and here we are."
Mollenoyux started heat four on pole position and in a drama packed first run, which saw Grant Stansfield, Jack Lee and Robbie Paton all crash out, he would claim a victory ahead of Tim Van Ginneken.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old rookie Mitchell Smith was making his Easter Sprintcar Trail debut.
The Heathcote resident said he felt comfortable in his hot laps and was eager to mix it with the best in just his 12th night of racing in the speedway's top class.
"We went out and I gave it the best I could in time trials," he said.
"It's pretty good. We did a 10.7 with a 360 (sprintcar motor). It's going to be tough against the 410s tonight but we will see what we can do it's just about laps."
Smith, who crashed out in heat five, said it had been a smooth transition from wingless sprints to sprintcars.
"It's been good. I've felt comfortable so far and we have only done 12 nights," he said.
"I feel confident and its just about seeing what we can do. Every lap I'm doing I'm feeling more confident."
But life in the top class has not been without its challengers for the teenager with the rise in skill and experience the biggest hurdle he has had to deal with.
"The competition in Victoria and the amount of cars and it makes it hard to qualify well," he said.
"You have to do as many laps as you can and consistent laps, smooth laps and fast ones at that."
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