Veteran Hunter driver Shane Carlson claimed the Australian RSA Street Stocker title at Sydney's Valvoline Raceway on Saturday night.
It was a highly popular victory with Carlson, from Raymond Terrace, a veteran of 30 years in the sport claiming his first Australian title from a quality field including 2016 winner Maitland’s Blake Eveleigh, 2018 NSW champion Brendan Wakeman and Kurri’s racing siblings John Lodge jnr and Kiona Sunerton.
It was Carlson’s first Australian title in 30 years of competition in the hotly contested category.
“It still hasn’t really sunk in,” Carlson said yesterday.
“I’ve been doing it for 30 years, it’s a good feeling. I’ve won a NSW title before and plenty of big events but not an Australian title before.
“I’ve had plenty of podium finishes, lots of second and thirds, but to actually get it now is good.”
Carlson reeled in reigning champion Shaun Davoodi in the closing stages of the rain-shortened final, with Lodge third.
Lodge’s sister, former NSW champion Sunerton was fifth, Wakeman was eighth and Eveleigh was 12th.
“I had been running the high-line all night and obviously once the rain started to come a little bit I was already used to running on the high line and it was a bit more dry up top,” Carlson said of the final which was cut short by 20 laps,
“Shaun Davoodi, the outgoing Australian champ, was down the bottom and it got a bit too slippery for him and I was able to get around him.
“He got away from me about four or five car lengths at the start, but I stayed there and kept at it, kept at it and once the rain come I was able to get around him.
“To win the title from the likes of Shaun Davoodi, Brendan Wakeman, John Lodge Jr there’s nothing between us. It was finally me.”
Wakeman said Carlson was a popular winner and it was great to see the title going to the Hunter and to have so many Hunter drivers in contention.