Willowbank News and Media
FATHER AND SON TO BATTLE IT OUT FOR OUTLAW SUPREMACY AT WILLOWBANK RACEWAY
Article Date: 31 October 2013
Willowbank Raceway’s Track Championship Season Finale on 16 November 2013 will host a father versus son showdown in the Allstar Batteries Supercharged Outlaws bracket, with Bill Fletcher taking on son Josh Fletcher in a battle for the title.
Following the penultimate round of the Championship where it was a Fletcher versus Fletcher finale, the fifty eight year old Bill Fletcher currently leads the title chase by just seven points ahead of his 26 year old son Josh.
If Bill can clinch the title it will be his third in the category. If Josh is victorious, it will be his first SCO title and his second track championship, complementing his 2002 National Junior Dragster title and the four Willowbank Raceway Street Series titles currently taking up the mantel piece – including an addition made just days ago after he clinched the 2013 Street Sedan championship on Saturday 26 October.
This winning form isn’t restricted to this father and son either – no less than seven family members have competed in the sport of drag racing over recent years, with Bill’s wife Susanne a Street Series champion and Josh’s twin-brother Dan a Junior Dragster Track champion.
“Dad started racing again when I was about five or six years old, so my brothers and I would spend plenty of time in the trailer pulling apart everything we could find ready for Dad and the crew to put it back together before we could all go home,” said Cornubia’s Josh Fletcher, who was introduced to the sport by his dad and late Uncle who would take him to the drags and speedway at a young age with his brothers.
“I started taking the wheel myself when I was 11 years old after my old brother Ben grew too big for his car – after years crewing and watching dad race it was really a dream come true to experience that feeling first hand. Even better is the fact that I am currently driving dad’s old car, which I grew up working on.
“Over the years we have had seven family members race - my dad, my stepmother Susanne, my older brother Ben, my twin brother Dan, my step-siblings Sam and Emily and myself – so it really is a family affair we have going!”
For family patriarch Bill Fletcher, a successful drag racing career is highlighted by watching his loved ones succeed.
“I started racing back in 1972 at Surfers Paradise in a VF Valiant station wagon before I took 20 years away from the sport,” said Sheldon Company Director Bill Fletcher.
“Since I made my return to drag racing at Willowbank Raceway I have won two Track Championships and took event wins at the prestigious Winternationals and Tin Top Titles events.
“Even in the face of those stand-out wins I would have to say racing my son in the finals at Willowbank Raceway’s track championship round just weeks ago has definitely been a major highlight, that and watching my wife Susanne and my sons enjoy racing and taking out their own championships.
“When Josh and I lined up against each other on the 19th of October the score board became levelled to two father versus son wins apiece, although I am sure Josh would have something to say about that as one of his losses came when he was shut down with a fuel leak on the start line while waiting for me when I encountered a starting issue!”
Racing against each other in the same bracket, one would be forgiven for expecting some rivalry to bubble to the surface.
“We are definitely both competitive and like to put in our best performance for all of those that work with us, but of course we are always ready to help each other,” said Bill Fletcher.
“A perfect example of that spirit comes from the recent Winternationals where I had a transmission issue and Josh and his crew stayed back with some of my crew guys into the early hours of the morning to replace the parts so I could be ready for the final qualifier on Saturday morning – being able to band together like that is something very special.”
As far as the season finale goes, both Bill and Josh say it could go either way, with neither giving too much away when it comes to their game plan.
“Josh is in the running to take his first track championship in the Outlaw bracket so I know he will very well prepared, and while I have had some engine issues I will be giving it my all as well – no matter who takes the win, it is just an awesome feeling knowing that we are enjoying a sport loved by all the family and we will have fun no matter what the outcome,” said Bill Fletcher.
“As far as what will happen this weekend, we will just have to wait and see, hopefully I can line up against dad for the first round, that should make things interesting, but in the meantime my tip for dad is – enjoy your time on top!” added a grinning Josh Fletcher.
In 2014, the Fletchers will welcome a new sponsor to their team who will be watching November’s season finale carefully.
“In 2014 we are going to be very happy to welcome Redland Service Centre as a new team partner, with my car to be wrapped in the same livery as dad’s car next year which is pretty exciting,” said Josh Fletcher.
“Everyone at the team really wants to say a special thank you to the Redland Service Centre as well as our other sponsors Decarlo Bicycles, Hi Reach Rentals, Lucas Oils, Performance Diffs, The Bolt King Capalaba, David Mullins Auto and Horse Power Engineering as well as our family and dedicated crew – without their help, it would not be possible for us to run a two-car team so we are very appreciative of all of their help and support.”
For the 16 November Season Finale, gates will open at 7.00am, with qualifying from 10.00am, racing from 2.30pm and finals from 6.30pm, with all track champions to be awarded their trophy that evening at a special 7.30pm presentation on-track.
Leading the way to the season finale will beTony Bellert and Christopher Hall (SuperComp – tied on 149 points), Bill Fletcher (Allstar Batteries Supercharged Outlaws), Wade Moran (Knijff Earthmoving Modified), Rick Neilsen and Paul Doeblien (Powercruise Super Sedan – tied on 146 points), Blaze Hansen (Prime Signs/Speed Elec Super Street), Tammy Goldthorpe (Gasoline Alley Harley-Davidson Modified Bike), Dylan Leo (Donnelly Blasting Services Junior Dragster) and Simon Isherwood (Super Gas). In all brackets, only narrow margins separate the top competitors heading to the season finale - for full championship points, please click here.
Entries for the season finale event are available online at www.willowbankraceway.com.au until 5.00pm Wednesday 13 November 2013. The entry fee, including the $15.40 ANDRA Personal Accident Levy and entry for the driver and one crew member, is $90.00, with extra crew passes available for purchase online at $20.00 each. Spectator entry is available for purchase at the gate at just $20 for adults and $18 for students with ID, while children aged 13 and under gain free entry.
Willowbank Raceway is Queensland’s premier drag racing facility, located 45 minutes from Brisbane or just a short drive from Ipswich, offering a year-round program of events for the entire family. For more information including a full event calendar, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au
EVENT INFORMATION: TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON FINALE – SATURDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2013
Racing for the SuperComp, Allstar Batteries Supercharged Outlaws, Knijff Earthmoving Modified, Powercruise Super Sedan, Prime Signs/Speed Elec Super Street, Gasoline Alley Harley-Davidson Modified Bike, Donnelly Blasting Services Junior Dragster and Super Gas brackets.
- Gates Open – 7.00am
- Qualifying from 10.00am
- Racing from 2.30pm
- Finals from 6.30pm
- Presentation – 7.30pm - All track champions will be awarded their Track Championship trophy at the Presentation on the night of this event
Children aged 13 and under – FREE admission For more information please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au
- Adults - $20.00
- Students with ID - $18.00
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