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US RACER SET FOR CASTROL EDGE WINTERNATIONALS

Article Date: 3 June 2010

Multiple NHRA event winner Todd Patterson has been confirmed as a star entrant for next weekend’s Castrol EDGE Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway after travelling especially from his Kansas home for the largest drag racing event outside of the US.

The US racer, part of the legendary Patterson Racing Performance Warehouse family business which boasts many Australian customers, will be part of the 20-strong Pro Stock category at the Ipswich Quarter mile over June 10-13 after arriving earlier this week.

Patterson, whose wife Joey and son’s AJ and Ayden along with his father Allan – who started the Patterson business back in 1979 - and mother Barbara will soon join him, will be competing aboard Victorian customer Chris Solditos’ new Pontiac GTO and was on-track today to greet the local media and check out the track.

“To be honest I am really overjoyed that Chris is allowing me to compete with his car, the style of the Pro Stock class here really appeals to me and after watching it on TV and seeing the success the racers have been happening I just can’t wait to give it a go,” said Patterson.

“I came over to Australia in September of 2008 and managed to catch a drag racing event in Sydney and my Australian customers have been trying to get me over to race for years, but with the business and family commitments it just hasn’t been able to happen until this point.

“Through my dealings with our customers here I have always been very aware of the Australian racers’ collective passion and their desire to race while keeping up with the latest technology we have over at home in the States.

“That commitment has seen the bar being continually raised in Australian Pro Stock over the years and so we have a lot of respect for all of the local racers we will be lining up against next weekend.

“We know that our situation in driving a car we are unfamiliar with outside of a bit of testing will mean we will have a lot of work to do, but hopefully we can use the Winters Warm-Up to the best of our ability to get as many runs under our belt as possible so we can be competitive and give it a good crack on race day.”

Patterson’s campaign has been organised by Patterson Racing Performance Warehouse Australian agent Peter Ridgeway along with John O’Kearney, with Ridgeway set to join Patterson in the Pro Stock field to debut the Monaro he has been working on for three years.

“John and myself have had a great relationship with the Patterson family dating back some 15 plus years, Todd is a very competitive person and with the family history - both father and son are well accomplished in the NHRA – they certainly know their stuff,” said Ridgeway.

“The history behind Patterson Race Engines is second to none, and with Todd here running a customers new car running one of his own power plants I expect he will be taking the opportunity to showcase the engine as much as he can to make a statement both personally and for the business.

“I think we all come with the attitude to have fun and run as well as we can, we are all competitive, and I am so excited to have him over here as we have been trying to have this happen for a long time.

“As far as my campaign, a few things happened – business, family and the like – and so the Monaro has been a side project until we were ready and now we feel that this is the time to bring it out and see where we stand.

“The bar has been raised over the past couple of years again and again in the Pro Stock category, so with Todd coming out we will be turning the wick up to get out there and have some fun and just see what happens.

“We have had great success at the Castrol EDGE Winternationals in the years gone by and in my eyes Willowbank Raceway is the best and safest track in the country and as John’s home town and practically my home track since I don’t have a local (Peter is based in Victoria which doesn’t have a drag strip) – where else would we debut the car but the best race of the year!”

The Castrol EDGE Winternationals is the largest drag racing event outside of North America and is expected to host around 500 racers at the season-ending event, with in excess of 480 competitors set to hit the track over June 10-13.

The Thursday June 10 to Sunday June 13 event will host the championship ANDRA Pro Series final rounds for Top Fuel, Top Alcohol, Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock, Morgan & Wacker Top Bike and Morgan & Wacker Pro Stock Bike as well as final championship rounds for all of the sportsman brackets. For more information, schedules or to purchase tickets, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au

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