THE headline event of last week’s thrilling Nutts Corner Raceway meeting was the 1300 Stock Car National Championship.
The locals were joined on track by a sprinkling of visiting drivers from the mainland including the World and defending National Champion, Ian Beaumont.
Local lad Jamie Hunter escaped any onslaught in heat one to take the win before Anthony McIvor raced his aging Toyota Starlet to a fine victory in the second encounter.
The points were tallied from the heat events to form a closed grid for the title showdown.
McIvor was the pole sitter with English man Ben White alongside.
McIvor got off to a flying start, however it was not long until the bumpers were in action with the likes of Beaumont, Drew Mathieson and Curtis Tebbenham all keen to make up places.
Tebbenham and Beaumont made it past McIvor before a caution period was required after the heat one winner Hunter become stranded on the back straight.
Tebbenham led them away at the restart with Beaumont close behind.
As the laps disappeared Beaumont made it all the way to the front and started to stretch clear with Mathieson and Peter Greer now settled into second and third.
Beaumont completed the 20 laps to successfully defend his title, after a dramatic last few laps of reshuffling Greer secured second spot with Mathieson third.
Elsewhere, David Nesbitt made full use of his pole position start to take victory in the Group 2 Lighting Rod Stadium Championship.
David made a text book start to command proceedings right from the off.
Giving chase was his brother Paul and Clive Wilson.
Such was the pace of the rapid D Nesbitt no-one offered any challenge and he went on to complete the distance and take the win ahead of P Nesbitt and Wilson.
Two heat races rounded out the afternoon with David Reynolds and Daniel Rodgers sharing the wins.
Craig McConnell was the first of the afternoon to taste victory, in the Brisca F2 Stock Cars after he inherited the win of heat one - when first across the line Graham Fegan was penalised for jumping the start.
Sean McFerran made a great escape from his blue grading starting slot to take the win in heat two.
It was Junior Rod graduate Stuart Percy who dominated the opening stages of the final before Fegan roared past and into the lead.
Fegan managed to complete the distance and take the silverware ahead of McConnell who was closing the gap drastically in the closing laps.
Chelsy Rainey was the pace setter in the Micro F2s where she completed the afternoon undefeated.
Matthew McKinstry was the only driver to survive the distance in what was a lively opening heat for the Micro bangers.
Heat two featured further lively exchanges, and this time Karl ‘Speedy’ Smyth was the victor.
Speedy gave another good account of himself in the meeting final, taking his second win of the day.
The banger action was concluded with a destruction derby. After eradicating the competition Rodney Herron was declared the winner.
The Junior Rods were again out in force with 15 cars in action for the opening heat.
Josh Anderson headed the way early on before Josh Gooch took over and went on to take the win.
Heat two was suspended in the early laps when Anais McCreight found herself stranded on the racing line.
On the restart Gooch was quickly away once again and looked destined for his second triumph until Jack Morrow slipped through late on to take the win.
The meeting final was a somewhat unruly affair with plenty of incidents throughout the race.
Jonathan Brown avoided the dramas to take the win ahead of Morrow and Drysdale.
The race action continues on Wednesday (September 26) at 7.30pm featuring the Brisca F2 Stock Cars Irish Closed Championship, 2L Saloon Stock Cars Irish Closed Championship, Stock Rod Stadium Championship and Junior Rods.