ON THE PODIUM: Australian Champion David Clark (second from left) with third-placed Geoff Phillips (left), runner-up Jai Stephenson and fourth placegetter Ray Eggins (far right) after the Australian V8 Dirt Modified Championships in Lismore.
ON THE PODIUM: Australian Champion David Clark (second from left) with third-placed Geoff Phillips (left), runner-up Jai Stephenson and fourth placegetter Ray Eggins (far right) after the Australian V8 Dirt Modified Championships in Lismore. Tony Powell

David Clark takes V8 Dirt Modifieds title

YEARS of hard work have paid off in spades for David Clark.

The Queenslander produced a superb display to capture the 2014 Australian V8 Dirt Modified Championships at the Lucas Oil Lismore Speedway.

Clark made the most of his front-row starting position for the 35-lap main event, passing top-qualifier Jai Stephenson on the opening lap and maintaining the lead position throughout the entire race.

The win was Clark's first Australian Championship and the biggest triumph to date in his career.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet because I know how big it is," the 23-year-old said.

"I've been racing for 16 years and to finally win a National title is pretty big. We've finally cracked it."

"We took a few risks in the heats when we had to make sure we got the points and were able to start up the front for the final because anything can happen when you start down the back."

Grafton racer Jai Stephenson finished a close second, with NSW Champion Geoff Phillips coming home in third.

Lismore racer Ray Eggins was the first local home in Fourth.

An unexpected shower of rain midway through the night presented competitors with challenging track conditions for the Championship decider, with Victorian driver Daniel Scott bringing on the red lights with 13 laps to run after executing a nasty roll-over along the front stretch.

Scott was uninjured, although his Troyer race car sustained substantial damage.

Lismore's defending Champion Mark Robinson was forced to the infield after completing just under half race distance with a flat left-rear tyre, ironically the same fate that befell former three-time champ Peter Britten just a handful of laps later.

Former Byron local Andrew Pezzutti was also expected to challenge for the lead but a broken shock on the opening lap eliminated his title hopes.

Queensland Champion Kevin Britten crossed the line in fifth, narrowly holding out Toowoomba veteran Ray Klarich (6th), 2001 Australian Champion Scott Cannon (7th) and Pezzutti (8th).

It was a successful night for runner-up Jai Stephenson, who was awarded the Steve Robinson Silver Fox Award at the completion of qualifying for his top-qualifying efforts.

Stephenson also accumulated enough points throughout the Championship to take out the opening round of the National Five Star Dirt Series, held in conjunction with the weekend's Championship.

Wingless Sprints were also on the program, with Mitchell Haynes taking home the victory spoils.



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