Haywood reflects on strong season finish

 

[email protected] posted Wednesday June 6, 2018.

 

DESPITE only contesting 10 shows the 2017-18 sprintcar season was a successful one for Mandurah racer Adrian Haywood.

He has just completed his second season behind the wheel of the Plus Fitness entry and there were plenty of positives from the outings – highlighted by a second placing in the Australian 360 Sprintcar Championship at the Perth Motorplex in March.

Heading into the season the 37-year-old’s goals were simple – improve on his rookie season and build on a strong fifth in qualifying at the Australian title from that first summer.

In his maiden championship Haywood failed to finish and ironically this year he qualified fifth again – but this time finished on the podium.

The second placing in the title tilt exceeded the Plus Fitness racer’s expectations and showed what he was capable of with more seat time.

�“From a team perspective the goal was to get better as a team where everyone knew their role and jobs just happen seamlessly,” Haywood said.

“Each night we just wanted to get better together.

“The more we raced, the better everyone got at their jobs with (crew chief) Brenton Puddey, Grant Bevan and myself gelling and understanding each other more.”

Puddey has crewed for some of the biggest names in Australian sprintcar racing and having him in Haywood’s corner is a major bonus, giving Haywood the confidence, as well as setting up the car right for different race conditions.

Another huge asset is Grant Bevan, a former 360 & 410 Sprintcar racer himself, he understands the demands both on the track and in the shed.

“It gives me a lot of confidence when�they�me I am going alright,” Haywood said.

Apart from the Australian 360 title, the aim was to get better with each outing and not get in anyone else’s way.

�“Overall the season was a massive success as we didn’t wreck anything and we earnt the respect of other competitors, as well as organisers and officials – we didn’t cause any problems.”

It has given the team a solid springboard for next season that will see Haywood focus on the full AHG Sprintcar Series for the open class, and possibly a short stint on the east coast, depending on the release of the new racing calendar.

A new Maxim chassis will be built as a back-up to the one they already have and they will be powered by two recently-acquired KRE motors.

“We will have some new stuff�arriving from the ‘States�in the off-season and we are rebuilding the truck that will also be rebranded and look the part,” Haywood said.

The team is working hard in the off-season to prepare everything and make it easier when the busy racing season starts in October.

Racing at the highest sprintcar level is not easy and to do it properly is not possible without some great support.

The first person Haywood has recognised is wife Ange.

“She is the biggest person to thank for sure,” he said.

“For me (sprintcars) is a selfish sport and it’s been a dream of mine for a long time.

“Ange acknowledges how important it is to me and I can’t thank her enough for her support.”

The guys in the crew – Brenton Puddey, Grant Bevan, Phil Crofts and his sons Alex and Ryan, Dan Horton, Jayson ‘Juddy’ Mann, as well as his own son Sunny – have also been singled out.

And then of course there are the sponsors – Plus Fitness�(special mention to Steve and Kerry Wilson for their extra support), Aberna, NCA Accounting, Watsons Express Transport, Scardifields Smash Repairs and Boatland Mandurah who provide the corporate support.

 

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