After three decades of racing experience and countless victories in blue-ribbon events, last Saturday night at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway saw Shane Carlson finally achieve the major milestone that had previously eluded him, winning the Australian RSA Street Stockers Title.

While he’d previously tasted significant success in the class, winning an NSW Title, a Greta Smith Memorial, a Charlie McGarva Memorial, Sydney and Newcastle Club Championships and Valvoline Raceway and Newcastle Motordrome Track Championships, Carlson hadn’t quite been able to put it together to win an Australian Title, with his best previous finish being runner-up in the 2010 and 2013 at Tamworth’s Oakburn Park Speedway and Valvoline Raceway respectively.

Photo: Crashy's Photos

Following a feature-race win at Dubbo’s Morris Park Speedway under similar wet weather conditions to the Australian Title earlier in the season, Carlson began to notice a slow decline in the pace of his two-year-old car, before a large crash at Gilgandra Speedway became the catalyst for a necessary rebuild.

Turning out to be a blessing in disguise, Carlson returned to the driver’s seat of his rebuilt NSW # 25 Carline Automotive & Exhaust supported BA Ford Falcon to find that numerous improvements had been made following his crash, giving him added confidence heading into last Saturday night’s Australian Title, despite only contesting one previous race meeting at Valvoline Raceway this season.

It was an almost flawless night for Carlson, who racked up three wins in his three heat races, before lining up in pole position for the feature race; however, it wasn’t all smooth sailing from there. Sitting alongside defending Australian Champion Shaun Davoodi, Carlson couldn’t quite hold off his rival to take the early lead, slipping back to second place, where he remained for the majority of the race.

Biding his time and doing well to stay with Davoodi in the conditions, Carlson eventually made his move on lap 11, powering into first place and going on to create a small gap before receiving the chequered flag at the 15-lap mark, with the race being cut short, due to the rain.

Photo: Crashy's Photos

“One of my first thoughts was that winning the Australian Title was a great Mother’s Day gift for my mum Joan, who continues to travel with me and support my racing,” expressed Carlson, from Raymond Terrace in the Hunter Region of NSW.

“I think it’s still sinking in that I’ve finally managed to win an Australian Title after 30 years of trying. Overall, it was a great night for us and everything fell into place for us, which I think has a lot to do with the car rebuild over Easter.

“I can’t thank my crew, family and sponsors enough for all they continue to do for me and their support. It’s very much appreciated and I’m glad to be able to give something back to them.”

Photo: Crashy's Photos

For his next appearance, Carlson will head to Gilgandra Speedway to contest the final Newcastle Club Championship round on the Saturday night of May 26. Carlson is currently running second in the point score to Brendan Wakeman.

Carlson would like to thank the following 2017-18 season sponsors for their continued support: Carline Automotive & Exhaust (Bernie Roberts), DSR Engines (David Robertson), and EFI Spares. Special thanks go to Bernie Roberts, his pit crew Darren Brewer, and his mum Joan.