In most forms of sport you usually find that a solid pre-season, or at least a few practice runs are under the belt before you hit the season proper, but for ace pilot Stephen Bell, stepping in raw for the season opener at Avalon Raceway this weekend is exactly the way he likes it.
"I like hitting up to a big show for the opening night. Knowing there a heap of good cars there kind of gets the excitement up a bit."
After some solid seasons together with owner and crew chief Mathew Eastham at Victory Lane Racegear, the team once again is focused heavily on the local track championships at Avalon Raceway and Premier Speedway.
"For us it just works. Those two tracks put on some of the best racing in the country and are within a couple hours from home for both of us."
"We both have pretty busy lives so we can't be trekking all across the country."
"Plus we get on real well with both venue promoter's and they look after us."
Whilst the team has recorded some impressive results including a runner up at the Australian Sprintcar Championship and two Victorian Sprintcar Title victories in the past three seasons, the team enters the 2012-13 summer with the same attitude they always have.
"We always go into any race meeting to be right in the mix and inevitably hoping to win."
"Mathew puts together a great race car."
"I'm out there trying to do the best I can behind the wheel, and Mathew is there doing what he thinks is best with regards to making the car be as fast as it can be."
"We have a pretty good understanding between us and if we both do our jobs we know we will be right in the mix at the end of the night."
The Victory Lane Racegear team are one of the most professional outfits both on and off the track and this once again has showed in the off season with Mathew confirming that every sponsor from last season is back on board for the summer, as well as welcoming on some new partners as well.
"I have a great relationship with all my partners and we do our utmost to carry each and every sponsors name with great pride."
Eastham has been one very busy car owner recently adding a V6 Wingless Sprint to take the total to three different cars running under the Victory Lane Racegear banner.
"With the Australian Championship at Premier Speedway this season we thought it would be a great event to be a part of."
"I also sponsor the Gippsland Series for the Victorian Wingless Sprint class and we stock a complete range of parts from new and used Sprintcar parts to specific items for the Wingless competitors at our race shop."
"Add to this the 360 c.i. car we prepare for Shane Heathcote and the calendar of racing for us this year is fairly hectic to say the least."
The focus for this weekend however is solely on the team's primary weapon - the Victory Lane Racegear #V88 J&J.
"We are looking to come out of the blocks strong and get some valuable track championship points in the kitty."
"We are also pretty keen to get our hands on that Jackpot trophy and the nice $10,000 cheque that goes with it!"
The team would like to acknowledge all its partners for their support of the team, and ask all our fans to support them where possible.
2012/13 partners include :
Drysdale's Chaff Mill, Lucas Oil Products, Victory Lane Racegear, Blackwell Bodyworks, Temby Haulage, Bass Concreting, Ramsdale Wreckers, Vic Air Con Pty Ltd, Inglis Racing Engines, Jettco Developments, Midwest Imports, Indy Race Parts, Hugs N Kisses, RacegearX, SWI Engineering Racing, Naesy's Enterprises, HRP Wings, BMRS Hoses, Ultrashield Seats, Crow Seat Belts, APC Bolts, Sprintcar Zone
Month ahead :
October 13 – 410 – Jackpot Invitational – Avalon Raceway, VIC
October 20 – 410 – Wigzell Battle of the Bridge – Murray Bridge SA
October 27 – 360 – Bacchus Marsh Speedway