BENDIGO speedway ace Rusty Hickman has created by becoming the youngest winner of the Eureka Garages and Sheds Sprintcar Series.
Hickman wrapped-up the point standings battle in the 13th and final round at Warrnambool’s Premier Speedway last Sunday.
The 18-year- old racer from Bendigo in Victoria is putting the finishing touches on his first full season in 410 sprintcars, after being forced out with injury for the majority of last season after he broke his back in a crash at Murray Bridge Speedway in a 360 sprintcar.
Since then, he has shown amazing car speed and coupled with good results that have been the main ingredients for his Eureka Series success.
During the season, Hickman contested every one of the 13 Eureka Series rounds and claimed his maiden 410 Sprintcar feature race win at Wangaratta City Speedway.
Less than a month later, he backed it up with another win at Moama’s Heartland Raceway.
There were times during the season though where things didn’t go to plan.
While running in contention for a podium finish at Hamilton’s Western Speedway, mechanical trouble struck, and he recorded a did not finish.
Thankfully, the disappointments of failing to finish were few and far between, which allowed him to celebrate the success of the series win.
“It is great for the confidence to win the Eureka Series and it also helps getting my name out there,” Hickman said.
“Being able to tick off an achievement like this so early in my career and to do so with the team and my family with me is the most pleasing part of all.
“Without them (my family), it simply wouldn’t be possible.
“We had a few up and down moments throughout the season but in the end, we came out the winner and that’s great.”
In last weekend’s final Eureka Series round, Hickman, who had picked up $200 for setting the quickest time in his qualifying group, had to finish no worse than ninth in his opening heat and did so with ease, coming home in second.
With the pressure off his shoulders, he finished sixth in his second heat.
Starting from position seven in the feature race later in the night, Hickman was trying to move forward on what was a challenging track.
With the bottom of the track slickening off and the middle and top of the track a little on the rough side, he continued to chase the middle and got up to as high as fifth place, before having a moment in turn four and losing a few places.
At the fall of the chequered flag, he came home with an eighth-place finish.
Hickman and his team will now have a fortnight off, before returning to action in the Easter Trail over three nights at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway (March 30), Mount Gambier’s Borderline Speedway (March 31) and Premier Speedway (April 1).