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Added: 13 Feb 2018 Category: Older Oval Racing
And the year was...... 2014
2014 seen another shift in the local Oval Racing Landscape with the re-opening of Aghadowey, this time under Davy McCall’s promotions which would become known as DMC Race Promotions. As part of the DMC Promotion it brought national classes back to Aghadowey as part of the bread and butter of meetings at the North West Venue, something which it had lacked under it’s independent promotion.

The 1300 Stock Cars also joined the ranks of the DMC classes when it was initially thought they’d all be welcome to race together like they do now, but the first season was a bit bumpy with the DMC and Nutts Corner promotions not really pulling in the same direction when it came to letting drivers race where they wanted, which was a shame, but perhaps unsurprising.

Eighteen National Hot Rods were in action at the opening night of the season at Ballymena, which feel before a late Easter in 2014, it was a significant jump in numbers from around 14 cars being a good turnout the previous year.

The Stock Rods Irish Open took place at Tullyroan with Jonny Cardwell taking the win.
The Stock Rods Easter weekend continued at Aghadowey’s grand re-opening on Easter Monday where Colm O’Sullivan won the Irish Masters. The re-opening of Aghadowey was like turning up at a new track, newly painted walls, the bends had been re-profiled, there was a lot of hype about the meeting and good car numbers, good weather and the bank holiday crowd it was well known for made it a great day all round.

At the end of April John Christie won the National Hot Rod European at Lochgelly while Adam Hylands took the honours in the 2 Litre equivalent. Rob McDonald won the Scottish Open for the Nationals the following day and Shane Murray won the 2 Litre Scottish.
In May Cowdenbeath hosted the Lightning Rods World Final which from memory was hailed as being a bit of a DD but it was dominated by NI racers and it was Winston Weir who took the gold roof.

At home the Bears returned to Shamwreck and it was Justin Riley who won the title.
At the start of June Andrew Murray sealed the National Hot Rods NI Points with outgoing World Champion John Christie blowing up in the last race of the series just as I’d switched my camera to Mono as there wasn’t much happening in the race.
Chris Kincaid won the F2 Irish Championship on a day that I went to Nutts Corner for the first time since 2007. Chris Burgoyne had won the F2 Nationals at Nutts Corner the next day.
In July John Christie ended his reign as National Hot Rod World Champion with him and his team cycling to Ipswich and with the car painted in a pink livery for Action Cancer. Chris Haird won the big race for the Nationals while Shane Murray took the National Championship for the 2 Litres.

At the end of July Shane Murray added another World title to his honours list when he won the 2 Litre World at Tullyroan in very wet conditions. Alan Haugh won the ProStocks Irish Open on the Saturday night for the Summer Speedweekend and Nigel Jackson won the Lightning Rods Irish Open.

In the middle of August Aghadowey was hit by what I still refer to as “The Night it Rained”, and people who were there know why. In one of the heaviest showers I’ve seen at a Stockcar meeting flooded the track and it took a bit of time and some pumping to get racing underway again, although it did make for some spectacular photos.
At the end of August Dean Fleming won the ProStocks European Championship which was the first major for the class to be staged at Aghadowey.

Into September and it was time for another Speedweekend with the Stock Rods European, Superstox Irish and National Hot Rod British spread between Aghadowey and Tullyroan. Stuart Gilchrist won the Superstox Irish Open, Stephen Emerson took his first 2 Litre Hot Rod title in the form of the Irish Open, Stevie McNiece won the Stock Rod European. Glenn Bell won the National Hot Rod British at Tullyroan on the second day of the September Speedweekend and followed it up by winning the Leslie Dallas Memorial race which had it’s first running. Nick Roots took the Superstox National Championship the same day.
George MacMillan Junior won the F2 World at Cowdenbeath, a race which will be remembered as much for Rob Speak holding Moodie up mid race.

A week later I made my first BriSCA F1 World final and at Coventry no less, it was an epic event and a good race with Craig Finniken taking the win.

As Irish Championship season came along there was wins for Rodney Fleck (Gp 2 Lightning Rods), Chris Kincaid (F2 Ballymena Track Championship), Scott Cochrane (Lightning Rods), Jonny Cardwell (Stock Rods), Craig McConnell (F2 Irish), Ryan Wright (Saloon Stock Cars), Kyle Beattie (Superstox), Matthew Nicholl (Ninja Karts), Curtis Greer (1300 NI Title), Robert McIlroy (Thunder Rods), Dean Fleming (ProStocks), Steven Bolton (National Bangers). The Irish that will be most controversial and will probably be talked about longer than the others was the 2 Litres, where Adam Hylands had the race in the bag but was baulked by backmarker Davy Potter, costing Hylands places while Joel Richardson went on to take the win.

Aghadowey re-opened under DMC at Easter

Haley and Paula modelling the 2L Hot Rod World Final T-Shirt

John Christie painted his car pink for charity to defend his World title

Winston Weir won the Lightning Rod World final at Cowdenbeath

Shane Murray and Adam Hylands battled all season long in the 2 Litres and swept nearly all the honours

The night it rained at Aghadowey

Speedstocks in their debut season

John Christie exits his last local meeting with the Gold roof before the World
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