One Hot Night – Australian Style

June 8 2019

In late April, the Calder Park Thunderdome page on Facebook uploaded for fans the first Australian NASCAR night race that was held on April 23 1994.

Technical problems stopped the race from being streamed on the 25th anniversary but it was streamed the next day.

The race was the ‘Grand Final’ the final race of the season and Barry Graham and Charlie O’Brien were racing for the title.

As the Quit NASCAR 250 was close to ANZAC Day, all of the cars were marked either Army, Navy or RAAF.

The race is memorable for more than the night race as championship contenders Charlie O’Brien and Barry Graham got together with Charlie O’Brien ending up in the wall coming onto the backstretch.

From the video, Charlie O’Brien got loose in Turn 2 before Barry Graham hit him and Charlie was gathering it up before what appears to be a second hit turns him to the right and into the wall creating perhaps the most controversial moment in Australian NASCAR history.

Barry Graham was penalized for rough driving and was held for 38 seconds but with Charlie behind the wall and the field spread out, this did not damage his championship hopes.

Later on in the race saw Ron Goodman, John Lawes, Walter Giles and Ian Thomas involved in a massive wreck that started when Ron Goodman and Ian Thomas collided on the inside of Turn 3 and Ron Goodman hit both the outside and then the inside of the turn walls causing his 05 West Coast Coolers car to erupt into flames.

Ron Goodman got out of his burning Commodore and angrily walked to the medical centre for the mandatory checkup.

Charlie O’Brien returned to the race with just a few laps remaining and was credited with finishing in 17th position, had he won the championship he would of delivered Ford its second title.

Max Dumesny entered the history books as winning the race and Barry Graham won the 1993/94 championship.


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