Back on track at Aghadowey Oval

Shaun Oneill


Shaun Oneill


AFTER a long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the local short oval racing scene bursts back into life on Saturday night, (May 29), at Aghadowey Oval (6.30pm start).

An action packed evening lies ahead with five formulas in action.

Topping the bill are the fastest cars on the local stage, the National Hot Rods, as they begin a run of three meetings in three weeks to complete the 2020/21 Simpson Race Exhausts World Series NI.

After six rounds held in late 2020, Dungannon’s Derek Martin currently tops the points chart ahead of Portadown’s Adam Hylands and Templepatrick’s Ben McKee.

Next up are Kells ace Carl Sloan and Galgorm’s Shane Murray, with qualification for the World Championship final at Ipswich in early July the primary aim.

Two brand new cars to the National Hot Rod scene are also due to break cover at the meeting, both with former World Champions behind the wheel.

Ballinderry’s John Christie is set to debut the first ever Lotus Exige to grace the formula, whilst Portadown’s Glenn Bell will give his new Fiesta its maiden run.

The 2.0 Hot Rods will share the Aghadowey bill, with their focus being their own World Final which is scheduled to be held at the Aghadowey circuit in mid-July (Covid restrictions permitting).

Cullybackey’s Curtis Greer and Antrim duo Conor Hughes and Ryan McCrory all impressed in the limited 2020 season, and they will be hoping to grab the glory alongside Portadown drivers Drew McKeown and Stuart Cochrane to name a few.

Some of the best entries ever are expected in the ‘2 Litres’ this term, and the racing is always fiercely competitive.


The front wheel drive Stock Rods are another formula that always produces close action, with reigning World, European, British and Irish Champion Derek McMillan from Kells topping the entry list.

Young Craigywarren star Adam McFall took the formula by storm in 2020, and he is all set to debut his new car, appropriately a Vauxhall Adam.

Whether it can be fast straight out of the box remains to be seen, but Adam is sure to be giving it his best in the challenge for honours.

Former World title holders Stevie McNiece and Marc Morrell are sure to be in the midst of the leading pack alongside Glenarm’s Bobbie Johnston and Cullybackey’s Rick Purdy, whilst others chasing the chequered flag will be Glenavy’s Dan Shannon and Jonny Cardwell from Ballinderry.


The budget Thunder Rods formula are always excellent value for money, with any number of potential winners amongst the packed grid of Vauxhall Astra’s.

Ballymena’s Irish Champion James Goldie as usual will be the benchmark for the others, with Ryan Nixon, David Wilson, Simon Lamont and Sam Preston other contenders.

Completing the line up are the teenagers in the Junior Productions formula, with Randalstown’s Sam Percy and Rathfriland’s Jack Morrow set to star once again. Lady racers Chelsy Rainey and Abbie McKinstry as always will take the fight to the boys, with Ballymena driver Aaron Ward, Loughgall’s Matthew Weir and Portadown’s Alex Milligan others keen to impress.Spectator numbers are limited due to Covid-19 restrictions, with admission being by advanced ticket only. These are available to purchase online at

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