It is often said that the family that plays together, stays together. As a father and son outfit competing in the Top Doorslammer bracket, Team Bray Racing's Victor and Ben Bray have always taken this phrase to heart.
Next week, the FUCHS Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway (June 7-10) will see them embody this feeling even more than usual when they are joined on-track by Victor's son-in-law (Dean McClennan, Supercharged Outlaws) and grandson (Josh McClennan, Junior Dragster).
While the McCleannans are racing regulars, this will be the first time in three years that all four family members have competed at the same event.
"It will be pretty special to have the four of us competing at the Winternationals – it is such a great event and is definitely one of our favourites," said Victor Bray.
"I have won at this event four times while Ben has taken the win on three occasions. We have even lined up against each other in the final for Top Doorslammer three times, with our score 2-1 in Benny's favour.
"As such a prestigious event and held at our home track, we always look forward to competing at the Winternationals and particularly enjoy the fan support as a local team, both in-person and through Facebook and now instagram."
Team Bray Racing will be found on-track in an expanded pit area this year, including a Sidchrome display area, behind the Willowbank Raceway 'Avenue of Honour'.
The Top Doorslammer category at the Winternationals is set to deliver intense racing with 14 racers battling for an eight-car field and a championship battle building between TBR's Victor Bray (251 points, third position), Victorian Peter Kapiris (349 points) and reigning champion John Zappia (252 points, WA).
"With 12 of the 14 Top Doorslammer racers entered for this event having run into the 'five second' range multiple times, there is a very real possibility that you could run a five second pass during qualifying and still fail to qualify for the eight car race day field," said Victor Bray.
"Combine that with the fact that the championship chase continues, and you can be sure that tensions are going to be high which should make for some fantastic racing for the fans!"
In anticipation of the high stakes ahead, Victor and Ben headed out to Willowbank Raceway earlier this week for testing.
"The Winternationals is my favourite event on the calendar for sure, and it definitely holds a special place for all racers," said Ben Bray.
"Everyone ups their game for this event, and we were out there earlier this week conducting some testing to make sure we are as prepared as possible.
"I was happy to run some consistent passes of 5.924 seconds and 5.879 seconds both at 247 plus miles per hour, before my third attempt saw me throw the blower belt just before the 1000 foot mark, so I am hoping we can continue that consistent form into what is sure to be a highly competitive field next weekend."
More than 476 racers will head to Willowbank Raceway for the FUCHS Winternationals across the Queen's Birthday long weekend of 7-10 June, making it the largest championship drag racing event held outside of the US.
Expected to host up to 40,000 spectators over its four days, the event kicks off on Friday 7 June with Top Doorslammer taking to the track for qualifying on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June, before Monday 10 June hosts eliminations racing for all categories. For full event information and schedules, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au.