JOSH Fletcher has a strong bond with his father Bill when it comes to the sport they love but his win at the 51st annual Gulf Western Oil Winternationals can only be described as bitter sweet.
The 31-year-old won the 400 Thunder championship in the Supercharged Outlaws division in June against Bill who lost the first round of the series final at Willowbank Raceway in June.
Josh said they both knew there could only be one championships winner before heading to the season’s final round.
“I had my first round before dad and advanced and just made it to the stands to watch his run,” he said.
“Unfortunately dad lost, meaning I had won the championship.
“I probably should of been jumping for joy but I was shattered for dad and his team.”
Josh said he was pleased with the results, marking his third Winternationals win in a row.
“It’s a great feeling knowing myself and our team can continue to show we can win against the toughest racers and teams in the country at the biggest meeting of the year,” he said.
Bill, who grew up in the Redlands, said he had been in front of his son throughout the season until he failed one racing round, ultimately placing second.
“I was disappointed of course, only because I wanted to be there to take him on in the final but deep down I knew he deserved it as he has spent many years learning the craft of racing,” he said.
“His commitment and efforts is what has made our team so successful.
“It was a very proud moment as a father to see him taste the victory.”
Bill began racing when he was 17 and returned to the track after a 21 year break when he took his three young boys to the raceway to see if they enjoyed the sport.
This was where the love family racing affair began with his boys Josh, Dan and Ben, his wife Susanne and stepson Sam now heavily involved.
Josh started racing when he was 11 years old and has continued to compete for 20 years.
He said there was not much he had not learnt from his father about drag racing.
“He may be one of the veteran drives but he never stops wanting to learn and improve,” he said.
“A lot of joking and laughing happens (in pits) but when we get to the start line its all business like.”
The duo are racing in the Queensland Drag Racing Competition with Josh is leading the points with Bill in second place.
The next race is on August 11 at Willowbank Raceway.