August 26 2020
When the 2001 V8 Stock Car season came around there were plenty of changes in Australian Stock Car racing.
The likes of Kim Jane, Neville Lance and Terry Wyhoon were gone and so was the Calder Park Thunderdome from the Stock Car schedule.
Tony Southwell and Dick Howe became new contenders and George Elliot was in the #55 with a chance to add a second title to his collection.
Whiteline Racing had Andrew Miedecke in the #85 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with Bob Middleton in the #95, a formidable combination in a field that regularly had more than 10 cars in it.
The 2001 season had six rounds, the first was an exhibition at Mallala and Andrew Miedecke scored the first win after an entertaining battle with Dick Howe and Tony Southwell, George Elliot won a race and the third race (either Race 2 or 3) is unknown to us.
Andrew dominated at Oran Park by taking all three races and then won the first two races at Queensland Raceway before Tony Southwell broke through to win his first race.
Dick Howe won the first race at the next round at Oran Park before Andrew won Race 2 and 3 making it at least eight wins for Andrew.
Andrew then won Race 1 and 3 at Winton and was denied the clean sweep as Rusty French taken his #2 to victory in Race 2.
The series came to Calder Park Raceway to wrap up the season and Andrew won Race 1 before Dick Howe drove his Ford Thunderbird to win No. 2 for the season and Tony Southwell won his second race of the season when his team scored a 1-2 finish in Race 3.
Andrew won 11 (with one race result unknown) out of the 17 races that have published results giving him a winning percentage of 64.70% and if he won the missing result then it would be 66.66%.
There were Stock Car races at Mallala, Oran Park, Queensland Raceway and Winton in 2002 with Andrew winning races at Mallala (two), Oran Park (three) and Queensland Raceway (one) taking his known total to 17.
The racing at Winton is unique, it was billed as V8 Stock Cars like the races in 2001 and early 2002 and the race had four runners, Bob Middleton jumped into the #85 and won a race by .0519 seconds and Chris Templer jumped into the #95 for the races and won the other two.
This was the end of the #85 in racing for eighteen years as Stock Car racing all but faded for the rest of the 00’s before the sport was rebuilt in the 2010’s.
On August 21 2020, Whiteline Racing gave a tease that something was up when they posted a video of the #85’s engine fired up and soon it was confirmed that it was going to go to The Bend and do some laps in the Bend Classic.
This news was posted in Auto Action and the story was panned for incorrect information (Whiteline’s page has the same info) but with Stock Car history still in fragments, mistakes do happen.
September 5-6 2020 was the weekend when the #85 got to take to the track and there was a camera onboard so those who could not see the action were able to do so online as Bob Middleton put the car through its paces.
So the #85 is back in action and hopefully those lucky South Australians enjoyed what they’ve got in person and who knows when COVID is all over, perhaps the #85 would see some action in Stock Cars Australia’s 2021 season, a person can always dream.