Huntly Teams Night 2, Nov 22, 2014
PlaceMakers Huntly Speedway
Saturday nights racing was brought forward to a 5pm start with the forecast looking a bit dodgy and it proved a wise decision with light rain beginning to fall during the last race of the night. It may have had an effect on the crowd size but I think there was always going to be a smaller crowd with the postponement from last week. Anyway, it was a good call and the meeting was completed when most other tracks were washed out.
Stratford Stormers v Waikato Raiders
The home team won pole and 95h sat on the brakes holding up the inside row, 408s Mark Woods took the lead ahead of 97h until a spin by the local left two Stratty cars running out front Woods and 404s Todd Duthie. 94h Caldwell took up the running for the Raiders but the two Stormer runners were unstoppable, Woods putting a huge hit into the rear of 96h wrecking the bumper and not losing a beat. 405s Barker took 97h to the wall and when the white flag dropped no Raider cars were in a position to stop the runners, Stratford taking a big win with not much damage heading in to the final.
Rotorua Rascals v Meeanee Maulers
The Hawkes Bay team won pole and this was one of the better races of the weekend with plenty of action. 353r Steve Gray was in trouble early with a problem in turn 1 before our first really big hit of the night happened. 83b Brett Loveridge was trying to push a Rascals car into the wall heading towards turn 3 when 835r Damian Orr gave him a massive shunt into the wall wrapping the bumper around the right front wheel and bringing on the red lights for the Mauler car. 81b Randal Tarrant had the lead on the resumption but chased by three R cars he was taken to the grass by a blocker. 86b Marty Cooke stopped Damian Orr while 538r Brent Stewart now had the lead for the Rascals. Cook and 82b Jeff Hart slowed 538r Stewart but Tarrant was stopped by Dale Stewart before Orr put in another big shot on Tarrant, Tarrant survived and got away but the lights came on for Orr. We had 3 v 3 cars with 8 laps done. Dale Stewart then put in some great blocking on Tarrant while Brent Stewart did the running and Jeff Hart couldn't catch him, win to the Rascals but with plenty of damage.
Stratford Stormers v Rotorua Rascals
This really was the race of the weekend and worthy of a final. I thought the Rascals would have the favouritism going into this race but with the damage they took in the semi-final and the apparent ease that the Stormers had managed to despatch all their opponents it was going to be very close. 408s Mark Woods and 835r Damian Orr sat this race out, Orr's car must have been carrying too much damage as he had been a potent weapon in all their races up to this point. Stratford won pole but 405s Barker's tank was spun immediately. 583r Shannon Orr took the lead while Dale Stewart had an encounter with 404s I believe that cost him a wheel, the first of a series of blows that would ultimately end their chances. Both Brent Stewart and Shannon Orr were running well for the Rascals with Gray clearing the track nicely for Orr. Duthie and Bevan Phillips were also running for the Stormers but with the Barker tank stationery the Rascals were on track for a win until Brent Stewart's right rear wheel collapsed and jammed leaving his car "crabbing' its way around the track. Orr's charmed run ended when he came upon the two Stormers runners, Phillips blocking and Duthie spinning him out of the lead with Orr unable to re-fire. With the front left wheel of Gray's tank also hanging by a thread all four Rascals cars were either stopped or moving slowly and vulnerable to attack. Despite every effort by Brent Stewart, Duthie and Phillips caught up and passed him on the last lap for a victory that looked unlikely mid race, Duthie taking a great win.
In a soggy runoff for 3rd and 4th place, the last race of the night pitched the Meeanee Maulers against the Waikato Raiders, 81b Randal Tarrant taking the high line with support from Marty Cook and basically going untouched to clinch the last podium spot. I think the top three finishers were the best performed teams of the weekend so a fairly satisfying result overall. Auckland Alleycats managed a good win over the Huntly Hawks with none of the Hawks cars finishing for the 5th and 6th race, and in the first runoff of the night Wanganui picked up a win over the North Island Invitation for 7th and 8th. Best support of the weekend was the Waikato Saloon title which almost threatened to out shine the main attraction with a decent field of cars, a couple of roll overs and some great close racing. The Stormers have often threatened to win titles but luck never seemed to go their way. The last two seasons have seen a marked improvement in the team and this I believe is their first major title win. Last year the Rascals won this title and went on to take the NZ Stockcar teams win and finish unbeaten all season, lets see if the Stormers can build on an impressive win at Huntly.
- Stratford Stormers
- Rotorua Rascals
- Meeanee Maulers
- Waikato Raiders
- Auckland Alleycats
- Huntly Hawks
- Wanganui Vulcans
- North Island Invitation