Monday, January 26, 2015

Stockcar Teams Update 5

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photos by Stockcarscene

Quite a bit of movement on the table as most teams have now fronted after the running of the Peter Barry Memorial. The Wanganui Vulcans took out the title and are having their best season ever and they were even bold enough to put the Rees Sheild up for grabs - which they retained. They move to the top of the table as we head towards the biggest teams meeting of the year for the NZ title at Paradise Valley. Surprisingly, Gisborne who usually are one of the most prolific teams and Kihikihi are the only clubs not to have raced, although I believe the Gladiators are entered in the NZ Teams meeting. Thanks to Wal at Stockcarscene for the use of some photos, check out his Facebook page HERE.

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November 8
Greenstone Park Speedway, Greymouth
Tasman Thunder def Greymouth Grizzlies

Eastern States Speedway, Blenheim
KB Cowboys def Eastern States Titans
Canterbury Crushers def KB Cowboys
Canterbury Crushers def Eastern States Titans

Paradise Valley Speedway, Rotorua
Rees Shield : Wanganui Vulcans def Rotorua Rascals

Woodford Glen Speedway, Nov 15
North vs South
KB Cowboys def Canterbury Crushers
Canterbury Crushers def Wanganui Select
KB Cowboys def Canterbury Invitation
Canterbury Invitation def Wanganui Select

Palmerston North, Nov 15
Palmerston Probables def Manawatu Steelers

Huntly Teams Meeting Night 1
Stratford Stormers def Wanganui Vulcans
Rotorua Rascals def North Island Select
Meeanee Maulers def Auckland Alleycats
Waikato Raiders def Huntly Hawks
Rotorua Rascals def Wanganui Vulcans
Stratford Stormers def North Island Select
Auckland Alleycats def Huntly Hawks
Meeanee Maulers def Waikato Raiders

Huntly Teams Meeting Night 2
Wanganui Vulcans def North Island Select
Auckland Alleycats def Huntly Hawks
Stratford Stormers def Waikato Raiders
Rotorua Rascals def Meeanee Maulers
Stratford Stormers def Rotorua Rascals
Meeanee Maulers def Waikato Raiders

At Woodford Glen, Nov 29
Tasman Thunder def Canterbury Crushers

At Greenstone Park Speedway, Greymouth
Greymouth Grizzlies def Sunset Slayers

At Waikaraka Park
Auckland City Sinnerz def Huntly Hawks

At Paradise Valley Rotorua
Rotorua Rascals def Huntly Hawks

At Meeanee Speedway, Hawkes Bay
Peter Barry Memorial
Wellington Young Guns def Meeanee Maulers 165-20
Bay Park Bulldogs def Stratford Stormers 110-85
Orange Roughies def Palmerston North Pumas 135-60
Wanganui Vulcans def Waikato Raiders 165-20
Meeanee Maulers def Stratford Stormers 100-40
Wellington Young Guns def Bay Park Bulldogs 135-60
Wanganui Vulcans def Orange Roughies 125-70
Palmerston North Pumas def Waikato Raiders 185-10
For 3rd: Palmerston North Pumas def Bay Park Bulldogs
Final: Wanganui Vulcans def Wellington Young Guns

Friday, January 16, 2015

NZ Stockcar Title Finals Night

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NZ Stockcar Title
Top of the South Speedway, Nelson
January 9 + 10, 2015

Rep 1
If you are a "Smash the P" fan or perhaps not a Rees fanatic, I recommend you stop reading now! I think we can all agree the smash the p campaign has been less than successful to say the least. Night two began with two incredible last chance races to get the final 6 competitors. On a slightly slippery surface that evened things up, 8n Paynter was spun from his front row start by 22p Zac Hoult, 89v Blair Lockett and and 661p Bryn Liddell were also spun out of contention while grid two starter 26s Mitch Vickery took the lead from Hoult, 84p Matt Webb, 81r Damian Orr and 14p Ikey Hautapu. 229s Kylee Symes was pushed up the wall in turn 2 but managed to continue. By mid way Orr was up to 2nd and Hautapu was clinging to the last qualifying spot before Hoult hit him and then spun. Symes had worked his way up to 4th passing Webb then made the pass that mattered most on Hautapu. Orr caught and spun leader Vickery on the last lap, Vickery just able to restart and cross the line in second ahead of Symes.  81r Orr, 26s Vickery, 229s Symes

Rep 2
This group was about as star studded as you can get in a repechage. 29m Ryan Hunt and 72s Bevan Phillips had the front row, both a whisker away from making it the night before. 191c Robb put 85s Michelson up the wall while 126p Asher Rees almost tipped over on the pit wall side before the reds came on, not before 1nz Ward and 124s Andrew Dodunski ran into the hapless 85s due to the sun strike and dust. Ward had incredibly made his way up to 3rd from grid 13 behind Phillips by lap two. The running order was 29m-72s-1nz-99p-127p. 4y Matt Inwood then tried to block Ward while Asher Rees despatched 45c Lloyd Jennings on his rampaging way to the front. 14n Justin Hearne then attacked Ethan Rees almost putting him up the wall and ending his hopes in turn 3. On the next red light stoppage Hunt still lead Phillips, Tye, Ward and Rees, Ward pushed Tye out of the running as Ethan Rees paid Hearne back with interest with a massive hit. Ward and Asher Rees then battled for the last place behind our two leaders before events conspired against Phillips. With two laps to go the Palmy boys caught the Stratford driver and Rees nailed him into and then up the wall without losing a beat, two more Palmy cars into the final behind Baypark's Ryan Hunt.  29m Hunt, 1nz Ward, 126p Asher Rees

Finals Heat 1
That left us with 10 Palmy cars in the final. Nobody else had more than four so the deck was stacked already and anyone who could outclass this bunch was going to have to do something special to get it. The first 30 car heat of the finals rolled out on track at 8.15pm after a track watering and 581p Dare called for the 3 min bell. 722p David Lowe would be spun first causing mayhem resulting in the pack crushing into turn 2, 10p Prentice was spun, 98w Blake Ellett pushed up the wall with 94p William Humphries stuck underneath. Three of the best performers on night one dnf'd before a lap was completed. 98n Dylan Hall and Lowe were both on the infield but able to continue. 9n Levi Collier was leading from Asher Rees, Mark Johnson and Mitch Vickery, but on the green light Vickery stalled and 29m Hunt hit the back of him bringing the reds back on. Hunt and Vickery both off. 15v Kyle Heibner was now up to third before 81r Orr passed him and then the race settled a bit before a few big retirements occurred. 11p Peter Rees appeared to be dropping well back in the field while Heibner retired about lap 10, 99c Hamish Cross also joining him on the infield. 9n Collier was caught by the Palmy pack and drifted back in the field, Asher Rees leading comfortably from Taniwha, Ward, Wallace, Rotorua's 8r Scott Fredrickson, 217n Keightley Teece (who recorded the fastest lap) and Dare. 11p Rees finishing last in 22nd with 8 cars not lasting the distance.
Top 10: 126p, 2nzp, 1nzp, 557p, 8r, 217n, 581p, 9n, 15p, 81r

Finals Heat 2
Three Cars failed to front for heat two, and any non Palmy cars were about to 'feel the pain' as both Prentice, and Humphries in particular, picked them off. 33s Tyler Walker was spun on lap 1 holding up both Wanganui cars 15v and 78v while local hope 217n Keightley Teece lead from Kylee Symes and 59c Brad Rosewarne. Humphries first attack was on 9n Collier ending up on the bonnet of the tank in the first of two attempts to stop the Nelsonian. 81r Damian Orr moved up to 2nd before the reds came on for debris from 9n after another huge attack from 94p. 6w Paul Gaskin was next to spin in turn 2 before Humphries then held up the leader Teece, before putting him in the wall in turn 4. In the action 1nz was now in second behind Orr, red lights for Teece to be removed and 18n Harwood was also towed from the track. Nelson's hopes pretty much gone with those three cars. 8r Scott Fredrickson was well back in the field and would need to pick up more points for any chance of a podium. Orr was spun in turn 2 dropping well back in the field although he would make a pass on Dale Robertson late in the race. 98n Hall spun 6v Dion Mooney and Humphries last victim of the race would be Tyler Walker. 1nz Ward picks up the win and who would believe that after being down and out yesterday he was tied for first after two heats. 98w Blake Ellett picked up a 5th place, with once again the top four places going to Palmy cars.
Top 10: 1nz, 581p, 126p, 2nz, 98w, 557p, 11p, 22w, 81r, 3nz

Finals Heat 3
Points after two heats had Ward and Asher Rees tied with a first and third placing on 58 points, Chev Taniwha was next on 56p ahead of Dare (53), Wallace (52) and then Nelson's long shot Dylan Hall  (47). Fredrickson (45), Richard Gaskin (43) and Damian Orr (43) were the only other realistic hopes of a podium finish. Heat 3 rolled out on track at 10.45pm and 5 cars were missing. Darrel Wallace had the best grid position (2) while the other main contenders were mid pack and Hall off the back of the grid. Humphries went straight to work spinning 8r Fredrickson on lap while 10 Prentice put 98n Hall up the wall on turn 2. 84e Mark Taylor lead from his grid 1 start while 81r Orr made a huge move forward from grid 15 to 2nd, but by the time the reds came on for Hall, Orr was leading 1nz, 2nz and 557p. By lap 5 Orr had been passed by the Palmy brigade and Asher Rees was up to 4th. 59c Rosewarne spins as Dare moves up to first place, 9n Collier puts 98w Ellett up the wall on the back straight but is hit by 10p Prentice ripping the back wheel off the tank and bringing on the reds. With 5 laps to go the running order was 581p-1nz-126p-2nz-557p and 81r. 94p stops Orr in turn 1 putting him up the wall and then it was a game of who was going to make the first move and be the bad guy as Palmerston North cars filled all the leading positions. Ward was in the box seat leading Asher Rees and looking set to defend his title but it appeared to me that Peter Rees then stepped in and made the moves that counted. With a lap to go he appeared to shunt Asher into the side of Ward as if to say make your move now! Asher was now side by side with Ward, meanwhile Rees Snr then made some very effective blocking moves holding back both Taniwha and Wallace. Dare crossed the line for the heat win, but it was neck and neck between 126p and 1nz, Rees making the move ahead of Ward just metres from the line and taking the overall title.
Top 10: 581p, 126p, 1nz, 2nz, 557p, 15p, 22w, 8r, 78v, 18n

Final points had Asher Rees (87) taking the title by a solitary point from Jayden Ward (86), Chevron Taniwha and Jordan Dare (83) tied for 3rd, Darrel Wallace (78) and then a massive 10 point drop back to the first non-Palmy car, 8r Scott Fredrickson (68). A complete shut out and almost totally due to Josh Prentice and William Humphries picking opposition cars off at will in heats 2 and 3. It was then just a case of who got what podium, Taniwha winning the runoff over Dare for 3rd place sealed the deal. The highlight for me was watching Peter Rees manipulate that last couple of laps, incredible to watch. So still we have had no South Island drivers make the podium, but don't despair, every other club in the North Island (other than Palmy) are in the same boat at the moment! Despite the stranglehold the P cars had, it was an awesome meeting and a stunning final heat even if there weren't as many rollovers and monster hits, the drama that played out as the five leading club mates had to abandon club loyalty for a moment to see who would get the spoils!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

NZ Stockcar Title, Qualifying Night

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NZ Stockcar Title
Top of the South Speedway, Nelson
January 9 + 10, 2015

The 15th official running of the NZ Stockcar title and the first time for Nelson Speedway, 120+ cars entered and a scorcher of a weekend followed both on and off the track. Six groups of cars, 3 heats to find the top four cars, then two repechages on Saturday night for a further six cars to make up a 30 car finals field. Rather than a blow by blow account of each group, here are a few highlights from one of the best qualifying nights I've been to in years. We started out as per normal, in heat one it took only two laps before 11p Peter Rees had hit the lead and went on to win the race. From there, the script was thrown out the window and what followed was plenty of action, rollovers galore and lots of that North v South rivalry that we all love so much.

11p Rees luck would hold until his third heat when he sustained damage and basically had to crawl around in last place for points to qualify, he was a sitting duck for most of the race yet no one was able to push him off that pole line which was the only safe option - the moment you got pushed wide and had any sort of damage you were dealt to by the Southerners, a fate that would befall 81r Damian Orr and 1nz Jayden Ward. Ward had looked the goods in his first race defending the title with a win although 15c Julian Lynch not shy to have a crack. The 1nz suffered a flat right front tyre in heat 2 before being tipped over on the last lap by 191c Dylan Robb. A third heat 9th (last place) would leave him well down the order for the repechage. 2nz Chev Taniwha had a dream run in comparison, never out of the top three finishers while 3nz Dale Robertson just managed to sneak through in his group thanks to a third heat victory.

18n Shane Harwood was the first Mainlander to win a heat in race 4, backing it up with a 2nd and 7th place after a first lap spin, in a leased car I believe, having sold his recently. 99c Hamish Cross was also one to watch in a beautifully presented car clocking a fastest lap and staying out of trouble only beaten in points by surprise group winner 78v Mark Johnston, one of a number of Wanganui cars to reach the final. 98w Blake Ellett with two wins and a second place, one of the best performers on the night joining a quality group of Wellington finalists. 9n Levi Collier in one of the oldest cars present, a Bill Peat tank, also was a surprise finalist to the delight of the crowd, winning heat 2 for a good haul of points. 722p David Lowe, 17 years old and another star in the making fresh off the Palmy conveyor belt of mini stock graduates, two appearances at NZ titles and has qualified for both finals.

Then of course there are the hard luck stories that go with any big championship, 126p Asher Rees and 127p Ethan Rees both failing in only one heat, a dns for Asher in heat 2, while Ethan looked to have a finals berth booked before a brake jammed on leaving him stuck on the infield in heat 3. 8n Michael Paynter losing a runoff with Peter Rees that looked as though he had stuck the 5x Champ up the wall only to stall as Rees rocked the tank back onto the track and took off for the win. 91w Kyle Lane cruised to an easy heat 1 win before everything went pear shaped in heat 2. 21n Cody Teece would qualify only to be stood down for failing a medical after a rough 3rd heat, his bad luck promoting 59c Brad Rosewarne up into the finals. With only 6 spots left to be found, a familiar breakdown of track registered qualifiers was beginning to emerge and the warning bells were sounding yet again...

24 Qualifiers so far: Palmy 8, Nelson 4, Wellington 4, Wanganui 3, Christchurch 2, Stratford 1, Blenheim 1, Rotorua 1.

Group 1
217n Keightley Teece, 15p Rob Miers, 722p David Lowe, 11p Peter Rees

Group 2
15v Kyle Heibner, 2nzp Chev Taniwha, 8r Scott Fredrickson, 84e Mark Taylor

Group 3
33s Tyler Walker, 98n Dylan Hall, 6w Paul Gaskin, 59c Brad Rosewarne

Group 4
98w Blake Ellett, 557p Darrell Wallace, 22w Richard Gaskin, 6v Dion Mooney

Group 5
94p William Humphreys, 18n Shane Harwood, 10p Josh Prentice, 581p Jordan Dare

Group 6
78v Mark Johnson, 99c Hamish Cross, 9n Levi Collier, 3nz Dale Robertson

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