Palmerston North - 5
North Island Stockcar Champs - Qualifying
Pictures & reporting by Mike Pollard
North Island Stockcar Champs -
The North Island Stockcar Champs drew the biggest ever Stockcar entry of 129 in Palmerston
North's history. As it turned out 113 took to the tracks in an attempt to qualify for the
somewhat unusual 30 places available in tomorrow's finals. One casualty was #nz2 and
defending champion richard gaskin who experienced severe engine problems in practice, and
was unable to make the grid.
5 x groups, with the top x 6 from each making the Finals.
Action right from the start, with the reds out on the first lap, as #59s Rhys Wadsworth at
full pelt slams into the back of the stalled #15r Paul Mabey car, who never really got
away from the start. Green again and #35w Jason Kingsey leads from start to finish, with
#77p Wayne Norris a very close second at the line ahead of the fast looking #11w Michael
First to fall by the wayside was Heat 1 winner #35w Kingsey who failed to record a lap,
whilst up front, #32b Shane Melling was being overtaken by #18v Tony James. #18v James led
for a lap before losing it on turn three, handing the lead to #81a Rodney Smythe. #81a
Smythe was successful in keeping out both #221s Josh Hancock and #15r Mabey until late on,
with #221s Hancock sneaking through for the win.
Spookily, history repeated itself as the previous heat winner #221s Hancock emulated #35w
Kingsey by pulling onto the middle on the first lap. #29s led for the first three laps
before retiring, the lead going to #92p Brett Lloyd who had an untroubled race on his way
to the chequered.
#11w Michael Gray #53p Todd O'Donnell #77p Wayne Norriss #86r Richard Keijzer #92p Brett
Lloyd #99r Shannon Orr
#18w Matt Gaskin built up an impressive lead in this one but was slowly but surely reeled
in by team mate #91w Kyle Lane
#245p Steve Hhompson, #49p Stephen Blackley and #55h Neville Hazleton all fought keenly
for the lead until #55h Hazleton drove the wall of death for a quarter lap before pulling
off. #245p Thompson drove on to the win whilst the fastest lap went to Heat 1 winner #91w
#84s Hayden Barker led for a lap before being overtaken by the impressive looking #5k Brad
Ridland. the reds came out for #91w Lane who was stalled accross the middle of turn of 4,
and soon after the restart, leader #5k Ridland took the grass temporarily, handing the
lead back to #84s Hayden who was fighting tooth and nail with #68r Keith Spanhake. another
red, this time for beauty queen and model #117a Rose Halfpenny who was slewed sideways
across the home straight. Green flag and #68r Spanhake had a great battle with #14m Graham
Keating. #14m Keating slipping past for the win.
#14m Graham Keating #18w Matt Gaskin #32p George Frear #49p Stephen Blackley #68r Keith
Spanhake #517s Mark Woods
#98r Mark Costello was the early leader from #17p Shane Simpson, but #8m Scott Fredrickson
was quickly into his stride, and up into the lead position early on. A torrent of action
in this one as the reds were first out for #73w Paul Wood and #16m Dean O'Reilly who took
a dislike to each other, and then again for #65v Lisa Black who was sent shooting up the
wall at a great rate of knots.
First into the bend was #585s Daniel Coxhead, but was spun by sheer weight of numbers,
with #78s Shaun Bloeman taking up the challenge at the front. The reds were required when
a stationary #7b Keith Hingston received a nasty looking shunt from Heat 1 winner #8m
Fredrickson. on the last lap leader #78s Bloeman was spun by #97p Graeme Ward but still
had time to recover and taste victory.
#13r Brendon Beasley led for a lap until #54p Bevan Humphrey took up the honour. The reds
were out early for the stranded tank of #68p Mike Gaskin. #54p Humphrey motoring to
victory ahead of #17p Simpson
#8m Scott Fredrickson #17p Shane Simpson #24s Tony Zehnder #71h Tyson Junior Wooton #78s
Shaun Bloeman #89w Dale Robertson
#317s Murray Wood, #81w David Stewart and #98v Gerry Linklater had a fantastic race in
this one, with all of them leading at some stage. The battle was interupted when #65m
Stephen Howard found himself in the wall and needing the reds. #81w Stewart lost touch
with the leaders after hitting the wall hard and then decided to chop up and roll the car
of #4s Shaun Peters, bringing out the reds again. Amid the stoppages #31p Gary Davis had
clawed his way toward the front and nudged #98v Linklater wide on the last bend to take
#84b Mike McLachlan was first away, but a humungus pile up on the fist lap took out the
leading half a dozen cars. #74r Mike Hohneck came out of the melee in front with a good
lead over #46w Allen Levien who in turn was some distance ahead of #98v Linklater. The
reds came out for #65m Howard who was in the wall again and having a nightmare of a
meeting. Late on #98v Linklater moved up together with the fast looking Heat 1 winner #31p
Davis, but neither could catch #74r Hohneck.
#31p Davis and #14r Stephen Axtens opened a huge gap over the rest of the field. A red
late on for #317s Wood who was stranded on the back straight only helped #31p Davis to
increase his lead and take his second win of the night.
#31p Gary Davis #56r Kevin Hendry #71a Dean Mulholland #74r Mike Hohneck #77w Jordan Keene
#98v Gerry Linklater
#86p Dwayne Martin was the early leader until #124s Andrew Dodunsky came shooting past.
Reds for #34b Kevin Jensen.
If the first heat was a little tame, the second was anything but. #6v Dion Mooney was the
early leader, but it didnt last long as the bumpers started flying everywhere. #116r Steve
Halse squeezed #81r Daniel Orr up against the fence turning him over and bringing out the
reds. The reds were out again soon after as leader #28b Jason Palamountain was walled
heavily by #197p Nathan Ward with #86p Dwayne Martin joining the collision soon after.
Amidst the chaos it was #15p Rob Miers who came through the carnage to take the win.
The last race of the night turned out to be the longest! #19w Noel Bewley and #15p Rob
Miers were having a great race swapping the lead between themselves until the reds were
called for to clear debris from the track and to inexplicably send #116h Steve Halse to
the infield! #19w Bewley continued to lead until he was walled and rolled by #33p Scott
Eastwood. With the car upside down and resting on another, the marshalls were quickly on
the spot, but despite their best efforts the safety harnes refused to unlock, and the
unfortunate #19w Bewley was left dangling upside down for 10 minutes before he was finally
released. #15m Miers continued on to take back to back victories.
#6v Dion Mooney #10m Alan McRobbie #15p Rob Miers #52w Paul Fairbrother #99p Scott
McIntosh #124s Andrew Dodunsky