International Sprintcar Series
21 December 2008
Pictures and reporting by Mike Pollard
For most people it would have been a memorable
night at the speedway, especially if they had a go on the excellent simulator set up on
the exit of turn two. For those who gave it a go during the Sprintcar races, it became
truly multi-sensory as they were left spitting dirt. but for me the night provided a
singularly unforgetable experience .......the night I felt the wind!
Events were delayed 23 hours due to the rain. but come hell or high water, this was a
meeting that was going to run, as six of the worlds top drivers, from the World-of-Outlaws
were in town to wow the crowds.
The Americans showed their skills early during the single lap qualifying where they filled
the top five places with #19usa Paul McMahon heading the field from #9usa Joey Saldana,
#10usa Ricky Logan, #7usa Craig Dollansky and #Ousa Jonathon Allard.
A series of heats followed, which made little difference to the rankings, when it came
time to sort out the grids for c, b, and a main feature races.
Eventually we ended up with the a main, where #7usa Dollansky and #10usa Logan made up the
front row ahead of #9usa Saldana and #19usa McMahon.
Throughout the entire race, #10usa Logan stayed just ahead of #7usa Dollansky. But the
race was littered with stopages as the rest of the field provided crash after crash in an
attempt to match the speed of the wickedly quick Americans.
Half way through I glanced back down the track to see a car airborne and heading in my
direction. I knew immediately I was in trouble, it was coming straight at me and my brain
had slowed down the action into slow motion! As the car grew larger I could tell that it
was last years' winner of this event; #21v Peter Huijs, looking like a gigantic blue and
white No 21 pool ball that was slowly revolving toward me. Experience told me that the car
had one more bounce to make, after which I would decide which way to run. It bounced,
higher than I expected it to, but now it looked as if it was going to clear the catch
fencing directly above me. Before I had chance to decide what to do, the whole thing
speeded up again, the car had now jumped the fence and had all four wheels firmly in the
netting which was billowing toward me. one of the stantions collapsed and hit the ground
just inches in front...... I took a picture just before the crowd near me started running
and screaming with panic, and it was only then that I realised that my brain had switched
off the audio.
The driver was unhurt as was I, and the car was manhandled through what was left of the
fence and into the pits, and left me with an experience that I will never forget ... I
felt the wind!
As the netting billowed toward me, and the fence held (just), and at that very instant of
not knowing if i would live or die, I felt the wind....... the large body of air being
pushed in front of the #21v Huijs car passed though the fence and hit me at full blast
.....it was surprisingly warm and smelled of high octane fuel as well as containing small
particles of clay dust which tingled the skin.........a truly unforgetable
experience......one which I never want repeated!!
No time to run the feature due to events in the Sprintcar final, but in the two races we
had, in front of a quality field, #7p Shane Penn once again showed that the #7p silver
bullet is still the dominant force around Palmerston, as it has been for the past 3-4
1.#7p Shane Penn 2.#94p Roydon Collingwood 3.#64p Kev Smith 4.#282s Phil Ogle 5.#72p Simon
Joblin 6.#591p Wayne Hemi
1.#7p .#94p 3.#591p 4.#8p Scott Miers 5.#64p 6.#72p
6 Jet Boats!