Street­stocks may get an­other go

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By DAVE WAKE­FIELD

Street­stocks are one of the more ma­ligned classes within speed­way.

They have been the class that pro­mot­ers tend to wield the axe on when pro­gramme cuts have to be made.

But these week­end war­riors that battle at tracks around the coun­try have been the feeder class for many a speed­way hero.

Bay of Plenty’s Rod­ney Wood won a NZ Street­stock cham­pi­onship and went on to em­u­late that feat in a Sprint­car and #2NZ in a Su­per­stock.

Closer to home, Mata­mata’s Graham Keatinge, Paul Cressy, Mark Edge and Geoff Bar­ron also made their names in Street­stocks.

Keatinge was more suc­cess­ful than Wood within the class with two 3NZ and two 1NZ plac­ings, the last New Zealand Cham­pi­onship com­ing for him in the 1998/99 sea­son.

Since then he has driven stock­cars and now sa­loons.

Their lim­ited con­tact rules of rac­ing and light ar­mour­ment have meant body dam­age al­most too dif­fi­cult to keep tidy, some­times look­ing down­right ugly. One wit has pre­vi­ously writ­ten: ‘‘ They should all be trans­ported in cov­ered trail­ers to keep them out of sight of the pub­lic.’’

The class has al­ways dealt with an­ti­quated ma­chin­ery that un­der their rules of con­struc­tion can not be im­proved upon for han­dling or per­for­mance.

This was borne out when one of New Zealand’s finest sa­loons in years gone by – the Jim Richards HQ Holden Monaro – fin­ished rac­ing as such and was con­verted into a Street­stock.

Gone were the widened wheels, rac­ing tyres, mod­i­fied sus­pen­sion and locked diff to be re­placed with the stan­dard road go­ing va­ri­eties.

And you can bet your booties the mo­tor Richards was play­ing with never saw the light of day be­tween those chas­sis rails again.

The new man­age­ment of Bay­park Speed­way is con­sid­er­ing re­con­tract­ing the Street­stocks in the up­com­ing sea­son af­ter the for­mer man­age­ment axed them a num­ber of years ago, a move Keatinge thinks would be a mis­take. ‘‘Street­stocks will strug­gle to get suf­fi­cient num­bers on the track to make a de­cent spec­ta­cle,’’ he said.

‘‘ The rac­ing at Bay­park was al­ways fast and hard and with the ex­tra speed came the big­ger dam­age.’’

He also pointed out that with the ex­tra dam­age came a longer down time for re­pairs which did and will again mean fewer cars rac­ing in the fol­low­ing weeks. ‘‘If one of the feeder classes is needed to be con­tracted it’s hard to go past the Pro­duc­tion Sa­loons,’’ Keatinge said.

‘‘They will have the num­bers and be­ing non-con­tact should be able to main­tain those num­bers through­out the sea­son.’’

One can only won­der that if the Street­stocks do get the nod, will it trig­ger a resur­gence for them?

If they don’t, will it be one more nail ham­mered into a nearly com­pleted cof­fin for them in the up­per North Is­land?

Street­stocks: Al­though it looks very tidy in this photo, this Valiant Charger didn’t al­ways look pretty af­ter a speed­way meet­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.