Mini stock driver on fast track with wins

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART

Mov­ing up from quar­ter mid­gets to mini stocks was a good move for Mata­mata speed­way driver Hay­den Green­halgh.

The 13-year-old re­cently won a fea­ture race in his age group at Bay­park Speed­way in Mount Maun­ganui.

He also won Drivers Class Rep – Choice, mean­ing he was the favourite driver on the night.

Hay­den raced quar­ter mid­gets for two years be­fore buy­ing his mini stock, which has a Dat­sun 1200 en­gine, on his 13th birth­day.

The car was in Cromwell and truck­ing com­pa­nies were quot­ing as much as $4000 to get it to Hamil­ton be­fore Hay­den con­vinced STL Line­haul to spon­sor him.

In ex­change for a prime stic- ker spot on his car, they charged Hay­den just $250. His new car seemed to bring good luck with it as Hay­den went from coming sixth or sev­enth in the quar­ter mid­gets to win­ning races.

On Jan­uary 5 he claimed two firsts and a sec­ond at Rangeview and then a first, a sev­enth and a ninth at Bay­park later that night.

The fol­low­ing day he won an­other three races at Rangeview and was named over­all win­ner of the two-day meet.

Hay­den was less than a year old when he first started go­ing to speed­way to watch his dad race.

At age 8 he started help­ing out as a crew mem­ber for lo­cal driver Tony Heu­vel.

‘‘I saw the Kiwi Kids Quar­ter Midget Club at Rangeview one week­end and I wanted to race,’’ said Hay­den.

He got his chance at a Waihi Beach track a few weeks later.

‘‘I was in a train­ing car and I won my first ever race. Af­ter that I got my first quar­ter midget.’’

The best part about speed­way was start­ing at the back of the group and mov­ing to the front, he said. ‘‘I like pass­ing other drivers.’’ Hay­den’s mum Dale said he is an in­cred­i­bly fo­cused and com­pet­i­tive driver.

‘‘You could say al­most any­thing to him on the [start­ing] grid and he wouldn’t even com­pre­hend it un­til later.’’

The next ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion he will com­pete in is the Mini Stocks in Par­adise com­pe­ti­tion in Ro­torua on Fe­bru­ary 15 and 16.

Hay­den would like to thank his ma­jor spon­sors, LJ Hooker Mata­mata, J Swap, Kaiser Ag, Vis­ual Ef­fects, Eco­lab and Base Auto Worx.

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