By Allan Powell

On the weekend of Friday 17th and Saturday 18th November was the Metallic Recycling Stockcar Teams Invitation at Huntly and Te Rapa PlaceMakers Speedway. Eight teams were track side ready to do battle for all the fans from different tracks throughout the North Island.
Defending 2016 champs Auckland Alleycats were back to defend the trophy and their cars looked pretty sharp. The Auckland Alleycats are also the current New Zealand Stockcar teams champions. Eight teams races on the Friday night all with qualifying points allocated for each race to find the top four teams which will go through to the semifinals on Saturday night.
On Friday night first up was Auckland verse Kihikihi Crusaders. This was a big win for Auckland with 180 points to 10 point for Kihikihi. Second Stockcar teams race was Stratford Stormers verses the North Island select team. The select team was brought in four days before the Friday so this would be a huge challenge to the them. Stratford was too strong and took the win with 150 points to 40 points. Next teams race was the home team, the Waikato Raiders and Rotorua Rascals. A true local derby and had fought to the finish with a Waikato win 110 points to 80 points. Final teams race was Palmerston North Puma`s verses Baypark Bulldogs. Palmerston North took the win with 155 points.
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Round two of another 4 teams races had Kihikihi verse Stratford. Stratford took the win again with 100 points with Kihikihi 80 points, but Kihikihi gave it their best shot right to the chequered flag. Auckland verse North Island select was a grudge match with Auckland taking the lead early with 2 cars running with only it to go all wrong with four laps to go and both Auckland cars taken out. 4G Ben Holt took the lead and win for the Select team and a big points haul of 180 points for the win and Auckland on 10 points and out of the semifinals the next night. Waikato vs Bay Park and this time the Rees shield was also up for the win plus the win would see Waikato into the semifinals. 7H Dave Moore showing all his experience in teams racing taking the win, but Baypark filling the minor places. Rotorua verse Palmy with a young teams was up to the challenge and taking the win over Rotorua and ended the night top qualifier on points.
Top four teams were Palmerston North, Stratford, Waikato and the North Island select team.
Semifinal one was Waikato verse Stratford. Waikato blocked hard early, but Stratford always had two cars running, Waikato went down fighting till the end with only one car mobile leaving Stratford the win and into the final. Semi two was Palmerston North verses the North Island Select team. Now the select team was again hitting their straps and stopping Palmerston North cars a critical times till they had the lead car of 7A Josh Simpson but 3 Palmerston North cars couldn’t stop Simpson for the win for the select team and into the final.
Waikato Midgets champs heat one was won by American driver Zach Daum but with the drizzly rain coming this championship will have to be finished at a later date. With this rain stopping the Saturday nights racing the balance of this meeting was shifted to Sunday afternoon at 1pm start. On Sunday Palmerston North had gone home so Waikato took 3rd place overall. The team’s final went ahead between Stratford and the North Island Select team. Both teams were in great form with Stratford on pole. 8A Logan Peat for the select team was quick to take the lead with 33S Tyler Walker in chase. Peat held the lead with Select cars doing a good job blocking. Stratford cars were only chasing for eleven laps until Walker and 72S Bevan Phillips slammed Peat into the wall and held him there as now Phillips had the lead. The Select cars tried their best in the closing laps , but Stratford was too strong and took the win and the Metallic Recycling Stockcar Teams invitation for 2017, but take nothing away from the Select team for the awesome racing over the weekend.
This coming Saturday night at Huntly PlaceMakers Speedway will be the Raceworks Waikato Modified Championship with a good field of modified chasing the trophy. Added to this night is the now popular Midget 40 lap spectacular and a lead into the International Midget series at Western Springs, Huntly and Baypark. The midget field will be top class with Zach Daum USA, Michael Pickens current NZ champion, 2NZ Brad Mosen, Chris McCutcheon, Brock Maskovich, Shane Allach and Daniel Thomas 2016 Midget 40 lap winner. This will be a not to miss meeting with racing starting at 7pm. Check Huntly PlaceMakers Speedway website for all your information.

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