Stockcar rookie lives for speed

By Jared Smith,

First season superstock rookie Carl Burns lives for smell of the speedway appropriate then that he can indulge his passion on the smell of an oily rag.

The 29-year-old, who raced ministocks and stockcars before stepping away for five years, can't wait for the start of tonight's Wellington Top 10 Holiday Park North Island Superstock Champs at Oceanview Speedway.

"The nationals are down south so for me, it's the big one [this weekend]. I just want to finish the races, probably the biggest goal for me will be qualifying for the finals.

"You've got a huge range of fast cars, so if you can qualify at the championship, you're doing quite well. Some guys are spending $100 to 250 grand, I've spent $30,000. I want to show people you can go fast for little expense."

Even during his five years away from racing, Burns still helped out friends as pit crew so he was "staying in the circle, keep the bug there".

"The sound and speed of the superstock every time you go and watch it you just want to be out there."

The car he chose to get him out there is 22 years old and from Hawkes Bay.

Burns stripped it down and, other than the engine, rebuilt it himself, making him the latest in a long line of notable drivers. "It's got a bit of history, one of the standout names is Graeme Barr."

The Palmerston North-based Barr is a staple of the superstocks, usually very quick in Wanganui and one of the favourites for the next two nights.

Burns was hoping to iron out a couple of fuel problems he has had with the car at Oceanview last night before racing begins this evening. There are 45 cars entered in the North Island champs which have been split into three groups of 15 for qualifying tonight.

The top 26 drivers will go into the finals tomorrow night, which will be contested in three heats. There will also be non-championship races.

Action on both nights starts at 7pm.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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