A blast from the past and more excitement for spectators will be on the cards at tonight's Barry Butterworth Memorial speedway meeting at Vodafone Speedway Western Springs.

The annual tribute to the Kiwi speedway legend sees a unique format used for the night in a throwback to the days when Butterworth was the king of the Springs.

All categories will use a handicapped grid with the fastest drivers having to work their way through the field.

"It is a bit unique in that we usually qualify through three heats with the person that scores the most points starting the feature off the front," midget racer Shayne Alach told The Herald.


"In the past – in Barry's day – it used to be a handicapped format so that the fastest guy would start at the back of the race.

"So to honour Barry that is the format we used for this round."

But it isn't simply a case of reverse-order. The grids are self-governing with drivers choosing who they line up next to.

"It is self-handicapping in that last year's winner, which was Michael Pickens, starts off the back and he chooses whoever he wants to start next to him," Alach explained. "That person selects the next driver and so on through the field."

The result is that you get plenty of desperate but fast drivers at the back of the field trying to make bold moves to get up front. That leads to exciting racing and drama.

"Absolutely you can't muck around starting from the back," Alach said. "The format creates the excitement – I have never seen a dull Barry Butterworth meeting before."

Alach has been a consistent performer this summer but is desperate for success tonight.

"We have been OK this year," he said. "We've been competitive but we just haven't been able to get across the line.


"We haven't had a win yet so it would be good to do that this week."

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