Stratford mini stock driver Casen Betts has won the Manawatu Youth Mini Stock Championship title in Palmerston North.
The 15 year old, who is a member of the Stratford Speedway Club, won the race at the Palmerston North Speedway earlier in the month and is rapt with the result.
"Winning it feels so good — once you see the chequered flag drop and its you crossing the line, you feel so tired but so excited — it's the best feeling you can actually have."
Casen, who attends Hawera High School, says his dad Chris Betts talked him into competing at Palmerston North. He did not realise it was a championship race until he got there — thinking it was just a normal club session.
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"I got a bit of a fright."
Casen has been racing for two years and his dad races saloons. After watching speedway for years he ended up buying his cousin's mini stockcar to fix up. His current car was built by his dad, and has suffered a few scrapes this season.
During a race in Whanganui he hit the wall and damaged the bumper and then had to wait for hours to get an x-ray on his arm which wasn't broken.
"I was pretty sad about it because I could have won — there were only three laps left."
It's been a good season for Casen who also got placed second in the Auckland Youth Mini Stocks Championship two weeks prior to the Manawatu champs.
Casen has one more year in the youth mini stock class and will consider competing in the TQ midget class as he feels passionate about the sport.
"It's pretty fun. When you are off the track it looks slow but in the car you feel like you are going pretty fast. They are real hard hitters too when they come into contact with other cars during accidents — but it is a non-contact class."