Auckland sprint car racer Daniel Rogers nipped in front of two-time national champion Rodney Wood and an approaching rain shower to secure a 20-lap feature race win at Baypark Speedway’s Fireworks Spectacular on Saturday night.
Rogers showed pace in both heat races and started the feature from the front row of the grid alongside Wood.
Wood led through the first 15 laps but lapped traffic provided the opportunity for Rogers to make the winning move.
Last season saw Rogers win the NZ Sprint Car Grand Prix at Baypark Speedway and the 26-year-old Aucklander has staked a claim to be a leading contender for the 2021 New Zealand Championship at the Mount Maunganui track in January.
“Baypark is probably my favourite track,” Rogers said.
“It’s wide and there’s plenty of room to race a sprint car.”
Rogers said the win was a confidence booster and he would continue his build up toward the national championship by returning for the next Baypark meeting in a fortnight. He also said the 20-lapper was a physical challenge.
“I think that was probably the hardest 20 laps I’ve ever done because the track was rough and bumpy.
“I could see it was going to rain but I didn’t want the race to end early.”
Rogers grabbed the lead as the front-runners moved past lapped traffic and he held off Wood on a final restart with four laps remaining.
Te Awamutu’s Brian Edwards crossed the line in third but was relegated two spots to move Tokoroa’s Keaton Dahm and Hamilton’s Dean Brindle up the finish order.
The first appearance of the super stocks for the 2020-21 season saw honours shared in a three-race contest with Tauranga’s Dan Pollock, Aidan Eustace and Kerry Remnant each taking a win.
A full field of open-wheel Six Shooters turned on close racing and the feature race saw Cole Wood maintain a slim advantage over Luke McClymont and Boyd Westbury as the leading trio cleared out from the rest of the field.
Super saloons had an incident-packed night and the feature race honours went to early season pace-setter Scott Hayward.
Dan Corrin made a perfectly judged start to leap from the third row and lead the opening laps but Hayward had the best pace and hit the front on lap four. Matt Smith found a way past Corrin in the closing laps to take second place.
The third night of the season at Baypark Speedway is on Saturday, November 21.