McKenzie leads Tigers in victory run
Meatloaf sung Two out of Three Ain't Bad and, as far as the Nelson Tigers superstock team are concerned, the big man was right.
After three weeks of teams racing, the Tigers have a satisfactory 2-1 record courtesy of a comfortable victory over a thrown-together Canterbury Glen Eagles at AmPro Tools Woodford Glen Speedway on Saturday night.
Possibly the most pleasing aspect for team manager Daryl Peterson was the drive of youngster Dale McKenzie. Starting from the front row in his first teams race of the season, he roared off the start and went virtually untouched to the chequered flag. The young gun got a charmed run as Blair Cunningham, Shane Harwood and Brett Nicholls dealt out some lusty blows as his blockers.
"The boys did really well, they did a wicked job. I just cruised around and was able to stay clear of any trouble," McKenzie said.
What would have disappointed Peterson is that after Harwood and Nicholls were held up in the first corner, no other Nelson cars got near the lead. In reality, nobody got near McKenzie, who drove with patience and maturity far beyond his years but, if they had, the Tigers were in trouble, with Cantabrians Donny Inns and Andrew Good making up the podium.
Meanwhile, Nelson clubmate Ian Burson signalled his intentions from the get-go in the Canterbury super saloon championship.
Starting on the outside of one of the top Canterbury hopes, Mark Osborne, Burson won the start and cruised to a dominant heat one victory.
If the first heat one was about speed, heat two was all about skill for Burson as he negotiated the traffic to get up to third place behind Richie Taylor and race winner Mike Verdoner.
Burson (33 points) headed the table with a 3-point lead over Osborne on 33, Taylor on 31 and Verdoner on 30 going into the decider.
Burson's talent through traffic secured the title from Taylor and Verdoner, with Nelson's Shane Carey pleased to finish fourth equal.
Carey never looked like winning the event, but there were plenty of positive signs. With each race he made progress through the field, always looking a top-five contender.
A disappointing seventh in the second heat was largely due to being held up by slower cars and avoiding an out- of-control Neil Robertson on the final lap - costing him one point - which would have been enough for a runoff for third.
Mark Carey's hopes ended when he found the front straight wall after a steering problem.
His run of bad luck at the Canterbury track continued into heat three, having nowhere to go but into Ryan Berry who had come back to earth after going cartwheeling through the air down the back straight.