The country's fastest and meanest superstock drivers will take to the tracks in the major Auckland Superstock Championships this week. Ngāti Raukawa racer CJ Chestnut hopes to try his luck to get a suspension for the New Zealand Champs later this month.
It's mean, it's loud, and it's unique to New Zealand. For CJ Chestnut, it’s a passion that goes back 25 years ago.
Chestnut says, "I've probably raced for about ten years, but been around since I was a teenager. Not too sure what happened but I just loved it the first time I came and I just haven't stopped coming since."
This will be his second season racing in Superstock. He'll be racing against 30 top racers from across the country at the Auckland Championships. Their main goal will be qualifying for a New Zealand title in two weeks time.
Chestnut says, "If you're into speedway, superstock is the pinnacle of where you want to be. Qualifying in some respects for myself is like I've almost made it. When you have a group of 100 cars turn up to fight for 26 positions in my opinion, I've already made it to qualify for those top 26. The ultimate goal would be to be crowned No.1 in New Zealand."
With expenses and maintenance for one vehicle racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars on average a year, it can be a pricey sport. Luckily for CJ, it's a family passion. With sponsorships and help from friends and family, he's able to keep in the game.
"Not sure if the support is willing sometimes, especially when she (wife) sees the credit card statements but she loves it as well and we really enjoy gearing up for the weekends to go racing whether that's locally or around the country."
Chestnut will be gunning for a shot at his first New Zealand title at Waikaraka on January 13.