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Hayden Pedersen secures a spot in Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge

16 June, 2014


Hayden Pedersen is getting closer and closer to his dream of becoming a professional Nascar driver. The 19-year-old from Rotorua has made the shift to the United States and raced his first Nascar season last year in California.

NZV8 featured an interview with Pedersen in Issue No. 107 where he talked about his passion for motor sport and his goals in the United States. And he’s only headed onwards and upwards since then.

During last year’s Nascar season he raced in the lower sanctioned series and hopes to move up the ranks this year. This looks likely as he has recently earned a place in the final of the 2014 Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge which could see him moving up the ranks even faster than expected.

The Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge is aimed specifically at up-and-coming drivers who want to make a name for themselves within Nascar. It’s a televised three-day challenge which sees contenders being coached by the likes of Clint Bowyer, Danica Patrick, and Michael Waltrip.

“Thousands of people entered to try and be one of the 18 that get to compete at the Charlotte Motorsport Speedway, and I was chosen as one of the 18,” says Pedersen.

“I have been dreaming about making it to the top and have done many things to try to get there, so it’s amazing for Peak to give me a chance to prove my skills.”

“[The challenge is] in the public eye like crazy so it will get my name out there as well,” Pedersen says. 

With the winner receiving a Peak Racing sponsorship in a 2014 Nascar K&N Pro Series race, it provides a huge opportunity for the winner to achieve their Nascar goals.

“That is a good step up,” Pedersen says. “It is getting me closer to that goal of racing in the Sprint Cup.” The Sprint Cup is the top tier of racing in Nascar, which is Pedersen’s big goal.

“We will aim for that series and keep moving along. Hopefully it is only five years away but if it takes 10 years, it takes 10 years. But I have to keep pursuing that dream.”

The 2014 Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge will be held from June 11–13 and the young driver could do with his home country’s backing. To support him, visit his Givealittle page, and like or message his Facebook page.

Check out the video Pederson entered to make sure he was selected as one of the 18 contenders in the challenge:

Becoming fond of Fords part two – happy times with Escorts

In part one of this Ford-flavoured trip down memory lane I recalled a sad and instructive episode when I learned my shortcomings as a car tuner, something that tainted my appreciation of Mk2 Ford Escort vans in particular. Prior to that I had a couple of other Ford entanglements of slightly more redeeming merit. There were two Mk1 Escorts I had got my hands on: a 1972 1300 XL belonging to my father and a later, end-of-line, English-assembled 1974 1100, which my partner and I bought from Panmure Motors Ford in Auckland in 1980. Both those cars were the high water mark of my relationship with the Ford Motor Co. I liked the Mk1 Escorts. They were nice, nippy, small cars, particularly the 1300, which handled really well, and had a very precise gearbox for the time.
Images of Jim Richards in the Carney Racing Williment-built Twin Cam Escort and Paul Fahey in the Alan Mann–built Escort FVA often loomed in my imagination when I was driving these Mk1 Escorts — not that I was under any illusion of comparable driving skills, but they had to be having just as much fun as I was steering the basic versions of these projectiles.

Fear and loathing the blue oval – part one

The slogan went something like ‘There’s a Ford in your future’. ‘Bugger off!’ were always the words that sprung to my mind. Ford and I have never really got on in the manner of many of my friends, so I’d say my relationship to the brand was distant. The accelerating blur of passing time has helpfully blanketed memories of a few Ford encounters which I probably wanted to forget but I have to admit, now I look at them, they are re-appearing through the mists of time. What comes to mind more readily, to quote some uncharitable wit, is that the letters Ford could stand for ‘fix or repair daily’. Still, I have to ’fess up, there were several Fords in my past.