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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:

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.