There was plenty at stake when the Nelson Speedway Association drew its annual naming rights raffle on Friday night — maybe that was an omen with those purveyors of fine steaks, Westmeat Nelson in Richmond, getting their hooks into the top prize.

In recent seasons, the Nelson club has run the raffle for its feature promotions, classes and hospitality as an additional fundraiser, separate from the track naming rights, which are held again by Milestone Homes. This year, 370 tickets were sold and the support for the club wasn’t just restricted to local backers. Instead, there were tickets sold to speedway supporters in Tauranga, Hawera, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Greymouth and Blenheim, as well as the ones which stayed in the district.

The main prize drawn on the night was for naming rights to the New Zealand Superstock Grand Prix meeting in early January. With the national title meeting just a few days earlier at Woodford Glen, it is expected that a number of North Island competitors will stay this side of the strait to have a crack at the GP title. The raffle prize included naming rights, use of the corporate box for the event with 12 adult passes and branding on trophies, logos, this website, the club calendar and all associated advertising, valued at $8000. And it was the Richmond meat retailers who were drawn out as major prizewinners by club patron Jack Mclauchlan.

Other title meetings this season went to Waimea Vehicle Testing Station (TQ Midget Grand Prix, value $6000), IHC Charity Shop, who will be associated with the South Island streetstocks ($4000) and Ricks Tyre and Auto (SI sidecars, same value).

The breadth of sponsors, even in those top four prizes, summed up the variety of supporters the Nelson Speedway Association has, with vice president Kevin Freeman says it was great to welcome new names to the sponsorship ranks, along with many firms who have been there for the long term.

The club said sponsorship money was hard to come by for the national titles, so the raffle was an opportunity for those who would not have the funds available to sponsor those events to get involved, bringing great exposure to their business and the Nelson Speedway.

Outside of the four title meetings, there were key promotions like the Easter Extravaganza, sprintcar War of the Wings rounds, super saloon Super Cup and Ministock Mania raffled, while each class also has a supporting sponsor who gets calendar, website and programme publicity, along with complimentary entry to the relevant meetings (see full list below).

All tickets which weren’t successful in winning one of the top 22 prizes on Friday go back into a second chance draw  to sponsor a race throughout the season.

The club is indebted to the dedicated committee members, competitors and members who spent several weeks selling the tickets and grateful to the businesses and individuals who supported the raffle. Please support them where possible.

It’s just a few weeks now until the first practice for the season with opening night of the Nelson Speedway Association’s 50th anniversary season set down for October 20, featuring the classic stockcars and Trackman Trophies for all competing classes. Working bees are gearing up, the Givealittle page to support the club’s resource management fight is still open (although somewhat stalled) and memberships are being confirmed.

It’s the first day of spring and we will be doing it in the dirt again very soon!

Full list of raffle prize winners

1st New Zealand Superstock Grand Prix — Westmeat Nelson

2nd TQ Midget Grand Prix — Waimea Vehicle Testing Station

3rd SI Streetstocks —  IHC Charity Shop

4th SI Sidecars –Ricks Tyre & Auto

5th Easter Extravaganza  — Nelson Automotive Solutions

6th Ministock Mania — Nelson Marlborough Waste

7th War of the Wings — Harcourts – Mike Rollo

8th War of the Wings — Dowie Contracting

9th Super Cup — Nelson Automotive Solutions

10th Superstock Class — Action Sports

11th Stockcar Class — Track Shack – Ruapuna

12th Streetstock Class — HiReach Access Solutions

13th Super Saloon Class — Moutere Motors

14th Production Saloon Class — Byrnes Carriers

15th Midget Class — Printhouse Nelson

16th TQ Midget Class — MD Freighting

17th Sidecar Class — South Pacific Turbochargers

18th Youth Ministock Class — Deans Truck Services

19th Opening Night Corp Box — Cap-it-All Promotions

20th Opening Night Corp Box — Hydraulink

21st Family Season Pass — Glen James Jewellers

22nd Family Season Pass Autobat Nelson (Supercharge Batteries).