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By John Keast

Ashburton ministock racer Craig Butterick has a simple racing philosophy.

“I just put my foot down and go for it.”

That go-get-’em approach has paid dividends, with Craig coming second in a 17-car field at Dunedin Speedway.

“It was just out of the blue. I’m really proud of myself. There were five very fast cars; one that won the New Zealand title at Ashburton last year.”

Craig, who works for father Ross, in a car-wrecking business in Ashburton, said when the driver had to pull out after damaging his car, he powered through.

“The car was strong. I felt good going down. I worked at Roscos on Saturday and just jumped in the truck. I was focused and ready to race.”

Craig, who has been racing ministocks for around seven years after starting in karts, said he was placed in the middle of a 30-car field at Woodford Glen in Canterbury, so was doubly pleased to get second in Dunedin.

“It was a big relief. I just couldn’t believe it. It’s the best I’ve done all season. I thought we’d get in the middle of the pack, not come home in second place.”

Craig said father Ross was there – “he’s my main pit crew” – and they celebrated the win.

Craig said he had a mentor in racing, Tony Newman, who died several years ago.

“We bought his car off the estate.”

His ministock – a baby stock car- is fitted with a Datsun 1200 engine and is “lively”.

Craig’s next race is in Ashburton on March 5 in a memorial event for Newman, and then on March 19 when Ashburton speedway hosts the South Island youth ministock title event for the first time.