Stevie Walsh – Midget #15A

Western Springs Speedway, International Sprintcars, Auckland, New Zealand on the 3rd December 2016. Copyright photo: Jeremy Ward / www.shot360.co.nz

Q: Firstly welcome back! You’ve been away from the speedway track for a while. What have you been doing during that time and what bought you back?
A: Thanks. The last time I raced at Western Springs was in 2003. Since then I’ve raced Sprintcars in Canada & America, including weekly at Knoxville Raceway. I started racing Midgets in 2005 at Sun Prairie in Wisconsin. I’ve also raced Midgets in Australia. I raced a mini Sprint in 2010, which actually was a lot of fun. I’ve wanted to race a midget at Western Springs for a while and I’m excited to be back where I started.
Q: How has Western Springs Speedway changed since you last competed here?
A: The standard at Western Springs is very high. I still enjoy the fact that fans can walk through the pits, talk direct with the drivers and have a look around. That is something special most fans don’t appreciate until they go to different race tracks around the world.
Q: What are your goals for the 2016/17 season?
A: My goal for this season is to finish every race. The midget competition at Western Springs is very tough. All the drivers and their cars are incredible. Any driver who starts the feature has the ability to win it.
Q: What have you found the most difficult to adapt to being back in midget at Western Springs?
A: Midgets have advanced quite a lot since I last raced, however, the principals are still the same. I guess the part I’m still learning is the 4 adjustable shocks, which I can adjust while I’m racing.
Q: You started your racing career here at Western Springs in a ¼ midget and went onto sprintcars and now you’re in a midget, which class do you prefer out of sprintcars and midgets and what differences are there between the two classes?
A: I started racing quarter Midgets at Western Springs in 1992. Then in 1998 I went straight into Sprintcars. The Sprintcar you have to keep straight to keep your momentum up. Basically, the top wing does the steering for you so all you need to do is hold on and keep as still as possible. The Midget you really need to get aggressive with and use the steering and the brakes to keep the car balanced. I love them both.
Q: What is something a race fan wouldn’t know about you?
A: My first race in the US was the 2003 Knoxville Nationals.
Q: Is there a meaning behind your race number?
A: I’ve always used number 5 on my midget cars because of my hero Ted Tracy. I watched him as a kid and he was unbelievable. Unfortunately, 5 was taken this year, so we just stuck a 1 in front of the 5.