Legends of Speedway – Dan the Man


Dan Neal hung up his Speedway New Zealand Shirt last night after a whopping 62 years of coming to Western Springs! His health has been declining of late and his doctor suggested he put his feet up and take it a bit easier. Dan we will miss seeing you at the gate and I’m sure your fellow workers will miss having you around too.

Dan Neal was our Race Schedule Controller and he put a lot of time during the week into making sure the schedule would run smoothly during race night. Each week he ran the races for the night through the information he has collected over many years and calculated the timing of each race to make sure we got everything into our tight programme.
On race night he kept tabs on the timing so at that any time the Clerk of the Course, Bryce Townsend, could look to Dan who would show him with thumbs up or thumbs down and how many fingers he’s holding as to how many minutes we are up or down on time.
Dan recorded all race times for future reference as we are continually pushing the envelope on what we can fit into a programme on the night. For instance, he would have watched the Mini Sprints very closely as we haven’t had them here before so that we’ll know if they came again, how long they took to come out, grid up and race their heats and features. This data is invaluable!
Clerk of the Course has made it clear at the driver’s meetings that “we won’t be missing a race due to time on my watch”. Dan was the reason why we have a hope of achieving this!

Take a bow Dan – Your one of our Springs Legends!