Saturday night we said farewell to one of the speedways ‘good blokes’, Dean Brindle who started his racing career in a Minisprint at the age of 16. He did four years in a Minisprint and three years in a Midget before moving into Sprint Cars. Dean grew up around the track at Kihikihi where his dad and brother had also raced.
This is his 17th year racing Sprint Cars and as he stated earlier this season, “I felt I’ve achieved all the goals that I set out to do. I am busy with work and family commitments so with racing all summer and working on the car during the week, there isn’t a lot of spare time”.
As always, alongside every successful driver is a great support crew and Dean has certainly had that with Brownie (who is the only crew member based in Auckland), Dean, Ray, Birdy, Mike and Nicki who all travel up from Hamilton and Deans dad Tony who travels from Tauranga each race day, “My crew are very dedicated and all volunteer to give up their time over the summer to be part of our team which has been awesome” said Dean.
Highlights for Dean have been many, with the chance to race at the majority of tracks in New Zealand and also a bucket list, the chance to race two campaigns in the USA and a season in Australia at Valvoline Speedway. “If I look back on my highlights”, said Dean, “I can’t go past winning the New Zealand title back in 2009 in Palmerston North as my favourite memory but also having the 2NZ three times along with 3NZ in my first year of racing. Being selected as New Zealand Sprint Car Captain in 2015 was a highlight which was made even better by being able to race with my good friend Jamie McDonald as my teammate, and I got to do it all over again this season”.
Dean has committed to run in Sydney next season but in terms of New Zealand, he plans to finish this season running the Andrew Edwards Memorial in Kihikihi which ironically is where he started his racing career.
We have all enjoyed watching Dean at Western Springs, his professionalism both on and off the track has been exemplary and he has been a true friend and humble competitor. We wish him, his wife Nicki and children Kyla and Caleb well for whatever the future holds and wish him every success in Australia next season.
Farewell – It’s been great!