Bryson Walker inducts 400 Kevin Shinn
I grew up in the mid 2000’s dominance of the Aftermath and Predators, and Shinny was the stand-out performer for me. Mildenhall, King’s Lynn, Yarmouth – wherever he went he put on a show, and it’s what grew my passion at the time. Growing up in a Stock Car background, but not necessarily a Banger background, going to meetings and seeing Shinny doing what he does best, always being involved with the action, it made him the driver I looked up to and thought “I want to be like that when I’m older”.
He took the Aftermath everywhere and collectively they were brilliant, but it’s some of those hits that I remember as a kid, such as his head on with 268 Buster Hutchings at Arena in the Mondeos that was bone crunchingly savage and his performance at the Warton teams when the Aftermath went up there.
Seeing him at the Mildenhall 2L meetings this year just brings out the inner child – and I think everyone has that driver growing up that ticks all the boxes for them, and that’s why for me he is my inductee into the Caged! Hall of Fame.
Matt Josey inducts 33! Simon Reed
Everyone knows the name, the number, and the exclamation mark. One of the most talked about drivers since the 80’s, to this day people still want to talk about how much they’d love a comeback. He still pops up from time to time, and it’s said he still has a yard of some impressive tin, but he has raced some unbelievable stuff over the years.
As a massive fan of Van Bangers, there isn’t a single other driver that has the same list of impressive outings in that class. He’s also put on a show as a guest driver for multiple different teams such as Steam Team, Predators, The Bears and Stinkbridge, and a Yank that returned to Icebreaker year after year in different colours.
An all-round brilliant driver that is such a talent behind the wheel, could race with anyone, crash with the best and had some of the best material.
James Keane inducts Civil War
We often talk about how the sport can seem fractured sometimes, we’ve joked about how its the only sport that has 3-4 major widely recognised World Championships, but Civil War is an event that goes far past that.
Forget that it’s an Incarace event, it brings everyone together throughout the sport of Banger racing from all promotions (ORCi or not) everyone in the sport seems to come together for this one big event.
The closest comparison I can offer is that of International Football. It doesn’t matter what you do in the rest of your season, who you represent, who your rivals are or what your personal goal is. For this event, all that matters is what colour you wear and that you’ve been selected to represent your team. Equally, the fans are equally partisan, the atmosphere within the reservoir is electric and you wont find a meeting where the fans are so equally split down the middle.
The South have probably had the bigger individual names over it’s history, but the fact that (at the time of writing) the North lead overall is a testament to how that teamwork is everything in this meeting, on track and off.
One further thing, who can forget probably the best ever Civil War moment – Lloyd Isherwood’s performance in the Final at the one Arena Essex hosted war. Not only one of the best Civil War drives, probably one of the best Banger drives of all time!
Jake Harris inducts Wasted Magazine
For all of us at Caged! it paved the way for what we do today. Without wasted, there probably wouldn’t be Caged! as we basically started on the back of the work they did. For something like Wasted to go on as long as it did, including with the emergency of online forums such as OvalChat and Facebook pages, shows how it managed to keep itself fresh with it’s full colour photos and tongue-in-cheek digs at things within the sport.
We sometimes talk on the podcast about how drivers want that Facebook Photo of a hit that would be shared around, but at the time it was a case of getting featured in Wasted which would be your personal highlight. Our friends at Northern Bangers do such a good job with their car lists, but back then it was a case of turning to Wasted to see what a car was, and it was the only thing as a kid I was interested in reading cover to cover!
Jordan Hollands inducts the London Open
I’ve been thinking very hard about what my inductee would be for a couple of weeks, and I keep going back-and-forth, but I always keep coming back to the London Open.
It was always a fantastic meeting to attend. As a youngster I spent most of my time over at Arena Essex, but in their close season it was a case of heading down to Plough Lane during the winter months.
In it’s day, it was the biggest unders meeting of the year and always a special night. We’ve had some tremendous London Opens over the years, especially in the mid 2000’s. You’ve seen Bryson’s nomination of 400 Shinny, and the Aftermath drivers were always a big part of the action, Stinkbridge as well always putting on a show and the Spedeworth EA driver turning up in force.
Everything always felt bigger, better and louder at Wimbledon, and the London Open was the biggest of the action.
Dom Brock inducts Mildenhall Stadium
In deepest darkest Suffolk, squashed in between some villages with very silly names, it is of course Mildenhall Stadium. This fantastic venue has really taken my heart since I first visited. I sadly probably missed some of it’s most famous history, but even now I can’t help but enjoy what it brings to the sport of Oval Racing, and particularly Banger racing.
Meetings such as the Suffolk Open have seen some of the biggest and best names in Banger racing have some of their finest moments. We’ve had a long history of massive turnouts, crazy and special events and memorable moments. It’s impossible to compare it to any other venue, the atmosphere is always fantastic – and whether I’m racing there, behind a camera or in the commentary box, the crowd around me have always been very appreciative and warming.
It’s a venue steeped in history, and it’s no wonder it’s been a go-to track for some of the biggest memorial events for the most loved names in Banger racing.
Stef Robinson inducts Mental Health Awareness
It’s no stranger to a lot of people within the sport – but mental health problems are one of those things we almost feel we shouldn’t talk about, but will effect pretty much every one of us at some time within our lives.
There have been many of tragic events within our community relating to mental health issues, and the only possible bright side of all this is that a lot of people who may have been suffering in silence now may realise that it is okay to not be okay.
If you need to talk to someone if you are feeling down, or just to get something off your chest, please just reach out to someone for a chat. We have lost too many good people, and it may save a life if you just reach out and check on a mate to see how they are doing!
Ed Fahey inducts the Farina Bodied Cars
Better known as the Austin A60, Cambridge, Westminster & Vanden Plas, these were the first and probably still ‘cult’ Banger cars. In the early 70’s these were easy to get hold of, and easy to strip. The mechanics were as simple as they come, and therefore easy to keep going at a banger meeting. They were, of course, some of the best looking Bangers to ever take to the track too. They have been a mainstay of the ‘Pre’ meetings since the Granada takeover of Bangers, and they are still such a sort after car both in racing and classic restoration.