Growing up, Sam Barry's passion was for anything with wheels and a motor. Now he's looking to take out the New Zealand UDC V8 Ute Championship.
Sam Barry started competitive racing 10 years ago, burning rubber in stock cars with his dad.
His passion has taken him from motorbikes to stock cars, and from Suzuki Swifts to V8 utes.
When Sam was 15 his father took a hit to his stock car during a race and spent a week in a coma before he died from his injuries.
“It’s definitely something that’s always on your mind, that dad did pass away racing, but to be honest it makes me want to do it more and make him proud.”
His mother, Andrea Barry is his number one supporter, and says although it has been challenging with her husband Pete’s accident, she supports his career.
“It’s been hard to continue with the racing but I’ve always been a firm believer that if you’ve got a passion - you’ve got to follow it.”
So Sam kept racing, and now six years later he’s leading the New Zealand UDC V8 Ute Championship and is setting his sights high, with a goal of racing for NASCAR in the future.
He juggles his full time job as an engineer for Stevenson and Taylor in Waipukurau with his love of racing, spending most of his weekends on the road competing.
“I’m up for work at 6am most mornings, work until 5pm, then it’s training, training and training.”
It’s the kind of lifestyle that makes a social life difficult to manage for 21-year-old Sam, but he says he still has a good time and often ends up sober driving his mates.
After the closest fought three rounds in the history of the UDC V8 Ute Championship he has just two rounds left in Taupo in October to try and take the title.
“The next round is definitely going to be a testing round.”
Video shot and edited by Alexa Cook.
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