Podger Takes Trevor Podger Memorial

 

Seventeen seasons ago when he was a rookie in the Super Rod class Cobden’s Leigh Podger’s main aim was to win the race that was dedicated to the memory of his late uncle who was killed in a car crash two months prior to his birth. Little did he know that it would take seventeen years to achieve this goal. A delighted and emotional Podger realised the highlight of his racing career on Saturday night when he took out the time honoured Trevor Podger Memorial at Heytesbury Stockfeed’s Simpson Speedway.

 

The night started out with Michael Cunningham taking a green to checker flag in heat one leading home Darryl Nelson and Michael Coad. Likewise in heat two Andrew Howard also went flag to flag to take the win ahead of Shaun Walsh and Peter Duynhoven.

 

Heat three was taken out by Corey Deglaitis ahead of Podger and George Woolstencroft. Walsh won the fourth heat ahead of Duynhoven and Howard.  In heat five Cunningham became the first duel heat winner leading home Nelson and Podger. The final heat of the night was taken out by Coad with Ewan McKenzie and Howard filling the minor placing’s.

 

The line up for the final saw Cunningham and Howard making up the front row, they were followed by Podger, Nelson, Coad, Deglaitis, Woolstencroft, Ewan McKenzie, Robert Richardson, Linda Devlin, Allan Pitcher, Peter Bodger and Shaun Walsh behind the wheel of the Damian Falkingham car, with Falkingham standing aside to allow Walsh to run the final. With the cars of Walsh with chassis damage, Duynhoven with motor issues, Troy Gleeson with transmission issues and Ric Swasbrick with power steering issues remaining in the pits.

 

It was Cunningham who made the best of the starts leading away, with Howard and Podger in hot pursuit, with Howard moving into first position in the third corner.  The midfield battle between Nelson, Coad and Deglaitis proving to be some of the closest racing as the trio sought to elevate themselves. In lap six the race saw its first red light when the car of McKenzie pitched sideways and dug into the track launching into a wild roll.

 

As the race resumed it was Howard who again controlled the lead with Podger applying heavy pressure to Cunningham and was able to move himself into second position in the eighth lap. The lights were again red when the car of Walsh tangled with Woolstencroft flipping the car on its roof.

 

Howard held off a persistent Podger with Cunningham in pursuit, while Nelson, Coad and Deglaitis continued to dice and in lap fifteen Coad was able to move into fourth position. The race came to a caution the following lap when the car of Cunningham spun.

 

From the restart Howard once again led away from Podger with Coad also now joining the fray, with Deglaitis moving past Nelson in lap nineteen and into fourth position. Howard however struck heartbreak the following lap when transmission failure slowed the car dramatically on the back straight eliminating him from the race.

 

From here it was Podger leading the way with Coad applying heavy pressure with Deglaitis, Nelson and Pitcher following. At the fall of the chequer it was Podger who was able to secure a narrow win ahead of Coad, Deglaitis, Pitcher, Nelson, Woolstencroft, Devlin and Richardson.

 

At the presentations an emotional Podger having finally taken out the win in a race that meant so much to him thanked his Family, Crew and Sponsors. In a race that has been so cruel to him over the years having only finished the event five times and having led last year convincingly for 16 laps before suspension failure saw his hopes dashed.

 

 

The next meeting for the Super Rods will be on Saturday 5th of March at Western Speedway Hamilton.