Podger Memorial Win for Coad
The 41st running of the Trevor Podger Memorial was held at Heytesbury Stockfeed’s Simpson Speedway on Saturday night where it was Cobden’s Michael Coad who added his name to the prestigious honour roll when he led home Andrew Howard and Quentin Tanner.
The Trevor Podger Memorial is one of the most highly sought after events on the Super Rods annual calendar but is also one of the hardest races to win with 25 laps of the challenging Simpson circuit. This is a race in the memory of the late Trevor Maxwell Podger who was tragically killed in a car accident in 1976 aged 20. With 15 Super Rods vying for the honours they also battled six of the best drivers from the SDAV Hot Rod division who joined in the race for the first time in a number of years.
The first heat of the night saw Coad take the win ahead of Adrian Rieck and Stanley Marco Jnr. Heat two saw an all the way win for Tanner when he led home Paul Verhoeven and Stan Marco Snr.
Ewan McKenzie took a strong win in the third heat when he led home Dean West with Coad home in third. The fourth heat of the night saw Stanley Marco Snr take the win ahead of Jason May and Tanner.
It was a flag to flag win in the fifth heat when George Woolstencroft greeted the checker ahead of Stan Marco Snr and Trevor Perry. Andrew Howard took an all the ways win in the final heat of the night leading home Jason Kavanagh and Tanner.
The line-up for the final saw Stan Marco Snr starting from position one with Tanner on his outside, row two was made up of Tanner and McKenzie, then came Woolstencroft, Rieck, Darryl Nelson, Perry, Neville Gange, West, Howard, Verhoeven, Jason May, Stanley Marco Jnr, Kavanagh, Thomas Marco, Jamie May, Neville Simper and Robert Richardson.
Tanner made the best of the starts and led the field away with McKenzie, Coad and Marco Snr in hot pursuit. With the top four making a break from the rest of the field, it was now Howard leading the charge from his eleventh starting position. The race came to a caution in lap eight when the car of Woolstencroft spun.
From the restart Tanner led away with McKenzie and Coad hot on his heels, then came Marco Snr with Howard hot on his heels who moved into fourth in lap ten. With the top three drivers putting on a spectacular display of racing with nothing between them, with Coad moving into second in lap twelve only to have McKenzie reclaim his position the following lap. With the cars coming out of turn two in the thirteenth lap three wide trouble struck McKenzie when the three made contact with McKenzie’s front end collapsing putting an end to his race.
As the race resumed it was again Tanner leading away from Coad, Howard and Marco Snr, with ten laps remaining Coad made his move and secured the lead position. Coad was able to make a slight break with the cars of Tanner, Howard and Marco Snr all still battling amongst themselves.
Coad had the win within his sights before a yellow flag in the final lap saw the field regrouped for a two lap dash to the checker. Coad led away but Tanner threw everything he had at the leader, however was unable to catch Coad, with a fast finishing Howard securing second by the narrowest of margins from Tanner, then came Stan Marco Snr, Nelson, May, Kavanagh, Gange, Stanley Marco Jnr, Rieck, Verhoeven, Perry, Simper, Woolstencroft, May and Richardson.
At the Presentations an emotional Coad thanked the whole Nastasi Racing team along with his family and sponsors. The Super Rod’s next meeting will be at Warrnambool’s Sungold Stadium Premier Speedway next Saturday 10th of February.
Photo: Michael Coad and Nastasi Racing Team, Photographer: Donna Rosenstengel