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A fitting tribute

Saturday, 21st May, 2016

Kasey Staker with son Zaiden, 2, and his Street Stock Car dedicated to his mate, Cody Ralph. PICTURE: Michael Murphy Kasey Staker with son Zaiden, 2, and his Street Stock Car dedicated to his mate, Cody Ralph. PICTURE: Michael Murphy

By Michael Murphy

The speedway fraternity is gearing up to pay tribute today to a mate who lost his life in a car accident three weeks ago.

Cody Ralph, 23, was killed when the car he was driving rolled on a bend of the Tibooburra Road about 60km from Broken Hill.

Cody was the best mate and passenger of Street Stock Car driver Kasey Staker, who will race tonight in the annual George Baust Memorial event.

Cody’s family and friends have banded together during this tough time, and they have planned a special tribute tonight.

“There’s going to be a lot of family and friends out there supporting us, so we thought we would do this as a surprise to show them how much we appreciate all their help, them being so strong for us for the past few weeks,” Staker said.

“We have painted the car in Cody’s favourite colour, which is red.

“Cody also had a rally car which is a Bluebird, and we have painted it in a similar style to the Bluebird.”

Some of Cody’s favourite sayings - such as “It’s so fluffy” and “Who cares?” - feature over the wheel arches, and his name and number 46 are on the side. Consolidated Crane Hire came to the party and designed, printed an installed the stickers for the car, all on the same day.

It was just over a year ago that Cody got the Street Stock bug, and slotted into the passenger seat next Staker.

“Ever since then, anytime we needed to get the car ready for racing, Cody was always the first one there on mechanics, getting the motor all ready, the tyres, polishing it up so it looks good,” Staker said.

“Cody was really good in the passenger seat, he really got me motivated, and kept me pushing that bit harder.”

Staker raffled off the vacant seat in his machine to raise money for tonight’s event, and Sharyn McLeod is in for the ride of her life.

The money raised will go towards prizemoney for drivers.

Entrants from around Australia will descend of the local track for tonight’s George Baust Memorial Street Stock event.

A Chevrolet owned by George Baust - who was a long-time supporter of the local speedway - will lead a parade on the track at 4pm.

All cars will display a green ribbon, the corporate colour of George’s business Northern Earthmovers, and a minute’s silence will fall over the track before the action begins. 

The event features Street Stocks, Modified Sedans and AMCAs, a purpose-built race car half open, half super sedan.

A series of heats for all classes will be followed by finals.

Some of the locals to keep an eye on include Matt Kemp and Graham Tumes in the Street Stocks, while Jeremy McClure is one to watch in the Modifieds.

Two out-of-towners - Albert and Wade Fell - are previous winners of this event and will be tough to beat.

Full bar and canteen facilities will be available, and the clubrooms will be open after the meet for trophy presentations. 

Spectators are urged to “rug-up” and enjoy a great night out.

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