Drivers ready for the Kurt Murdoch Classic
IT IS one of the most emotional nights on Maryborough Speedway's packed calendar.
The last two days of the year see two huge programs at Wide Bay's premier speedway venue, with the Kurt Murdoch Classic the main event.
Kurt was crushed in a workplace accident in 2012, and the Kurt Murdoch 1000 was run in memory of the 19-year-old.
Maryborough Spedway president Wayne Moller said a commercial arrangement with Richers Transport has seen a change to the name of the event.
"We want to made it one of the biggest races on the calendar," Moller said.
"He was young when he passed but he lived for the sport. He put every spare minute into speedway."
At least four friends and family members will gear up for the race, with Russell Cowley to proudly race with Kurt's No.35.
Two of Kurt's closest friends Josh Harm and Josh Arthur will compete, as will Russell's brother Jim.
Desolee Cowley, Kurt's mum and Russell's wife, will cheer the close-knit contingent from the stands.
"It's really emotional for those two boys (the Joshes, and Russell has put more preparation into this race than he did the Australian titles," Desolee said.
"(Russell's) daughter will be coming down for it and she will ride in the car for the parade."
While many would love to see it happen, Desolee ruled out her return to speedway.
"I feel I'm just as useful in the stands," she said.
"I did drive once for a breast cancer fundraiser a few years ago and I told Kurt then I wouldn't race again."
Kurt agreed at the time.
A fairytale finish in which all four drivers are the first four home will be hard to accomplish given the 34-strong field.
Drivers will compete in 12 qualifying heats tonight, then eight more tomorrow.
The B Main event and top six dash will be held prior to the 35-lap A main event.
The action doesn't stop with this series.
The nights include the Australian Open for Modified Sedans, the Wide Bay title for Junior Sedans and King of Australia.
TONIGHT: Gates open at 1pm, racing from 5.30pm.