The 2020/21 season kicked off at Kingaroy Speedway over the weekend with an emotional trubute to two fallen members. Photo/Holly Cormack.
The 2020/21 season kicked off at Kingaroy Speedway over the weekend with an emotional trubute to two fallen members. Photo/Holly Cormack.

Tribute honours Kingaroy speedway legends Ron and Earl

AFTER losing two of their longest-running supporters in the lead-up to the 2020/21 season opener at Kingaroy Speedway, this weekend‘s event kicked off with an emotional tribute to Earl Mollenhauer and Ron Cox.

“We had two of our long-running supporters pass away since our last event in January. We lost them recently, only in the last month or so, and we just wanted to pay tribute to them,” said Kingaroy Speedway President Tanya Barron.

“The team we have here is quite close-knit, so when something like that happens, we really feel it.”

Following the Kings Royal in January, Ms Barron said no one knew when the next event could be held due to COVID-19, or that this would ultimately be the last time Earl or Ron would be able to work alongside the team and cheer on the drivers they had come to know so well.

“We had a meeting the other night and decided we needed to do something for them, so our vice president organised for the two cars to be out there, followed by a minute of silence.”

Drivers Josh Harm and Stephen Geritz drove two laps around the speedway, trailing the Australian flag behind them. Ms Barron said Earl was a big supporter of the Harm family and has known Josh since he was just a little boy.

Stephen Geritz was a very close friend of Ron and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pay his respects to his mate in a way that would have been so personally special to him.

Tanya Barron said the team wanted to ensure Earl and Ron were still a part of this years event. Photo/Holly Cormack.
Tanya Barron said the team wanted to ensure Earl and Ron were still a part of this years event. Photo/Holly Cormack.

“Earl was here every speedway, and the week leading up to an event, he always charged the batteries of every vehicle. He was always there when you needed him,” Ms Barron said.

“Earl raced years and years ago, when TV was black and white, so he’s been around a long time. He then just continued to help.”

“It feels weird that he wasn’t here this time, because he’s always here. We always set up on Friday, and he was always here to help out. He was basically part of the furniture. He liked being around the speedway and he’ll be sadly missed.”

“Ron was a volunteer and he used to paint the fence. He’s also been a great support to a lot of racers over the years.”

“He was always offering help to anyone who needed it and was also good friends with a lot of the drivers.”

While the absence of Earl and Ron were felt by all, Ms Barron said everyone was relieved to see the event return after so many months of waiting.

“It was good to see, everyone’s keen to get back out there and do their favourite hobby. And from our point of view as a club, we’ve put some serious hours into getting back,” she said.

“We’ve come a long way and I’m very proud of the little committee we have here.”

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