For Denso Super Street competitor Graeme Cooper, the Rowe Memorial – to be held this Saturday (November 25) at Calder Park Dragway – is a deeply important event.
“It really does mean a lot. In my first final back in 1980, Andrew Rowe was in the other lane and he beat me,” Cooper explained.
“That was in November of 1980, and he passed away in the opening months of the following year. His brother Wayne is also a good friend, so the meeting does mean a lot.
“In 1996 I raced the event in Super Stock and I was able to win it, so my name is on that trophy. Even though I am not competing in the Super Stock bracket this weekend, it would still be nice to win.”
Heading into this weekend’s event, the local racer from the Mornington Peninsula has some good momentum behind him.
“We have been in the finals for the last three ANDRA Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series rounds that we have raced, and of those three finals, we have won two – so we am pretty pleased with that!” Cooper said.
“Hopefully we can make it three out of four this weekend if all goes well. We will just go there and see how it goes – whatever happens will happen, so we will just do our best.
“I just go to the race meetings to have a good time, catch up with everyone, and do some racing. If we have a good day, we have a good day, and if we don’t on the race track, we still have a good day anyway!
“That is one thing about being around so long – we might have won a lot more than a lot of people, but we have also lost a lot more than a lot of people too! So, it is about making sure you are having fun no matter what the result.
“To be honest, if we come home and don’t have to work on the car before the next round at Portland I will be wrapped – we do this for the sheer enjoyment now. The car has achieved a lot more than we ever thought it would, so anything it does now is a bonus.”
For the 59-year-old fuel tank driver, Calder Park is something special.
“It is home. Calder Park for me is where it all began. It is an hour from home, a great track, and I love it out there,” he explained, while thanking APS Service Centre, Paul Rogers Racing Transmissions, Neil Davis Tax Agents, McMasters Body Works, Warner Signs and Lines and Veracity Media for their support. He also sends a special thanks to Rare Spares, who have just completed a “quarter century of the quarter mile” with his program.
The Rowe Memorial is the most prestigious Super Stock event in Australia and also hosts round six of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series and the USA vs Oz Jet Car Spectacular.
Held at Calder Park Dragway on Saturday November 25, spectator gates open at 9.00am with qualifying commencing from 9.30am. Eliminations racing will kick-off from 4.00pm, with the finals expected to be run at 9.00pm (all times local and subject to change). For more information on the event, please visit http://calderparkdragracing.com.au/index.php/events/338-rowe-memorial or visit www.andra.com.au