Sunday, June 23, 2024

Pro SPEC driver Cory Podolski dies after Crandon weekend

Championship Off-Road driver Cory Podolski died Sunday night in his sleep at Crandon International Raceway, according to family and friends.

He had spent the Crandon weekend competing in the Pro SPEC class, finishing seventh in the Sunday race hours before his passing. The day prior, he scored his maiden class podium in third.

Podolski began his career in sportsman UTVs, winning SXS Sports’ Sportsman class championship in 2019 while concurrently finishing runner-up in the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League’s Sportsman Stock SxS standings. He eventually migrated to Lucas Oil’s successor Championship Off-Road and moved into the professional classes, placing thirteenth in the 2021 Pro Lite standings.

For 2023, he débuted in the Pro SPEC class with the #08 truck. He was seventh in points following Crandon, with his Saturday podium marking his first in a pro category.

“It’s always been a dream just to race trucks and then to finally get on the podium after working so hard,” said Podolski after his Saturday podium. “Just feel like I’m the little guy in the class. All these guys are a lot younger. Just awesome. I told my guys that I was coming next weekend and I was just going to send it. It worked.”

Nicknamed “C-Pod”, Podolski specialised in graphic design off the track as the former co-owner of Nine2zero Designs RC and working for FASTSIGNS in his hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin.

“Tonight, we remember our dear friend, Cory Podolski, who has tragically passed away,” reads a statement from Championship Off-Road. “We offer our heartfelt condolences to Cory’s family and friends.

“Cory was a fierce competitor on track and one of the friendliest people that you could hope to meet.”