As we count down the days until the Christmas holiday, Hagerstown Speedway brought a close to its 2008 season with its annual banquet Saturday night at the Hagerstown Elks Lodge.
Roy Deese Jr. of Laurel, Md., Mercersburg's Andy Fries and Mechanicsville, Md.'s Dale Hollidge were honored as 2008 track champions at the speedway.
Deese's Late Model title was his sixth career, moving him into a tie for second with Denny Bonebrake. He is just two titles behind all-time leader Nathan Durboraw.
Deese had two feature wins and held a 179-point lead over Durboraw for the championship. Jim Yoder finished third in points ahead of JT Spence, Scott LeBarron, Kirk Ryan Jr., Paul Crowl, McConnellsburg's Marvin Winters, Gary Stuhler and Big Cove Tannery's Frankie Plessinger.
Special Late Model awards went to Mike Lupfer (Sportsmanship), Durboraw (Hard Luck), Crowl (Most Improved) and Spence (Best Appearing Car).
Fries' Late Model Sportsman title was his second straight at Hagerstown and it came over Ashley Barrett by 54 points at the end of the season. He also had two feature wins at the track in 2008.
Following Fries and Barrett in points were Barry Miller, Jerry Bard, Dylan Yoder, Terry Flaherty, Kyle Lear, Richard Walls, Scott Palmer and Wayne Walls, Jr.
Receiving special awards in the sportsman were Bard (Sportsmanship), Palmer (Hard Luck), Barrett (Most Improved) and Weaver (Best Appearing Car).
Hollidge's first Pure Stock championship came in his first full season at the track after earning four wins and top-five finishes in all but one race. He won the title by 53 points over Hans Stamberg, with Drew Fitzsimmons, Kevin Keefer and Steve Lowery the top-five point finishers. Needmore's Bill Reitober finished seventh in Pure Stock points.
Photographer Jason Walls won the 2008 Media Award from the speedway for his work with the speedway Web site and photographers during the season.
Emmert "Mert" Stine and Johnny Grum were inducted into the Hagerstown Speedway Hall of Fame.
Hagerstown will kick off the 2009 racing season with the annual Race A Rama car show in mid-February at the Valley Mall and the first green flag action will take place on Saturday, February 21, with the Late Models and 410 Sprints. A Sunday raindate will be used for all early season events.
That's a wrap on another week. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday and an early start on Christmas shopping. It's appearing as if PSU will get a match with USC in the Rose Bowl. A PSU blowout sure would be nice to get the team some respect that's been lacking from most all sports analysts this season. Until next time, e-mail reaches me at Bvores@aol.com.