We’ll take this week to get caught up on some recent track banquets that honored the top performers for the 2009 racing season. But before we get to that, we apologize as we missed mentioning the passing of former sprint car driver Jim Nace two weeks ago at the age of 55. Nace has been fighting cancer since 2001 and finally lost his long hard battle. Jim was always easy to talk to and certainly gave Pennsylvania sprint car fans a lot of great memories. Rest in peace Jim.
Lincoln Speedway held its banquet this past Saturday night honoring champions Brian Montieth (410 Sprints), Dale Hammaker (358 Sprints), Duane Watson (Thundercars) and Gene Knaub (358 Late Models).
It was Montieth’s second straight sprint car title at Lincoln. His mechanic, Scott Zellers, won Mechanic of the Year, while Adam Wilt won Rookie of the Year, Cory Haas won Most Improved Driver, and Alan Krimes won Sportsmanship Award.
Over in the 358 Sprints, it was Hammaker’s first-ever Lincoln track title. Kyle Moody won Rookie of the Year, Nicole Bower won the Sportsmanship Award, and Tim Wagaman won Most Improved Driver.
Williams Grove Speedway held its banquet last week to honor champion driver Todd Shaffer and car-owner champions Jim and Sandy Kline. It was a split championship this season at the Grove, with each earning $10,000 for their titles.
Jim Russell won Mechanic of the Year, while Adam Wilt won Rookie of the Year, Mark Smith Most Improved Driver and Brian Montieth won the Sportsmanship Award. The Grove’s press release failed to mention any special awards for the other division, whose champions were Cory Haas (358 Sprints), Carmen Perigo (Sportsman) and Gene Knaub (358 Late Models).
Nate Snyder was honored recently as Selinsgrove Speedway’s 358 Sprint car champion for his first-ever track title. Special awards in the sprints went to Matt Heimbach (Most Improved), Matt Horst (Sportsmanship) and Jessica Anderson (Rookie of the Year).
Jeff Rine made it five Late Model track titles in 2009 and his third straight. Other awards went to Dave Graber (Most Improved), Jeff Smith (Sportsmanship) and Dylan Yoder (Rookie of the Year).
And finally on the World of Outlaw Late Model tour, young Austin Hubbard has been named the new driver of the Dale Beitlerowned No. 19 for next season replacing Steve Francis, who finished first and second in WoO points in his two-year stint with the team.
That will do it for this week as we look forward to seeing what bowl game Penn State gets invited to after an impressive performance in East Lansing! I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgriving and until next time e-mail reaches me at Bvores@comcast.net.