Jan 10, 2010 03:38 PM EST
Black Rock Speedway Honors Champions at 2009 Awards Banquet
By RICH VLECK
At the midpoint of the offseason, racers and track workers alike took time to reflect on the past season and prepare for an aggressive 2010 schedule at the Black Rock Speedway.
Over 200 people were in attendance for the 2009 Black Rock Speedway Awards Banquet on the traditional second Saturday of January at the traditional site, the Watkins Glen Community Center. Once again the temperatures were low, but the energy was high with plenty of smiles and big trophies to go around.
Donnie Lawson led a large contingent of champions on the night. The Woodhull driver won 12 race on way to the overall Hoselton Automall Sportsman Championship. Along the way, Lawson also collected the open-tire series title and notched wins in the Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship as well as the crate/open motor shootout to end the season.
Todd Henderson, of Canandaigua, was the recipient of the DIRTcar Hoosier Tire Track Championship honors, as he was solid over the second half of the season.
Dale Welty was gracious in accepting the Freedom Village USA Late Model Championship, an honor he admitted that early in his career he could have never dreamed of. Driving the unsponsored No. 92x for Steve Kent, the Montour Falls resident captured three wins this season and held off defending track champion Dave DuBois late in the season to capture the crown by a mere 3 points.
Frank Guererri Jr. had set out on achieving a top honor heading in to 2009, and after finishing only one point race outside of the top-five, it was easy to see how the Ovid driver scored the Labatt Blue Street Stock Championship. The second generation driver collected seven wins on the year and needed every one of them to generate enough points to beat 2008 Champion Chris Fisher.
Terry Povoski took his No. 4 to the front in the Signs Plus of Kanona 4-Cylinder consistently this year, and used his years of experience to earn the track championship. With an impressive 9 wins, “The Tornado” was the class of a division that produces the best racing at the track on weekly basis.
The winningest driver at the track in 2009 was young Dylan Cecce, who captured the win in 16 of the 17 Black Rock Bandit events this season. The only time the Bath driver did not win, he finished in second.
Paula Wallenbeck, of Beaver Dams, was recognized as the first champion of the new Ladies 4-Cylinder division, which will continue on in 2010. Ronnie Hill was the champion of the 7-race FWD Enduro Series which ran on the first Friday of each month.
Among the special awards on the night were the Jack Christensen Media Award, given to Al Robinson, the Doris Hoag Leading Lady Award, awarded to Sharon Schuyler, and the Dutch Hoag Award for Excellence, given to his son, BRS President Dean Hoag.
Hoag briefed the crowd shortly after dinner about things he was planning to do in the 2010. Among the major announcements was the return of the popular Fall Sprint Nationals on the second weekend in September, with a new title sponsor to be announced at a later date.
Racing will get back under green flag conditions at Black Rock this Saturday with ice racing hitting the speedway grounds. Traditional dirt track racing returns the first Saturday of April with a slew of different classes set to run throughout the season. For more information, visit www.BlackRockSpeedway.com.
BLACK ROCK SPEEDWAY
2009 AWARDS BANQUET Honorees
Hoselton Automall Sportsman
Donnie Lawson- Open Champion
Todd Henderson- DIRTcar Champion, Best Appearing Car
Craig Gardner- Sportsmanship
Loren Lincoln- Most Improved
Brandon Butler- Rookie of the Year
Freedom Village USA Late Models
Dave DuBois- Sportsmanship
Mike Wonderling Jr
Chris Peacock- Best Appearing Car, Most Improved
Labatt Blue Street Stocks
Frank Guererri Jr
Carl Cleveland- Sportsmanship
Jared Hill- Hard Luck
Kevin Morrison- Most Improved
Jason White- Best Appearing Car
Scott Sebring- Rookie of the Year
Rich Bixby Jr
Signs Plus of Kanona 4-Cylinders
Rich Sharpsteen II
Dave Matwiejow- Rookie of the Year
C. J. Winslow- Most Improved
Phil Yaw- Best Appearing Car
Russ Wassner- Sportsmanship
Black Rock Bandits
Dylan Cecce- Best Appearing Car
Zach Teed- Most Improved
Lisa Cornish- Sportsmanship
Doris Hoag Leading Lady- Sharon Schuyler
Dutch Hoag Award for Excellence- Dean Hoag
Jack Christensen Media Award- Al Robinson
Charles Hill Memorial Award- Gary Van Horn
Service Award- Track Safety Crew (Terry Cornish, Aksel Jensen, Alfie Clark, DJ Mullen, TJ Pipe)