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Monday, November 28, 2016

A look ahead: 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule

credit: NHRA Media
  • February 9-12 – Circle K NHRA Winternationals – Pomona, Calif.
  • February 24-26 – Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals – Phoenix
  • March 16-19 – Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals (PSM) – Gainesville, Fla.
  • March 31-April 2 – DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals – Las Vegas
  • April 21-23 – NHRA SpringNationals – Houston
  • April 28-30 – NHRA Four-Wide Nationals (PSM) – Charlotte, N.C.
  • May 5-7 – NHRA Southern Nationals (PSM) – Atlanta
  • May 19-21 – NHRA Kansas Nationals – Topeka, Kan.
  • June 2-4 – NHRA New England Nationals – Epping, N.H.
  • June 8-11 – NHRA Summernationals (PSM) – Englishtown, N.J.
  • June 16-18 – NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals – Bristol, Tenn.
  • June 22-25 – Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals (PSM) – Norwalk, Ohio
  • July 6-9 – Route 66 NHRA Nationals (PSM) – Chicago
  • July 21-23 – Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals (PSM) – Denver
  • July 28-30 – Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals (PSM) – Sonoma, Calif.
  • August 4-6 – NHRA Northwest Nationals – Seattle
  • August 17-20 – Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals (PSM) – Brainerd, Minn.
  • August 30-September 4 – Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals (PSM) – Indianapolis
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship
  • September 15-17 – NHRA Carolina Nationals (PSM) – Charlotte, N.C.
  • September 21-24 – NHRA Keystone Nationals (PSM) – Reading, Pa.
  • September 29-October 1 – AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals (PSM) – St. Louis
  • October 12-15 – AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals (PSM) – Dallas
  • October 26-29 – NHRA Toyota Nationals (PSM) – Las Vegas
  • November 9-12 – Auto Club NHRA Finals (PSM) – Pomona, Calif.
(PSM) - Event will include Pro Stock Motorcycle

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A look ahead: 2017 NASCAR Cup Series schedule

credit: NASCAR Media
  • February 18 – The Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway
  • February 19 – Daytona 500 qualifying
  • February 23 – Can-Am Duel at Daytona
  • February 26 – Daytona 500
  • March 5 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • March 12 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • March 19 – Phoenix International Raceway
  • March 26 – Auto Club Speedway
  • April 2 – Martinsville Speedway
  • April 9 – Texas Motor Speedway
  • April 23 – Bristol Motor Speedway
  • April 30 – Richmond International Raceway
  • May 7 – Talladega Superspeedway
  • May 13 – Kansas Speedway
  • May 20 – All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • May 28 – Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte
  • June 4 – Dover International Speedway
  • June 11 – Pocono Raceway
  • June 18 – Michigan International Speedway
  • June 25 – Sonoma Raceway
  • July 1 – Coke Zero 400 at Daytona
  • July 8 – Kentucky Speedway
  • July 16 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • July 23 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • July 30 – Pocono Raceway
  • August 6 – Watkins Glen International
  • August 13 – Michigan International Speedway
  • August 19 – Bristol Motor Speedway
  • September 3 – Darlington Raceway
  • September 9 – Richmond International Raceway
  • September 17 – Chicagoland Speedway
  • September 24 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • October 1 – Dover International Speedway
  • October 7 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • October 15 – Talladega Superspeedway
  • October 22 – Kansas Speedway
  • October 29 – Martinsville Speedway
  • November 5 – Texas Motor Speedway
  • November 12 – Phoenix International Raceway
  • November 19 – Homestead-Miami Speedway


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2016 champions, award winners honored by Humberstone Speedway

credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici
Humberstone Speedway hosted its 2016 Awards Banquet at the Americana Resort in Niagara Falls on Saturday evening.

Brad Rouse from St. Catharines, Ontario picked up the 2016 title in the PC Works DIRTcar Sportsman. Dennis Lunger Jr. from Albion, PA won his second straight Pinty’s Delicious Foods RUSH Late Model Championship. Dave Bailey from Hagersville, Ontario won the JC Auto Street Stock Championship, and was also crowned track champion at both Ohsweken and Merrittville. Kyle Haynes from Caledon, Ontario won the Cosco Haulage Mini Stocks championship, his first track title at Humberstone. Dylan Llord from St. Catharines, Ontario won the Mike Knapp Ford Pro 4 Trucks championship behind 10 feature wins.

Most Improved Driver Awards was presented to Joey Mastrioanni, Tim Gillespie, Kyle Pelrine, Kyle Haynes and Craig Vlasic. The Most Sportsmanlike Driver Awards went to Justin Sharp, Jeff Dayman, Bryce Richardson, Garnet Wilson and Andy Imbeault. Chad Chevalier, Jeff Dayman, Bryce Richardson, Brandon Iudiciani and Kyle Tomaski won the Best Appearing Car/Truck Awards. Hard Charger Awards went to Brad Rouse, Dennis Lunger Jr., Jason Fontaine, Evan Curtis and Dylan Llord. Jay Mallory, Colton Ledingham, Andrew Reece, Brandon Iudiciani and Kyle Tomaski were the recipients of Hard Luck Awards.

Dylan Davidson, Travis Martineau, Andrew Reece, Olivier Larocque and Mitch Dumont were honored by being named Rookie of the Year in their respective divisions.

The Pete Cosco Dedication to the Sport Award went to Pro 4 Truck driver Kyle Tomaski. Tomaski went out into the region to help promote Humberstone at different events throughout the season.

The Jim Simpson Crew Chief of the Year Award went to Jeff Armstrong. Armstrong, a DIRTcar Sportsman driver, also wrenched on stepson Tyler Puchalski’s Sportsman as well as a Sportsman and a Pro 4 Truck for Emily Puchalski.

The Trevor Wilkens Driver of the Year went to Dave Bailey. Bailey won the track titles at all three tracks in the Niagara Region (Ohsweken, Merrittville and Humberstone) and just missed out on the overall title for the Duel on the Dirt, a four track series between Brighton, Ohsweken, Merrittville and Humberstone.

Race Director Tom Beales spoke to the crowd that was on hand, releasing the speedway’s plan for the 2017 season. New improvements to the speedway will be made including an upgrade to the track lighting system. The first event for the 2017 will be the second annual Dawn of Destruction, taking place the first weekend of May. More information about a potential race night change will be announced after the DIRTcar fall promoters meeting in Syracuse in mid-November.

Keep up with the off-season at www.humberstonespeedway.com

Holland Speedway honors 2016 champs, award winners

Holland's year-end trophies
credit: Holland International Speedway
Holland International Speedway hosted their Night of Champions Awards Banquet on Friday at the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga. 

East Concord’s Zach Myers earned his second career track championship for the Getzoni Nationwide Insurance Agency NASCAR Pro Chargers, while his pit crew was voted best appearing. Rich Carnes won Most Popular Driver and Ted Welshans had the best appearing car. Jim Mallaber was the hard luck recipient while Nik Welshans was named Most Improved Driver. Mark Hoch received his trophy for winning the Busch 75 on Labor Day weekend. 

Jeff Szafraniec won his second career Bank of Holland Hornets Championship. In 10 years of racing, the Dice Racing team has accumulated six divisional championships. Szafraniec was named Most Popular Driver while he and his Dice Racing teammates had the best appearing pit crew and Mandie Orr had the best appearing car. Hard Luck went to Josh Hill while George Anthony was named Most Improved. Jeff Szafraniec and Ben Russo received their winning trophies from the 50-lap special during the summer. 

Dave Wollaber was not only crowned the Holland divisional champion for the NYPA TQ Midgets, but was the overall NYPA Series Champion as well. Wollaber won the Holland title over Kyle Hutchinson and Chad Haywood; Hutchinson had the best appearing pit crew. The Best Appearing Car went to Charlie DiRosa, while Vinnie Christiano III won the Most Popular Driver. Wollaber won the NYPA Series title over Erik Musto and Vinnie Christiano Jr., and Vinnie Christiano III was named Rookie of the Year. The Hard Luck Award went to Greg Richardson while Jim Fleischman received the Mechanical Achievement Award. Pat Smith was the Sportsmanship Award recipient and NYPA Public Relations Director JP Windschitl won the Ambassador Award. 

Carl Vilardo IV was the track champion for the Advance Auto Parts INEX Legends. Vilardo was also most improved while Terry Lindstrom had the best appearing car. 

Jim Steins used his six wins to the divisional crown for the M&M U Pull-It Figure 8’s. Steins won the Most Improved Driver award while Sharon Hughes was the Hard Luck recipient. Don Haskell was voted Most Popular Driver. 

Darryl Phillips won the Rookie 4’s track championship over Dale Lombardo. Lombardo won the best appearing pit crew award and the best appearing car award. Lombardo was also voted Most Popular Driver by the fans. 

Single race win trophies went out to Patrick Emerling for winning the 16th annual George Decker Memorial and George Skora III for his triumph in the Graff Trucking 75 on Labor Day weekend. The Clark Rice Rookie of the Year Award went to Darryl Phillips (Rookie 4) and Jim Steins (Figure 8’s). NYPA TQ Midget driver Vinnie Christiano III received the UNOH Youth Achievement Award; Christiano was awarded a $500 scholarship to UNOH. The Welshans family was honored by winning the Family in Racing Award, and Dice Racing Team was the recipient of the Sportsmanship Award. Mike Marranacchio was the Unsung Hero Award recipient and Larry Ott from the Buffalo News received the Media Award for his contributions to auto racing. 

Track General Manager Tim Bennett spoke to the crowd, releasing early plans for the 58th consecutive season of racing under the same management at Holland. The Pro Modifieds will be back as the headline division at the Speedway in 2017, with opening day scheduled for Saturday, May 13. Special dates on the schedule include the Race of Champions Modified Tour 100 on Saturday July 22 and the George Decker Memorial for the Pro Modifieds on Saturday, July 29. The perennial Bud 100 and season championship night will be Saturday, September 2, while Crash-A-Rama will return with two thrilling shows on June 10 and September 9. The new Six-Cylinder division, the Talking Phonebook Super Six’s, will debut next May.

Stay tuned to www.hollandspeedway.com and the track’s social media pages for more details on the 2017 schedule that will be announced soon as well as Holiday Specials and other offers for race fans and drivers of all ages.

Monday, November 14, 2016

2016 Lancaster Speedway champions, award winners honored

(l-r) Jake Lyon, Dave Wilson and Kevin Bainbridge
Lancaster National Speedway officials, drivers and teams honored the track’s 2016 champions and award winners on Saturday during the annual Season Awards Banquet at the Variety Club Banquet Hall in Lancaster.

Lancaster paid out nearly $22,000 in points fund money to its drivers during the evening. The points fund comes from a portion of the money collected from the sale of Hoosier Racing Tires and Sunoco Race Fuel at the speedway during the season, plus money collected by the Friends of Auto Racing (FOAR Score) Fan Club from its weekly 50/50 tickets sales. FOAR Score's contribution to the points fund was over $12,000 this season, which is double the amount that was raised last year. The top ten points finishers in each of Lancaster's three weekly home track classes took home a share of the points money.

Headlining the class of 2016 track champions was Sunoco Sportsman champion Jake Lyon of Elma. Lyon won three features in 2016, including two of the final three races of the year. His title run was cemented by a stretch of five races late in the year where he finished either first or second.

Track official Cory Lischer, recipient of the Alex Friesen
Spirit of Racing Award
credit: Lancaster National Speedway
Dave Wilson of Hamburg was crowned the 2016 Advance Auto Parts Street Stock champion. Wilson, in his first full season in Street Stocks at Lancaster, finished in the top 10 in 13 out 14 races in 2016. He also collected three feature wins, including the Jeff Brown Sr. Memorial in June.

The 2016 Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder champion was Kevin Bainbridge of Buffalo. Bainbridge dominated the division with eight feature wins, including the U.S. Open, and finished in the top 5 in all but one of the 14 features races this season.

All three track champions were presented with a commemorative jacket from Sunoco and Insinger Race Fuels.

Speedway official Cory Lischer was presented with the Alex Friesen Spirit of Racing Award, which is presented to a member of the Lancaster Speedway community that exemplifies the spirit of late speedway owner Alex Friesen by working hard during the races and have plenty of fun after the races as well.

Paul "Woody" Thompson, recipient of the Tommy Druar
Contribution to Racing Award, with Mickey Druar
credit: Lancaster National Speedway
Car owner Paul "Woody" Thompson was given the Tommy Druar Contribution to Racing Award. Thompson worked as a crew member with several high profile drivers before becoming a car owner. He fields a team of four cars in the 4-Cylinder division. His team had its best season ever with four wins and a second-place points finish with driver Dan Dressel.

Track president Tim Packman thanked the drivers, crews, sponsors and officials in attendance for helping to make this past season the best one for Lancaster's stock car program in a decade. He also vowed to continue the improvements at the facility in 2017 and build upon the successes of this past season.

The 2017 stock car season at Lancaster will kick off on Saturday, April 22. A full schedule of events will be released in the coming weeks. Keep up with the off-season at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

Lancaster Dragway honors 2016 champions, award winners

(l-r) Dale Eckert, Shawn Beatty, Mike Peters, Mason Fix and Victoria Young
credit: Neffke Motorsports Photography
Lancaster National Dragway honored its 2016 Franco's Pizza IHRA Drag Racing track champions Friday night at the Season Awards Banquet at the Variety Club Banquet Hall in Lancaster. Racers signed up for the weekly points program shared in a $10,000 point fund, part of which came from the sales of Sunoco Race Fuel at the track during the season. In addition to their points fund money and trophy, 2016 track champions received a commemorative jacket from Sunoco and Insinger Race Fuels. 

All of the 2016 Lancaster National Dragway class champions were honored during the festivities, including Shawn Beatty in Mallare Enterprises Top ET, Dale Eckert (and Clay Ricketson) in McGard Mod ET, Mason Fix (with Jim Bruckman and Nick Morrissey) in Tread City Tire Street and Mike Peters in Hebeler's Bikes & Sleds. 

The champions from the two classes that ran as part of the Advance Auto Parts Tuesday night program were also honored. Victoria Young was the K100/ Bauer Racing Junior Dragster champion while Anthony Lazzazero won the Teen Championship Racing title. The Buffalo Outlaw Street Outlaws honored their champions as well, with Moe Alfaqih (BSO Street Outlaws) and Terry Doyle (Limited Street and Real Street) taking home the hardware. 

Buffalo Street Outlaws competitor Alex Wesolowski was presented with the 2016 Exemplary Award for his dedication to the sport of drag racing. Junior Dragster champion Victoria Young was the recipient of the Most Improved Driver award as she ascended to the top of her class in just her second season. Buffalo Street Outlaw racers Douglas Vanstrom and Moe Alfaqih were co-winners of the Showman of the Year Award.

The 2017 season at Lancaster National Dragway will begin on Friday, April 28 with a test and tune session. The first points race will be Friday, May 5. Keep up with the off-season at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com