Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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 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.

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