Sunday, January 07, 2007

Tri-City Speedway 2006 Season Banquet


January 7, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FRANKLIN, PA …. Over $31,000 in point funds and contingencies were distributed on Saturday January 6th as Tri-City Speedway officials honored the 2006 track champions at the Rocky Grove Fire Hall before a crowd in excess of 400 people. Receiving their championship awards were Bob Felmlee (4 Your Car Connection Super Sprints), Kevin Bolland (Schwab’s Ford DIRT Modifieds), Brent Rhebergen (RPM Auto Sales/Shawgo Real Estate E Mods), Bobby Whitling (E.F. Rogers Plumbing & Heating Pro Stocks) and Jeff Manners (Klapec Auto Body Thundercars). For the third time in his career, Bob Felmlee of Franklin, Pa., earned the Super Sprint track title at Tri-City in his World of Wheels Maxim No. 6. Felmlee’s other titles came in 1996 and 1998. He held off a hard-charging Todd Bauer for the 2006 championship. Brent Covell, Rod George, and Gale Ruth Jr. rounded out the top five in points. “It’s been a good year and a lot of fun,” said Felmlee. “I want to thank my entire crew, my family and all of my sponsors. I stood up there at Tri-City for many years (after my injury in 1999) and thought I could (win a title) again. I knew I could do this, and we’re looking forward to a great season in 2007.” Felmlee also honored his crew chief and former racer Chad Reitz and retiring crew member Bob Graham with championship jackets. Scott Snow of 4 Your Car Connection surprised all in attendance by awarding Felmlee and his crew additional money, embroidered championship hats, and a $300 gift certificate towards a meal and title celebration at a local restaurant. In the DIRT Modifieds, Kevin Bolland of New Brighton, Pa., earned his second track title driving his Cintas Uniform/Bolland Machine/Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe Bicknell No. 777. Bolland also was the champion in 2000. For the third year in a row, BRP Modified Tour champion Rex King finished second in points. Jeremiah Shingledecker, Joe Crawford and Chris Schiffer rounded out the top five. “I want to dedicate this season to my mom, Rosalie,” said Bolland, whose mother died in early September following a long bout with leukemia. “These championships are hard to come by. It’s not about me, it’s about our team, sponsor and fans.” In addition to his Tri-City championship laurels, Bolland also received awards from Tri-City promoters Mike Graham and Roger Crick, and Lernerville Speedway general manager Gary Risch Jr., for this point title in the Schwab’s Ford/Precise Racing/Teo Pro Car Big Block Modified Challenge Series. The eight-race series involved both tracks. Bolland also was honored with Tri-City’s 2006 Special Achievement Award. Overall, Bolland earned 10 feature wins, two track titles (Tri-City and Lernerville), and the Challenge Series title in 2006. Despite the death of his mother, Bolland and his team also performed well in late season DIRT Modified events at Cayuga County (N.Y.) Fair Speedway and Williams Grove (Pa.) Speedway. For the second year in a row, Rex King of Bristolville, Ohio, received the #1 Cochran Cavalcade Big Block Modified award from track announcer and Cavalcade statistician Walt Wimer. King topped all drivers in the division throughout the region to earn the prestigious award for the second time in his career. Brent Rhebergen of Clymer, N.Y., received accolades for his third career E Mod track title at Tri-City, this time driving Shawn Shingledecker’s Lucky Hills Golf Course/Madara Equipment Pierce No. 45S. Rhebergen scored four wins and defeated his teammate, Shingledecker, for the championship. Jim Frontz, David Atkinson and Matt Lux rounded out the top five in the final point standings. Rhebergen also collected awards for winning the 2006 Maloney Tool & Mold Hard Charger title. “I want to dedicate my season to my dad, who died in September,” said Rhebergen during a lengthy acceptance speech. “The Shingledecker family is like my direct family now, and they helped fill that void when my dad couldn’t be there this season. I want to congratulate all the other drivers in the class. The Shingledecker crew worked hard with two cars and put together a great group of sponsors. I also want to thank my family and my Late Model crew.” In addition to Rhebergen, Mike Potosky of Guys Mills, Pa., accepted awards for winning the 2006 Fame RV Center E Series title. Potosky earned his second career title on the E Series, which included a special series of four races at Tri-City for the E Mod division. Bobby Whitling of Seneca, Pa., was feted for his third career championship in the Pro Stocks. Known as “The Seneca Slider,” Whitling won five features aboard his E&K Equipment/Dulaney’s Garage Chevrolet No. 7W during his final full season of Pro Stock competition. Whitling announced that he will focus his efforts on his new E Mod team in 2007. Whitling, who also won the championship in 1999 and 2002, topped Doug Iorio II, Dave Ferringer, Scott Myers and Jason Engles for the 2006 title. “I’d like to thank my sponsors because we couldn’t do this without them,” said Whitling. “I want to thank my crew also. Racing every week, especially running two cars each night at the end of season, takes a lot of time. I enjoy racing the Pro Stocks and have a lot of fun in this class. It’s hard to leave the class because I enjoy it so much. We’ll run the E Mod most of this coming season, and we’ll run some of the special Pro Stock races as well.” Gerry Bruce of Franklin, Pa., who was the 2005 Pro Stock track champion, accepted the championship plaque for the 2006 William R. Karns Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Detroit Iron Pro Stock Series. Bruce received the honor from rookie Jackson Humanic, who stepped aside to let Bruce drive his car in the four-race series. For the second time in his career, Jeff Manners of Cherrytree, Pa., received awards for the Thundercar title. Manners, who won the initial Thundercar championship in 2003, won six features in his Jerry’s Auto Repair/Cherrytree General Store Buick No. 16. Manners topped Josh Seippel, Bill Myers, Curt Bish Sr., and Charlie McMillen in the final point rundown. “I want to thank my crew, my family and all of my sponsors,” said Manners. “I’ve had a blast racing in the Thundercars. This season, I’ll be racing for Bob Tarr in the Pro Stocks, and I wish all the Thundercar drivers the best of luck. This is a fun class.” Each division champion received a championship trophy and jackets. Felmlee, Bolland, Rhebergen and Whitling each also received point fund money and a championship ring from Kay Jewelers of Cranberry, Pa. Each division and series champion also gave his respective division sponsor a special award from the track. Diana Keisel of R.N. Goss Gas drew Bob Felmlee’s name as the winner of the 2006 Lincoln Welder Ironman Award. Felmlee, Kevin Bolland and Bobby Whitling each completed 100% of the laps in heat and feature race competition in their respective divisions, and all three were eligible for the top prize, a free Lincoln Welder. Five drivers received rookie honors from track officials. Scott Rodgers of Kossuth, Pa., (Super Sprints), Rex King Jr. of Bristolville, Ohio, (DIRT Modifieds), Jason Johns of Oil City, Pa., (E Mods), Jackson Humanic of Titusville, Pa., (Pro Stocks), and Bill Kluck Jr. of Oil City, Pa., (Thundercars) were named Rookies of the Year. The 2006 Most Improved Driver Award was presented to E Mod driver Evan Taylor of Saltsburg, Pa. The second generation racer was impressive in his sophomore season with three top five feature finishes, including a runner-up finish, and a ninth place finish in the E Mod point standings. Rod George of Kittanning, Pa., was named the winner of the 2006 Hard Luck Award. The three-time Super Sprint track champion was in the hunt for a fourth title when engine woes started to plague his team in late July. As a result, George fell out of contention in the point chase. The 2006 Tri-City Speedway Lifetime Dedication Award was presented to retired flagman Greg Wheeling of Franklin, Pa. Wheeling was a flagman for over 25 years at many area tracks, including the last 11 seasons at Tri-City, before he announced his retirement at the end of the season. Pennewell Sandblasting & Painting of Oil City, Pa., awarded $100 gift certificates for chassis reconditionings to Brent Matus (Super Sprints), Chris Schiffer (DIRT Modifieds), Jim Frontz (E Mods), Matt Thomas (Pro Stocks), and John K. Miller II (Thundercars). Those drivers were chosen by random draw prior to the banquet. Vinyl Graphics Unlimited of Shippenville, Pa., awarded $200 gift certificates for car letterings to Andy McKisson (Super Sprints), Jeremiah Shingledecker (DIRT Modifieds), Russ Dempsey (E Mods), Doug Iorio II (Pro Stocks), and Josh Seippel (Thundercars). Those drivers were also chosen by random draw prior to the banquet. Other contingency sponsors included Pennzoil, Hoosier Tire, Precise Racing, Big Daddy’s Speed Center, Bassett Wheels, and the Oakland Township Volunteer Fire Department. Tri-City’s Public Relations Director Brian Spaid closed the banquet with news that the track will open for the 2007 season on Sunday April 29th with a five-division program of the 4 Your Car Connection Super Sprints, Schwab’s Ford DIRT Modifieds, RPM Auto Sales/Shawgo Real Estate E Mods, E.F. Rogers Plumbing & Heating Pro Stocks and Klapec Auto Body Thundercars. All division sponsors are returning this season. There will be two nights of vacation for the track management and race teams on July 15th and August 26th. With the folding of the National Sprint Tour (NST), it will not return to Tri-City in 2007. No special sprint car races are scheduled at the track to date. Tri-City will continue to be sanctioned by DIRT MotorSports in 2007. The track will join with Lernerville as the DIRT Modifieds compete in the new Western Region of DIRT Northeast. More news will be released in coming weeks, including a point fund for the regional title. Both tracks will also continue to feature the Big Block Modified Challenge Series. There is the possibility that the dual track series will expand, and further announcements may be forthcoming. As for special events, Tri-City will run the 4th Annual Rankin & Son Excavating Dick Rankin Memorial on Sunday May 27th. The date for the 15th Annual Kodiak Memorial is not set at this time. In the E Mod ranks, unless a new sponsor steps forward within the next month, the E Series will come to an end after three seasons. Track officials want to ensure that a point fund exists to entice E Mod drivers across the region to compete at the half-mile Venango County oval. The All Star 30 will return as part of the Oil Region Labor Day Classic. Willam R. Karns Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning will return as title sponsor of the Detroit Iron Pro Stock Series. The four-race schedule will include the Oil Region Labor Day Classic and the 11th Annual CSOnline Applefest 100, which will close out the season on Sunday September 16th. That event will also include the 5th Annual Apple Core 20 for the Thundercars. The World of Outlaws 360OTC Late Model Series will compete at Tri-City on September 1st and 2nd for the annual Oil Region Labor Day Classic. This two-day event has quickly developed into an annual pilgrimage for Late Model fans, and will again include the 3rd Annual South Ghetto celebration on Saturday night. In other news, track officials are also searching for a sponsor of the 2007 Hard Charger Award. The award honors the driver that scores the most passing points in the feature races of all divisions combined. R.N. Goss Gas and Lincoln Electric will combine forces for the third season in a row for the Lincoln Welders Ironman Award. At the end of the season, a new Lincoln Welder will be presented to the race team that completes the greatest percentage of laps in heat and feature race competition in all divisions combined. More news about the upcoming season will be released in coming weeks, including the 2007 schedule

1 comment:

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