Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Drivers Honored at I-80 Banquet

By Jim Brennan

OMAHA, NE (January 6, 2007) – With over 500 people in attendance, I-80
Speedway at Nebraska Raceway Park honored the many deserving drivers who
participated in the Saturday & Sunday night NASCAR Weekly Series by Dodge
In 2006. The banquet was held at the American Legion Post #374 in Millard,

The evening started with a speech from Clem Droste, the NASCAR
representative for the region. Joe Proctor emceed the event and gave a recap
of the 2006 season. Joe also gave thanks for the outstanding people that
In putting on the best weekly show in the Midwest. Joe Kosiski, representing
Land Developers Inc., the owners of Nebraska Raceway Park, had a short
Welcome address and thanked all those who supported I-80 during the 2006
Race season. He also addressed the upcoming season by asking for continued
Support and to put the fun back in racing.

The American Legion folks once again out did themselves with the fine

Proctor also mentioned the people we lost from the I-80 family in 2006
Protasky and Steve Light saying a few words about each and what they meant
to racing and their families.

Then it was time for the awards portion of the show starting Novice Hornet
Nate Christensen, who had 8 feature wins in 2006.
In the Pro-Hornet class Lindsey Yost won the championship. Lindsey had no
feature wins in 2006, but her consistency in the top 5 and top 10 won her
Championship. She is moving up to the Crate Late Model class in 2007. The
Most Improved driver award went to Brandon Wergin; there was a tie for
Rookie of the Year between Corey Hutchison and Steve England; The Best
Appearing Car went to Will McConnell in his M & M's machine; The Most
Popular driver was
Lindsey Yost. The Best Appearing and Most Popular driver were voted on
the season by the fans.

Next up were the B-Mods and Harry Nixon was crowned Champion with 4 feature
wins. The Most Improved driver went to Nixon; Rookie of the Year was
Jim Hendricks Jr.; Best Appearing Car went to Nixon; Most Popular driver
was Daryl Weilage

The 305 Sprint Car drivers were honored next with Trish Dover receiveing the
Champions trophy over Matthew Stelzer by virtue of having more feature wins
then Stelzer. They were tied in points at 374. Trish had 4 feature wins and
Matthew 1. Trish and Matthew were Co-Rookies of the Year; the Best Appearing
Car award went to Michael Oliver and the Most Popular Driver was Trish

Bill Leighton Jr. was the Crate Late Model Champion with 4 feature wins and
was the runner up in the NASCAR Division IV points; the Most Improved
Driver was Brad Soll; Soll was also the Rookie of the Year; the Best
Appearing Car award went to Ron Tex Jr.; and the Most Popular Driver was
Dave Livingston.

In the Hobby Stock Class Jesse Sobbing was the Point Champion with 6 feature
Wins under his belt. Sobbing also received the Most Improved Driver Award;
Rookie of the Year was Josh True; the Best Appearing Car went to Bob
Kracher; and the Most Popular Driver was Tom Myers.

Dave Doll was the Grand National point champion with 3 feature wins. The
Most Improved Driver award went to Harley Moen; the Rookie of the Year was
Kenny Edwards; Edwards also received the Best Appearing Car award; the Most
Popular Driver award went to Joey Bauer Jr.

Scotty Hartman was the Pro-am point champion. The Most Improved Driver
Award went to Chad Sanders; Rookie of the Year was Mike Gillespie; Best
Appearing Car went to Steve Peoples; Chad Sanders was the Most Popular

The Home Pride Pro-Modified Champion was Brian Foote. The Most Improved
Driver was Jeremiah Sillman; Rookie of the Year was Justin Clark; Best
Appearing Car went to Staci Stava; and the Most Popular Driver was Brian

Bryant Goldsmith was the Super Late Model Point Champion in just his 2nd
year behind the wheel. Goldsmith also received the Rising Star Award. The
Most Improved Driver Award was a tie between Bill Leighton Jr. and Keith
Mander Jr;
Rookie of the Year was Jerry Warner; Best Appearing Car went to Keith Mander
Jr.; and the Most Popular Driver for the 2nd straight year was Scott "Mad

The ASCS 360 Sprint Car Midwest Region Awards were also handed out with
Toby Chapman taking the title. Rookie of the Year was Jack Dover, who
finished 2nd in points; Mark Pace was named the Most Improved Driver. Chad
Humston was the Hard Luck driver of the year.

There was a drawing for 2 Lincoln Electric Welders for a driver from each
The winners were Ron Tex Jr. from the Saturday night show and Jerry Warner
from the Sunday night show.

Also season long Sponsors were recognized as well as Media Appreciation
Awards presented to local media reps. Lee Ackerman and Nick Rubek from the
Omaha World Herald; Steve Sigafoose from the Council Bluffs Non-Pareil;
The Lincoln Journal Stars reporters; Travis Justice at KMTV.

As the awards were wrapping up we received a surprise visit from Carl
who flew in from Charlotte on his private plane. He thanked the owners for
putting on a 1st rate show and giving his brother a chance to race. He also
said this was part of the dream he lived on his way up. He said himself and
Clint Bowyer enjoyed their appearance back in July.


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