2008 Awards Banquet
ERICK RUDOLPH AND DAVE DUBOIS NAMED AS DRIVERS OF THE YEAR AT FRIENDS OF AUTO RACING AWARDS BANQUET
Bowmansville, NY: The Friends of Auto Racing (F.O.A.R. S.C.O.R.E.) Fan Club held their annual awards dinner on Saturday January 24, 2009 at the Elks Club in Lancaster, NY. A crowd of approximately 200 gathered for the affair which annually recognizes presents specialty awards to deserving drivers and key racing supporters from Western New York and Ontario's Niagara Region. The highlights of the evening included the induction of four members into the Friends of Auto Racing Hall of Fame and the presentation of Driver of the Year Awards to Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY (asphalt racing) and Dave DuBois of Corfu, NY (dirt racing).
DuBois had a career best season in 360 Late Model racing, recording multiple wins and track titles at both Black Rock Speedway and Genesee Speedway. Among his Black Rock wins was a victory in the BRP CanAm 360 Late Model Series. His Genesee record showed only one finish worse than sixth for the year.
Rudolph had a phenomenal year, becoming the first driver to ever win the Modified and SST Sportsman titles at Dunn Tire Raceway Park (formerly Lancaster Speedway) in the same season. Rudolph also became the youngest driver ever to win a Dunn Tire Modified feature race. His '08 wins included the US Open SST Sportsman 75 at Dunn Tire, and SST specials at Wyoming County International and Spencer Speedways. In addition, in nine rookie starts on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, he had five top ten finishes.
Rudolph, in addition, earned a unique double in awards - he was also the recipient of the Achievement on Dirt award, in recognition of his victories in the Town Mechanical 30 for DIRTCar Sportsmen on the Syracuse mile in October (in his first ever race on the mile) and in the Empire State Modified Midget Championship at Genesee Speedway.
Todd Hoddick of Cheektowaga, NY was honored with the Achievement on Asphalt award, for his major Late Model victories in the Budweiser 100 at Holland and the Race of Champions 75 at Oswego, in addition to his impressive top 15 showings in his first forays into ARCA racing at Berlin, MI and Toledo, OH.
The Families in Racing Award, which recognizes area families who have had long, successful involvements with the sport in the region, was presented to two families: the Barber Family and the Friesen family. The Barbers, based in Bliss, NY, have a four generation, 55 plus year history in area motorsports, as owner/mechanics and racers. They have collected numerous track championships around Western New York, with the late Gail Barber, a two-time Lancaster Modified champ, in the Friends of Auto Racing Hall of Fame. In addition, the Barbers built and operate the very successful kart track, Bliss International Speedway. Joe, Madonna, and Camden Barber received the award on behalf of the family.
Likewise, for three generations, the St. Catharines, ON based Friesen family has had a proven success record both on the speedway and in operating racetracks, with Ransomville Speedway under their current ownership. Patriarch Stan, with multiple track titles to his record, and the late Alex Friesen, an energetic race promoter, are in the Friends of Auto Racing Hall of Fame. Joel and James Michael Friesen received the award on behalf of the family. The families were presented with a recognition trophy while a permanent plaque will be housed at the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen.
Rookie of the Year awards were presented to Ransomville and Merrittville 358 Modified racer Tom Flannigan (dirt) and Dunn Tire and Spencer Modified Sportsman driver Andy Jankowiak (asphalt). Most Improved Driver awards went to Genesee Pro Stock points runner-up Mike Martin (dirt) and Lake Erie Late Model points runner-up George Skora, III (asphalt).
Dunn Tire Raceway Park Modified driver Karl Hehr was a popular choice for the Perseverance Award, marking his return to health and racing in 2008 after a devastating wreck two seasons earlier. Modified and Sportsman racer and 2Kwik chassis builder Rick Kluth was presented the Sportsmanship Award.
The Dick Hammond Dedication to Auto Racing Award was presented to long time area racer Bill Torrisi, in recognition of his 50+ year involvement in the sport.
Mae Urban, who in 2008, was the first woman to win a Holland points title in a predominantly male racing division, earned the Woman in Racing Award. The Mechanical Achievement Award was presented to TQ Midget team owner Vince Christiano, Sr. Buffalo radio station WEDG-FM (103.3 The Edge) was presented the Promotional Award for their successful Wednesday evening Cruise Nights at Dunn Tire Raceway Park.
Lou Ensworth, who has been a writer, photographer, and racing historian for over 60 years, was presented the Media Award.
Special Recognition Awards were presented to Pete Bicknell, in recognition of his 11th career Ransomville 358 Modified title and his 2008 Mr. DIRTCar 358 Modified crown; Joe Evans, in recognition of his first career SST Sportsman feature race wins and his overall SST Touring Series championship in just his second year of racing; and James Michael Friesen, for his accomplishments dirt sportsman racing, with feature wins at six different speedways and a first career track title (at Ransomville) in 2008.
Contribution to Racing Awards were presented to Friends of Auto Racing Club member Sandy Boczar for her extra efforts in fund raising for the Dunn Tire Raceway Park points fund, and to Dunn Tire Raceway Park Director of Stock Car Events Lori Overdorf for her work maintaining a successful oval track program at the Lancaster speedplant.
FRIENDS OF AUTO RACING INDUCT JOHN JULICHER, JACK VEACH, TURNER BROTHERS INTO HALL OF FAME
Bowmansville, NY: At their annual awards banquet on Saturday, January 24th, the Friends of Auto Racing (F.O.A.R. S.C.O.R.E.) Fan Club inducted four new members into their Hall of Fame. The honorees included Late Model star John Julicher, long-time track official Jack Veach, and top level race car owners/builders, the Turner Brothers, Don and Ray.
The annual banquet fetes top drivers in Western New York and Ontarioʼs Niagara Region, and introduces the newest members to the select hall of those who have had a significant impact in the regionʼs rich motorsports history. Each of the inductees received a recognition award, while the permanent Hall of Fame trophy and display is housed at the International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen. The banquet was held at the Elks Club in Lancaster, NY. Masters of Ceremonies Rick Mooney and Dave Buchanan presided over the inductions.
Over the course of a 30 year racing career, John Julicher raced his way to 84 career wins and ten track titles. 74 of those wins and nine of those championships were at his home track of Lancaster Speedway. He was part of the relatively new Lancaster Street Stock class in the mid-'70s which evolved into the current Dunn Tire Raceway Park Late Model division, and was a winner and titleist in all phases of that evolution. He was a two-time winner of the Late Model Race of Champions at Oswego Speedway (1998 and 2002), and was the 1988 Spencer Speedway Late Model champion. His victory total at Lancaster puts him fourth on the ovalʼs all-time winnerʼs list. Retired racer and Foar Score Hall of Fame member Ron Martin made the presentation.
The late Jack Veach was a well-respected area racing official for over 35 years. He handled virtually every official's job at some point in his career, from registering to flagging to serving as race director, and at numerous tracks, both dirt and asphalt. He was a regular at the Syracuse mile as part of the Super DIRT Week officials staff, and assisted at major special events on both sides of the American/Canadian border. His efforts were recognized by DIRT in 2000, as he was the recipient of the Leonard J. Sammons Contribution to Racing Award. Jackʼs wife Bonnie, daughter Dawn, and son John accepted the award; Foar Score Recording Secretary and Historian Mark Southcott made the presentation.
From the mid-'50s to the late-'70s, the Turner Brothers were considered among the leading
race car builders and owners in the northeast. Their successes were the result of imagination, innovation, and a strong work ethic, producing some top notch equipment in their Scottsville, NY shop. The roster of drivers who competed and won in their equipment reads like a whoʼs who of area racing, and includes Elmer Musclow, Dutch Hoag, Lee Osborne, Bobby Merz, Mike Miller, and Gary Reichert. Notable among their well over 200 wins were the 1967 Race of Champions at Langhorne, with Hoag behind the wheel, the initial Modified Bud 150 at Oswego in 1969 with Merz driving, and the amazing 28 victory 1967 season for Osborne. Track championships at such venues as Monroe County, Hemlock, Spencer, and Shangri-La are part of their record. Gail Turner accepted the award on behalf of her late husband Ray, while Ken Turner accepted the award on behalf of his father Don. Modified car owner Dave DeLange made the presentation.
This induction class brings the total membership in the Friends of Auto Racing Hall of Fame to 100.
Source: Rick Mooney/FOAR SCORE Club PR firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: January 25, 2009
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