ELMIRA, NY- Yates County Speedway paid tribute to its champions on Friday, January 30th at the season ending awards banquet at the Holiday Inn Riverview in Elmira, New York. Seven Track Champions were crowned at the event.
Casey Pavlick was crowned 602 Crate Sportsman Track Champion. Pavlick notched two wins and parlayed that with numerous top five finishes to hold off Brady Fultz by just six points. Fultz was second ahead of Josh Keesey, Chris Fisher and Fran Hilton. Sixth through tenth in the final standings went to Ross Vleck, Dale Welty, Phil Yaw, Loren Lincoln and Chris Silvers.
Jeremy Potrzebowski took home Track Champion honors in the highly competitive Street Stock division. Like Pavlick, he too garnered two feature wins and won the title by six points over Chuck Winslow, who forced Potrzebowski to be on top of his game on Season Championship night. Nathan Daggett was third in the final standings ahead of Jake Karlnoski, Rich Sharpsteen II, Jeremy Trank, James Kreidler III, Jared Hill, Gene Balmer and Greg Crooker.
The 2014 IMCA Track Champion was Rich Karlnoski. The racing veteran took home three feature wins on the season. He finished eleven markers ahead of young gun Jared Spalding. Todd Stone, Keith Lamphere and Brad Smith rounded out the top five. They were followed by Nicole Spalding, Bruce Kinner, Bruce Tinsley, Scott Sebring and Tim Sebring.
Darryl Ruggles was the dominant force in the 305 Sprint Car division. Ruggles took the title over John Preston and his daughter Alysha Ruggles. In the Late Model division it was Brian Knowles grabbing Track Champion honors over veteran Sparky Hills and Doug Gavette.
Scott Bradley used consistent top finishes and three feature wins to take home the Track Championship in the exciting Four Cylinder Division. While Bradley won by a comfortable margin, the real point battle was for second through fourth. Only two points separated each of those three positions with Jason Smart coming home second over Chad Ayers and Chris Mashewske. Del Cummings, Brandon Mathews, Zach Teed, Chris Percy, Rick Horton and Craig Mahrt completed the top ten in the standings.
Allison Teed remarkably went undefeated in the Bandit division. She dominated the competition enroute to a comfortable margin in the final standings. Chris Davis, Desiree Force, Billy Bowers and Pixie Kinner rounded out the top five.
Special awards were also handed out during the night. Best Appearing Car awards went to Phil Yaw (Sportsman), James Kreidler III (Street Stocks), Brian Knowles (Late Models), Todd Stone (IMCA), Alysha Ruggles (Sprint Cars), Chris Mashewske (Four Cylinders) and Allison Teed (Bandits).
Hard Luck Driver awards went to Brady Fultz (Sportsman), Rich Sharpsteen II (Street Stocks), Jared Spalding (IMCA) and Craig Mahrt (Four Cylinders). Rookie of the Year awards were presented to Phil Yaw (Sportsman), Jeremy Trank (Street Stocks), Nicole Spalding (IMCA) and Brandon Mathews (Four Cylinders).
The final special award of the night was the Jack Christensen Memorial Media Award, dedicated to the memory of a great man and a longtime supporter of not only the track, but racing in general. He was a fixture at the Dundee oval over the years and was the longtime host of the Chasen Racen Radio Show on WFLR. On hand to present the award was Jack’s wife Chris as well as close friend Steve Kellogg.
The award was presented to Steven Ovens. Ovens went above and beyond the call of duty to bring Yates County Speedway to the forefront throughout the season through his Turn Five Podcast. Not only did he talk about the track on his show, he also wrote about it on Race Chaser Online. He also played a pivotal role in raising over $3,000 in lap money for the Empire 100 for Street Stocks at Yates County Speedway. It was an emotional moment as Ovens grew up listening to Jack on his radio show and looked up to him. He was very grateful and was especially happy to have Jack’s wife Chris present the award to him.
Promoter Dan Harpell brought down the curtain on the one and only season for Yates County Speedway by delivering an emotional and heartfelt speech, chronicling his one season at the helm. The speech was acknowledged by a standing ovation from the capacity crowd as they showed their appreciation for the effort he put in under difficult circumstances.
Harpell didn’t take over the speedway until just before the start of the 2014 season and turned a bad situation into a very successful operation in such a short time. He was deeply moved by the outpouring of appreciation showed to him by everyone in attendance.
In his speech he talked about the behind the scenes things that took place while trying to get the track open and running. He thanked the drivers, his staff and his three sons Tyler, Tanner and Tucker for their support and chose to take the high road in reference to the circumstances that led to him not returning to the Dundee oval in 2015. Harpell will be the new Promoter of Penn Can Speedway in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania in 2015.
-Yates County Speedway Press Release.