|Date: 12/8/2014 12:22:09 AM|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 7, 2014
ROY DEESE JR., KING OF THE HILL WITH HIS NINTH LATE MODEL TITLE AS DIRT CAPITOL CLOSES 2014 WITH ITS AWARDS BANQUET
HAGERSTOWN, MD: It’s been just more than a year since a big change took place at Hagerstown Speedway with the Dirt Capitol LLC team, composed of Ernie Davis and daughter Keya Davis as General Manager taking the reins at the speedway following 34 years of operation by the Plessinger family.
After the new team sped into action and introduced the 2014 schedule, the first scheduled program on March 9th was weathered out but the following Saturday, a five division show was in the record books.
Seven months of racing later with four rain outs and two flooded out (yes, the first since 1989) dates, Dirt Capitol reached the end of the season and celebrated Saturday night at the Elks Lodge in Hagerstown, honoring drivers and others for their achievements.
“It was a very successful season and we wouldn’t be able to do it without all you guys,” Keya Davis said. ”Each and every week, we have very dedicated fans, racers, drivers, sponsors, everybody.”
Taking top honors was Roy Deese Jr in the Late Models, who broke the tie of eight with Nathan Durboraw and achieved his ninth overall title, an accomplishment that easily may never be achieved by another driver. Justin Weaver put together his second consecutive title in the Late Model Sportsman. In his first full season at the track, Mike Corbin dominated the Pure Stocks to record his first title while Gary Proctor, Hobby Stocks and Ryan Laye, Four Cylinders, both had back to back titles.
Former longtime all around the speedway employee Randy Grove, who “returned to action,” was inducted into the Speedway’s Hall of Fame. Promoter Davis stated “He knows more about racing than I’ll ever know in my life.”
“He’s been dedicated to Hagerstown for over 40 years,” Keya said. “When dad took over, Randy was the person that he called and without a doubt, he’s been behind Dad. Anyone that has raced there; you can ask them, they all know Randy Grove. We cannot thank him enough for all he’s done at the track over the years. We especially thank him for helping us out this year.”
Keya presented her mother Connie a special award for all the behind the scenes work that she does every race night.
The Always There Award went to Roy Anderson. The Extra Effort Award went to Late Model driver C. S. Fitzgerald. Andy Anderson’s young son Braden made his debut into the Late Model Sportsman ranks and earned him Rookie of the Year.
Title Sponsor awards were given to Hoosier Tire Mid Atlantic (Late Models), Malloy Ford (Late Model Sportsman), K Lynn Management (Pure Stocks), Mason Dixon Auto Auction (Hobby Stock), Cochran Auctioneers (Four Cylinders), DeHaven Trailer Sales (Rookie Cars).
Hard Charger Sponsors were Sharrett Collision Center (LM), Remsburg Paving (LMS), A Bargain Towing (PS),
Hagerstown Kia (HS), Planet Fitness of Hagerstown (4C),
Other Sponsors honored were 95.9, Shetron Equipment, Nininger Tire and Auto, ARC Race Cars, KRS Graphics and St. Thomas Towing.
“The schedule will be out in January, it’s not finalized yet,” Keya said. “March 8 at 1 p.m. is the opening date.”
“Dad will be there ever week as long as it helps these three things; the race track, the drivers, the fans. He will consider everything you guys tell him. Dirt Capitol thanks Frank (Plessinger) for allowing us to do this and being a part of the sport we love so much.”
LATE MODELS: Deese has occupied the number one position for eight years after beginning racing Hagerstown full time in 1995. His first title was in 1999, followed by 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011.
This season, he held off Marvin Winters by only nine points. Deese Trucking and Tex Shaffer Black Bandit Special teams were in full competition mode.
It could be compared to a 25-lap race with both running side by side every lap and Deese prevailing by inches. Deese had one win, nine top fives including three seconds and 15 top tens in the 18 point events. Winters ended with two wins, nine top fives including 2 seconds and also had 15 top tens. In the final point race, Deese’s efforts paid off when the transmission locked up in warm-ups and the team rushed to get a replacement installed just prior to his heat race line up.
“Dad and I worked real hard,” Deese said. “We spent a lot of money; had a lot of help from people along the way and Roger Devenny gave us a great engine program to race with this year.”
“It’s an honor to race here with these people. Racing with Nathan taught me a lot, racing with Gary (Stuhler), Rodney Franklin. They’re about the best at that track and Marvin’s right up there with them and I don’t want to forget Denny Bonebrake. To be able to beat Marvin and Nathan is an honor. I just had my own goals, dreams, and hopes and wanted to stand out from the rest as a competitor.”
Including Deese and Winters, there were 13 different winners in the 21 overall races for the season. Gregg Satterlee led the winners with three, followed by Rick Eckert with two including the opener, Jason Covert also with two including the Nininger Memorial. D. J. Myers, Gary Stuhler (his leading career 131st) and Andy Anderson had single wins. First time winners included Mason Zeigler, Dylan Yoder, Trevor Feathers while Kyle Hardy won his first followed by another two including the Conococheague 44-Lap event. Keith Jackson posted his first win his first visit in May to win the Ernie Jones 22 event and then ended 2014 with the $8,000 Ernie D’s Fall Bash triumph.
Special Awards: Hard Luck Award – Andy Anderson
Most Improved Driver Award – Brian Tavenner
Sportsmanship Award – Marvin Winters
Mechanic of the Year Award – Roy Deese Sr
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN: Weaver was in his 2010 rookie season when his dad, Pete, won his first of back to back championship in the division. As the younger Weaver continued to round the track, it was clearly visible he was championship material and last season he celebrated his first title. Even though his draw for starting positions and other issues plagued him this season, the Weaver team charged on as he recorded five wins including the first point race and ended the season with the Fall Bash victory.
In 13 point and 20 overall races, Weaver posted nine top fives and 11 top tens and held a 33 point advantage over Paul Cursey. Cursey posted two seconds and had 10 top tens.
“Dad’s taught me everything I know working on these cars from set up to mechanics, motors, just everything in general.” Weaver said. “Everybody that works on this car is what made this happen, the whole crew, mom and dad, the sponsors. It was a lot of hard work and dedication.”
Besides Weaver, other winners included single winners Jonathan DeHaven, Rick Singleton, Andy Anderson, Bobby Beard (his first since 2005) and Mike Walls with his first ever, Kyle Lear who had four including the Ernie’s Topless event and the Ernie Jones Memorial along with Chad Myers and Scott Palmer each with three as Palmer won the Small Car Nationals.
Special Awards: Hard Luck Award – Elwood Sord
Most Improved Driver Award – Brayden Anderson
Sportsmanship Award – Justin Weaver
Mechanic of the Year Award – Rick Bricker
PURE STOCKS: With 18 point and 22 overall events, Mike Corbin, to say the least, was dominant. He posted 14 wins and had 18 top fives including six seconds plus achieved his career 50th triumph. His worst finishes were two thirds. His first championship came by 130 points over Wayne Hawbaker.
Winning the first point race, he was hoping to close the season with the final point event but he ended battling with Winchester’s 2014 champion Mike Franklin as the pair put on a race to the end.
“I battled with Mike Franklin the whole race and sure would have liked to win it but it is what it is,” Corbin said. “I really liked racing at Hagerstown. It’s really fun; the guys respect you. It’s a first class operation.”
Darrin Younker won three times while Chris Ebersole was a two time winner including the Small Car Nationals. Franklin won the final point race while David Kaiser and Craig Parrill were first time winners.
Special Awards: Hard Luck Award – Ben Morrow
Most Improved Driver Award – Wayne Hawbaker
Sportsmanship Award – Mike Corbin
Mechanic of the Year Award – Roy Anderson
HOBBY STOCKS: Gary Proctor was another at the forefront nearly every week and had ten wins in the 20 overall races along with 14 top fives to win his second consecutive title over three time winner Jamie Mills. Proctor was the Small Car and Fall Bash winner.
“It’s great to win a second championship,” Proctor said. “We had a heck of a year. I can’t believe how the car ran. When we were down and out, a lot of guys helped us out. I couldn’t ask to race against a bunch of better guys.”
2012 Champion Kenny Thomas had four wins while Jason Sarver was a two time winner and Dylan Rutherford scored his career first.
Special Awards: Hard Luck Award – Rodney Minor
Most Improved Driver Award – Tom Caravello
Sportsmanship Award – Dylan Welsh
Mechanic of the Year Award – Dave Norris
FOUR CYLINDERS: Winning three times in last year’s championship season, Ryan Laye had a banner season to say the least with an even dozen wins including the Small Cars along with all top fives except for one night when mechanical issues kept him pitside. Bill Kessler was another 28 points behind
“These past two point championships have been incredible,” Laye said. “Dad has been sick the last couple years. This is what he wanted and I’ve done my hardest; we all did, to get this for him.”
Kevin Thomas won his first plus another two with Matt Williamson winning a first plus another. Frankie Gordon and Michael Warrenfeltz were first time winners while Gary Newell’s first win was the Fall Bash event.
Special Awards: Hard Luck Award – Mike Warrenfeltz
Most Improved Driver Award – William Kessler
Sportsmanship Award – Gary Newell
Mechanic of the Year Award – Ransome Hile
OTHER EVENTS: Various other special events were included throughout the season with Greg Hodnett making PA Sprint Speedweek one of his twelve overall wins. Rich Eichelberger was the Super Sportsman winner in a May event. Michael Praff, Roy Anderson and Haley Kaiser were winners in the Rookie cars while Matt Wallace won both Classic Car events. Deanna Groves won the first ever appearance for the E-Mods.
The Plessinger family will continue to operate the speedway for the Hub City Classic AMA Motorcycle event, the Monster Truck Jam, PA Sprint Speedweek and the Hagerstown Firefighter Bonanza Extravaganza.
Dirt Capitol’s Ernie and Keya and all the speedway staff wish everyone a safe and very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and look forward to everyone rejoining the speedway in 2015.
The 2015 schedule will be ready in January and added to the speedway’s website at www.hagerstownspeedway.com as will any other over the winter information. Also follow the speedway on Twitter and Facebook.
DIRT CAPITOL FINAL POINT STANDINGS
Hoosier Tire Mid Atlantic Late Models: 1. Roy Deese Jr, 619, 2. Marvin Winters, 610, 3.Trever Feathers, 578, 4.Steve Axtell, 512, 5.C.S. Fitzgerald, 459, 6.Brian Tavenner, 415, 7.Andy Anderson, 336, 8.Gary Stuhler, 330, 9.Allen Brannon, 316, 10.Kyle Hardy, 300
Malloy Ford Late Model Sportsman: 1.Justin Weaver, 441, 2.Paul Cursey, 408, 3.Terry Flaherty, 397, 4.Chad Myers, 375, 5.Kyle Lee, 359, 6.Bobby Beard, 351, 7.Mike Walls, 311, 8.Kyle Lear, 297, 9.Scott Palmer, 252, 10.Chaz Walls, 246
K. Lynn Management Pure Stocks: 1.Mike Corbin, 722, 2.Wayne Hawbaker, 592, 3.Nick Dibella, 534, 4.Frank Dibella, 500, 5.Danny Farlling, 457, 6.Jamie Zentmyer, 440, 7.Chris Ebersole, 424, 8.Dickie Tharp, 395, 9.Brian Miller, 364, 10.Brandon Churchey, 342
Mason Dixon Auto Auction Hobby Stocks: 1.Gary Proctor, 573, 2.Jamie Mills, 533, 3.Joe Rodgers, 494, 4.Kenny Thomas, 493, 5.Bryan Neff, 470, 6.William Crook, 462, 7.Dylan Welsh, 430, 8.Ralph Hansberger, 416, 9.Tom Caravello, 318, 10.Jason Sarver, 305
Cochran Auctioneers Four Cylinders: 1.Ryan Laye, 567, 2.William Kessler, 539, 3.Michael Warrenfeltz, 522, 4.Matt Williamson, 368, 5.Gary Newell, 2 53, 6.Charlie Shearer, 227, 7.Kevin Thomas, 218, 8.Frankie Gordon, 194, 9.Jason Stoner 168, 10.Randy Linaburg, 112
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