|Date: 12/7/2015 12:55:42 AM|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 6, 2015
DIRT CAPITOL AWARDS BANQUET CLOSES 2015 AS ANDERSON AND
WINTERS SHARE TOP LATE MODEL HONORS
HAGERSTOWN, MD: It’s been another exciting season at Hagerstown Speedway, the second under the reign of Dirt Capitol LLC comprised of long time racing enthusiast and promoter Ernie Davis and daughter Keya Davis who handles the General Manager duties.
Weather conditions cancelled the scheduled March 8th opener, but a week later, action began and with five rain outs along the way, went until closing on October 24th with Ernie’s 2nd Annual Fall Fest.
Saturday nights banquet at the Elks Lodge in Hagerstown to honor the drivers and others for their year-long achievements officially brought 2015 to a close.
There are in many cases close races for championship points but highly unusual when two teams compete all season and not have their efforts vary more than one track position. It was a tie in the Late Model point standings with both Andy Anderson and Marvin Winters tallying 530 points. It was the first division title for both at Hagerstown as they were named Co-Champions.
Despite a mid-season setback, Scott Palmer continued on to have a dominant season and post his first title in the Late Model Sportsman. Chris Ebersole began to show his strength and went on to claim his first title in the Pure Stocks while Gary Proctor charged to a third consecutive title in the Hobby Stocks.
Creed Calton, owner of the Late Model that piloted Rodney Franklin to many a win was inducted in the speedway’s Hall of Fame.
Special awards were presented to Marsha Anderson, Randy Grove, Roy Anderson and Kevin Shade for their involvement. Keya Davis also presented her mother Connie a special award for all her efforts.
“Our track promoter does so much for us,” Danny Wilson said. “One event that stands out was the Rodney Franklin event. 33 was his number; exactly 33 cars showed up. Ernie didn’t have to start all 33 cars. This was one of many examples where he looks out for each and every driver but also the fans. He has done a lot to cut costs and for drivers.”
Title Sponsor awards were given to Hoosier Tire Mid Atlantic, Malloy Ford, K Lynn Management, Mason Dixon Auto Auction, Cochran Auctioneers, A Bargain Towing
Shetron Equipment, ARC Race Cars and KRS Graphics
Rumors concerning another season under Dirt Capitol management have been dismissed as a tentative schedule was released two weeks ago and includes numerous programs featuring Late Models, Late Model Sportsman, Pure Stocks and Hobby Stocks along with appearances by E-Mods, Crate Late Models, Four Cylinders, All American Outlaws and Rookie Cars plus an expanded number of kid night events.
LATE MODELS: Following 2014 when Roy Deese Jr. moved to the top of the ladder with his overall ninth Late Model championship, an achievement that easily may never be beaten, 2015 ended as another milestone as there was a six points separation into the final double point race which ended with a 530 point tie between two drivers who earned their first track Late Model titles, Anderson of Bunker Hill, WV and Winters from McConnellsburg, PA.
Anderson’s career began 1994 in Semi Lates with a Winchester championship in 1996 and then into Late Models in 1998, when he scored the title.
“After that, we just started moving around racing where the most money was at the time and I’d been racing Late Models until 2011,” Anderson said.
“Early 2014, Nathan (Durboraw) was driving Jack Bland’s car and got sick and asked me to fill in,” Anderson said. “I ended up racing all year and won three features but we had a lot of bad luck. I started in Jack’s Rocket car this year and had some good runs but just wasn't making any progress.”
After some calls, a deal came about to change Anderson’s season dramatically when he climbed into a new MBH for the Late Model Speedweek show and won. He was dominant the rest of the season and won a total four point races and five overall.
“I need to give all the credit to Ernie and Jack for believing in me and making it fun again,” Anderson said. “Ever since we unloaded this thing, it’s was fast out of the box. We pretty much communicate every day, Jack and Squeaky (Jack Bland Jr.), they do it all. I pretty much show up with my helmet bag.”
“I was watching the scoreboard most of the whole race and saw Marvin was running third and knew he had to finish fourth or worse for us to tie,” Anderson said “When I took the white I glanced over and saw the 99 in third and when I took the checkered, I saw where Marvin ran fourth. To be Co-Champion, it is what it is. We never really ran for points. I was going to be there every week because of (my son) Braden running. I’m just glad to be here. ”
Winters started in the Roadrunner division in 1982 and posted his first title and again in 1985. Moving to Limited Late Models the next year, he won the 1993 championship driving for Tex Shaffer, his current car owner since 2007.
“Running Tex’s Late Model from 1994 to 1997, I was second to Nathan Durboraw in 1995 and 1996 and Rodney Franklin in 1997,” Winters said.
He later ended in the Late Model Sportsman for 2000 and 2001 and won back to back championships.
“This is the best season I’ve ever had,” Winters said, “But I have to give credit to Tex. He owns the car and gives us what we need to race every week. I couldn’t do it without my crew chief Gerry Barges, my son Colby, Dad, my wife Dana and others.”
After finishing nine points behind Roy Deese Jr. last season, Winter’s season went well with exception of two nights, a 31st place in the Franklin Salute when he had a head gasket issue and a 23rd place a week following his first win when someone spun and everyone “piled on.” He won two point events and three overall.
“In the final point race, I was running third the whole race and got passed by Kyle Hardy on the last lap and ended fourth,” Winters said. “There wouldn’t have been a tie. That’s how close it was. I knew it was a tie when I pulled in. About a half hour after the race was over, Ernie came down and said that I was the Co-Champion. I assumed Andy would get it as he had more wins.”
Winters’ wins moved him to ninth on the overall Late Model win list with 30 and his win of the Ernie’s Fall Bash marked his overall career 100th at Hagerstown.
There were ten overall winners with Anderson leading with five. Winters, Gary Stuhler and Kyle Hardy each had three with Keith Jackson posting two. Jamie Lathroum, Rick Eckert, and Roy Deese Jr. had singles while Brian Tavenner posted his career first.
Special Awards: Hard Luck Award – Trever Feathers
Most Improved Driver Award – Brad Omps
Sportsmanship Award – Keith Jackson
Mechanic of the Year Award – Jack (Squeaky) Bland Jr./ Gerry Barges
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN: Greencastle, Pa.’s Scott Palmer was the high achiever this season despite his season being interrupted on July 4th after posting five wins in the preceding six races. A front stretch crash demolished his race car but he was able to obtain another from Brad Omps. The following week, Palmer was back in operation and came away with anther win and then another in three weeks. He posted eight overall triumphs and moved to fifth in the overall driver wins. The 19th place finish that night was his only non-top ten.
“I have to thank Brad Omps for selling me that car or I wouldn’t be here right now,” Palmer said. “Billy from MBH that built these; until I started running one of his cars and got some knowledge from him. I wasn’t and wouldn’t be as consistent as I am now.”
Bobby Beard was always at or near the front as he finished second in the standings 42 points behind. He picked up one win. Defending two time champion Justin Weaver had five wins with a 17th and 20th that kept his finish only two further points behind.
Fourth place finisher Paul Cursey posted three wins while Rodney Walls and Kyle Lee both won twice with Lee getting his career first. Single and first time winners were Travis Stickley and Ralph Morgan Jr..
Rookie of the Year Award went to former four cylinder driver Cody Kershner who was progressing until being involved in a crash that destroyed his car with only three point races remaining.
Special Awards: Hard Luck Award – Bobby Beard
Most Improved Driver Award – Rodney Walls
Sportsmanship Award – Justin Weaver
Mechanic of the Year Award – John Poper
PURE STOCKS: Chris Ebersole of Big Cove Tannery, Pa. put a successful season together for his first championship. He posted four wins and following a 14th in the third point race, Ebersole’s worst finish the rest of the season was one fifth.
Jamie Zentmyer had a strong season and finished 14 points back after scoring five wins including his track first. Another ten points behind was defending champion Mike Corbin who finished third with an overall division leading eight wins.
Other winners were fifth place finisher Craig Parrill who had two. All others were singles with fourth finisher Keith Koontz, Brian Miller, Mike Franklin, and first time wins to Greg Moore, the Small Car Nationals and Fall Bash to Sean Dawson.
Special Awards: Hard Luck Award – Wayne Hawbaker
Most Improved Driver Award – Keith Koontz
Sportsmanship Award – Mike Corbin
Mechanic of the Year Award – Brad Smith
HOBBY STOCKS: For the third consecutive season, Gary Proctor of Big Pool, Md. was again at the forefront. With ten wins last season, Proctor posted an even dozen this seasons
Two time winner Jamie Mills finished 26 points back while 2012 champion Kenny Thomas was another 18 points.
Other two time winners were Marshall McMullen in fourth and fifth place finisher, Tom Caravello. Alex Boozel won two non-point races, his first at the track. Single winners were Dylan Rutherford and Bryan Neff while Ed Pope and Matt Wampler won track firsts.
Special Awards: Hard Luck Award – Dwayne Snyder
Most Improved Driver Award – Marshall McMullen
Sportsmanship Award – Marshall McMullen
Mechanic of the Year Award – Dave Norris
OTHER EVENTS: Various other special events were included throughout the season with Stevie Smith winning PA Sprint Speedweek. Rookie Car wins went to Haley Kaiser, Eric Boozel and Ryan Peer while Ryan Laye, Tommy Whitt and Ed Gageby won Four Cylinders events. Craig Ramich, Alyssa Rowe and Evan Tayler won E-Mods events with Bryan Green, Rich Hulson (x2) and Kurt Zimmerman won the All American Outlaw events. Charlie Summers and Kurt Welsh won in the Classic Cars with Allen Brannon winning the single Crate Late Model event.
The Plessinger family will continue to operate the speedway for the Hub City Classic AMA Motorcycle event, Monster Truck Jam, PA Sprint Speedweek, the Hagerstown Firefighter Bonanza Extravaganza and two music concerts.
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 2016.
DIRT CAPITOL FINAL POINT STANDINGS
Hoosier Tire Mid Atlantic Late Models: 1.Andy Anderson, 530 Co-Champion, 2.Marvin Winters,530 Co-Champion, 3. Roy Deese Jr., 504, 4.Trever Feathers, 431, 5.Keith Jackson, 417, 6.Gary Stuhler, 397, 7.Jerry Bard, 390, 8.Brad Omps, 389, 9.Barry Miller, 382, 10.Kyle Hardy, 297, 11.Brian Tavenner, 283, 12.C.S. Fitzgerald, 244
Malloy Ford Late Model Sportsman: 1.Scott Palmer, 660, 2.Bobby Beard, 618, 3.Justin Weaver, 616, 4.Paul Cursey, 539, 5.Kyle Lee, 519, 6.Rodney Walls, 467, 7.Elwood Sord, 406, 8.Wayne Dillman, 397, 9.Cody Kershner, 357, 10.Chaz Walls, Sr., 323, 11.Brayden Anderson, 322, 12.Garrett Walls, 293
K. Lynn Management Pure Stocks: 1.Chris Ebersole, 629, 2.Jamie Zentmyer, 614, 3.Mike Corbin, 604, 4.Keith Koontz, 523, 5.Criag Parrill, 517, 6.Wayne Hawbaker, 510,
7.Nick Dibella, 480, 8.Brian Miller, 457, 9.Michelle Walls, 456, 10.Dickie Tharp, 340, 11.Jeremy Mills, 322, 12.Frank Dibella, 308
Mason Dixon Auto Auction Hobby Stocks: 1.Gary Proctor, 677, 2.Jamie Mills, 651, 3.Kenny Thomas, 633, 4.Marshall McMullen, 609, 5.Tom Caravello, 608, 6.Ralph Hansberger, 566, 7.William Crook, 559, 8.Dwayne Snyder, 499, 9.Jason Sarver, 469, 10.Rodney Miner, 338, 11.Jeff Dillon, 287, 12.Bryan Neff, 189
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