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Old 02-11-2018, 09:14 PM   #1
T. Boucher
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Default 2017 Banquet Highlights

On February 3rd, the All Star Racing Association celebrated the conclusion of their 36th season with over 80 guests gathering at the Hotel Northampton in Northampton, MA. The season’s top performers were recognized amongst racers, family, and friends from across New England as well as Canada.

As always, guests enjoyed an excellent dinner buffet and there was no shortage of sweets for the post meal cravings. The awards presentation began at the conclusion of dinner with the first acknowledgment going to the great sponsors that support the ASRA. The list of sponsors was the longest to date and those contributions continue to allow ASRA to offer one of the best racing deals out there for stock and super stock participants. Each track was also thanked for their continued support of ASRA throughout the year.

The first awards handed out for the evening were the individual track champions. Unfortunately Wayne Delmonte from Lebanon Dragway was unable to attend but Eric Merryfield presented Jim Whitehead with a plaque and gold card as the Lebanon Valley Dragway point’s winner. Paul Lorenti, president of New England Dragway, then took the podium and shared some exciting news with those in attendance that class eliminations for both Stock and Super Stock would be contested at the 2018 New England Nationals. It is great to hear that some true heads up racing for a Wally would be returning to the northeast. Paul then congratulated Gregg Sutherland for being the New England Dragway track champion and was awarded with a plaque and free entries into each of the 2018 ASRA races at Epping.

Things proceeded with providing the individual race winners with their hardware. Race 1 honors went to Gregg Sutherland as he opened up the 2017 season with a win at New England Dragway. Race number 2, which was initially rained out, was won by a non-member and Jim Whitehead was victorious in race 3 at Lebanon Valley. At the double header at Epping in late July, Todd Bednaz claimed victory at race 4 and then Tim Stickles was the last man standing for race 5. The season came to a close in early October in New York with Bob Vogel besting the field in race 6 and then Todd Bednaz returning to the winner’s circle as the shoot-out champion.

As done every year, the membership votes on the specialty awards during the yearly rules meeting. The best appearing car went to Carl Libucha with his spotless 55 Chevy. The ASRA support person of the year award went to Jane Vogel who is always at the track supporting her husband in competition. The coveted Peter O Moran Sportsman of the Year award was received by Bob Vogel who was extremely appreciative of the recognition by his peers.

The awards ceremony continued on to presenting each of the top 10 finishers in the Banks Championship Points with a plaque, once again provided by John Gray and his family. 2017 was one of the most tightly contested points chases in quite some time with 9 racers in mathematical contention heading into the last race of the year. The last plaque handed out was to Jim Whitehead, the 2017 ASRA Champion who took center stage to provide a few words to all in attendance. Jim thanked his wife and 3 kids for all their support at home which makes it possible for him to make it to the race track. He had some special comments for his “lucky charm” in his daughter Erica and for the help of his son Tim who was able to attend most of the races. He expressed his appreciation for the association and its racers that provide great racing and even better friendships.

The night concluded by pulling the winners for the membership raffle as well as the 50/50 raffle. Bob Vogel’s number was pulled for the 2018 ASRA membership and Stephanie Markow was the lucky winner of the 50/50. The room was then full of friendly chatter and energetic tunes played by a live band as guests continued enjoying their evening. The entire Board of Directors would like to thank all the sponsors, participants, their families, and their friends for a very successful 2017 racing season.
TJ Boucher
Super Stock 1122

Last edited by T. Boucher; 02-11-2018 at 09:16 PM.
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