Stewart Friesen (North Region), Ryan Watt (South Region) & Brian Carber (XCel 600 Modified) Lead Honorees On Festive Night
BREINIGSVILLE, PA – The Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP officially concluded its 2015 season on Saturday night in festive fashion.
For the first time, the STSS hosted an Awards Banquet at the Holiday Inn Conference Center of Breinigsville, Pa. A point fund of $59,700 cash was distributed to competitors, in addition to product and other certificates, before more than 150 attendees.
Stewart Friesen, who earned the STSS Bob Hilbert Sportswear North Region title and Ryan Watt, the Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. South Region champion, led the list of honorees. Brian Carber was also in the limelight as the XCel 600 Modified mini-series champion.
Following a delicious buffet-style dinner and opening comments by series director Brett Deyo, the STSS announcing team of Jeff Ahlum and Leon Andrus took the podium to commence the awards ceremony. A multimedia presentation accompanied the point presentation.
Friesen, of Sprakers, N.Y., dominated the eight-race STSS Bob Hilbert Sportswear North Region en route to the $15,000 title. Driving the Jeff Daley-owned No. 44, Friesen started the season with a win at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N.Y., in the ‘Hard Clay Open’ and scored three straight victories during the summer stretch with the ‘Crazy 8s Special’ at I-88 Speedway in Afton, N.Y., the ‘Hustlin’ the High Banks 51’ at N.Y.’s Woodhull Raceway and the Wade Decker Memorial at Thunder Mountain Speedway in Center Lisle, N.Y.
Four wins, plus a pair of runner-up finishes (at Pa.’s Big Diamond and Thunder Mountain’s June event) and a sixth in the I-88 Short Track SuperNationals finale allowed Friesen to accrue 790 points.
“The Short Track Super Series offers a great product,” noted Friesen upon collecting his championship hardware and embroidered American Racer jackets for both he and car owner Jeff Daley. “We really enjoyed getting out to some different places racing on the series this year; Woodhull comes to mind as a really cool event we were able to win.
“We started out with a win at Orange County and kept rolling from there. Jeff Daley gave us great equipment and Eric Mack my crew chief had us dialed in.”
Danny Johnson of Rochester, N.Y., earned second-place laurels, having four top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes with the Chris Gennarelli No. 27J. Johnson totaled 656 points and also won the “post-season” ‘Gobbler’ event at Accord (N.Y.) Speedway. He received $7,000.
2014 champion Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass., placed third in the standings with six top-10 finishes in eight events including a second in the July ‘Crazy 8s Special’ at I-88 (633 points – $3,500). Completing the top-five were Jeff Heotzler of Wallkill, N.Y., earning 584 points and $2,500 with four top-10 finishes in the Mel Schrufer No. 2A and Anthony Perrego of Montgomery, N.Y., with the New York Truck Parts No. 55, totaling 582 points with five top-10 finishes ($2,000).
Drivers finishing sixth through 12th, respectively, were I-88 Short Track SuperNationals winner Danny Creeden of Wurtsboro, N.Y. (574 points – $1,650); three-time top-10 finisher Mike Mahaney of King Ferry, N.Y., with 548 points ($1,550); Accord ‘Battle of the Bullring’ victor Jackie Brown Jr. of Hurley, N.Y. (484 points – $1,450); Tommy Meier of Waldwick, N.J., with a best finish of second at Accord (480 points – $1,350); Woodhull king Billy Van Pelt of Westfield, Pa. (460 points – $1,250); Jeff Strunk of Boyertown, Pa. (405 points – $750); and sophomore Modified driver Nick Nye of Groton, N.Y. (346 points – $650).
Eight drivers entered the STSS Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. South Region finale at Georgetown (Del.) Speedway with a chance to win the champions. One driver, Boyertown, Pa.’s Ryan Watt, emerged with the crown. Watt demonstrated both consistency and perseverance in his run to the title, including fourth-place finishes at Bridgeport (N.J.), New Egypt (N.J.) and Georgetown (Del.).
Watt and his Ron Roberts-fielded team battled through mid-race skirmishes to finish seventh at Big Diamond and 11th at Delaware International to earn 437 points and the $7,500 title.
Watt received a trophy and American Racer jackets for car owner Roberts and wife Lesley.
“When this series came out last winter, we made it a priority for our team,” Watt said. “We’ve run well at all the tracks on the series. Bridgeport is our home track and we’ve won at New Egypt and Big Diamond. I haven’t been able to win yet in Delaware, but we run well when we race down there at Georgetown and Delaware International.
“The high-paying series races made it more attractive for us to go out and race. Ron Roberts gave us what we needed, big-block, small-block, we had it.”
New York’s Anthony Perrego finished runner-up to Watt with four top-10 finishes in the five events, earning 416 points and $3,000. David Van Horn Jr., the ‘Diamond State 50’ winner at Delaware International and second-place finisher in the Bridgeport ‘South Jersey Shootout’ placed third. The Harmony, N.J., native accrued 402 points and received $2,250.
Two-time series winner at Bridgeport and Big Diamond – Rick Laubach of Hellertown, Pa. – finished fourth in the standings with 400 points ($1,500) and Billy Pauch Jr. of Frenchtown, N.J., was fifth with three top-10 finishes in the John Pakenham No. 18, accruing 347 points ($1,200).
Completing the top-10 were Craig Von Dohren of Oley, Pa., driving the Dick Biever No. 14s with two third-place finishes and 338 points ($1,000); Jamie Mills of Milford, Del. (336 points – $900); Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass. (292 points – $850); Brad Trice of Parsonsburg, Md. (284 points – $800); and Georgetown ‘Blast at the Beach’ winner Jordan Watson of Milford, Del. (281 points -$750).
Drivers recognized for having perfect attendance outside the top-10 were Brian Kressley of Orefield, Pa., Matt Jester of Milford, Del., Shawn Ward of Hurlock, Md., and Neal Williams of Glassboro, N.J. Each perfect attendance driver was eligible for $250.
Brian Carber of Pipersville, Pa., was recognized as the STSS XCel 600 Modified champion, winning events at Bridgeport (quarter-mile), I-88 (a sweep of July and October events) and Thunder Mountain. Carber, a Sprint Car driver moonlighting in Doug Borger’s XCel 600 Modified ranks, received $500 for his title in the series run in conjunction with STSS Modified events.
STSS coordinator Brett Deyo presented a number of special awards.
Two Sportsmanship Awards were handed out. The South Region recipient was driver and business owner Brian Kressley, whose Kressley’s Auto Sales business in Claussville, Pa., provides the STSS pace truck. Kressley, while in the top-10 in points, gave up the seat of his car to Rick Laubach in the Georgetown South finale so Laubach could chase a championship.
In the North Region, all-around “good guy” Craig Hanson of Johnstown, N.Y., was recognized with a Sportsmanship Award for his commitment to the series and his family’s willingness to help and promote the STSS.
Entering the Georgetown STSS South Region final event, David Van Horn Jr. held the point lead. Van Horn was in position to win the title when a parts failure sent him to the pits late in the race. As such, Van Horn was selected as the Hard Luck Award recipient.
Andy Bachetti was bestowed the STSS Best Appearing Car Award for his immaculate black and fluorescent No. 34 mounts.
The 2015 Contribution to the Series Award went to Jeff Behrent of Behrent’s Performance Warehouse. Behrent has been pivotal in landing many of the contingency and product sponsors competitors enjoy while racing with the STSS. He is also the owner of the Tommy Meier-driven No. 3 on the series.
Gary Mann received the Car Owner of the Year Award. Mann’s team supported every North and South event this season, running all 12 points-paying events at the two ‘Gobbler’ events at Accord Speedway with driver Anthony Perrego, traveling a total of 3,369 miles from their race shop in Wurtsboro, N.Y.
Dirt Track Digest $250 cash awards to drivers leading the most laps in each region were presented by Mike Mallett to Stewart Friesen (North) and Rick Laubach (South).
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series and the approaching 2016 season, call 845.728.2781 during business hours, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, “like” Short Track Super Series on Facebook of follow @ShortTrackSS on Twitter.
BANQUET BITS: Series director Brett Deyo outlined plans for the upcoming 2016 season which will again feature North and South regions. A South Region date has been added to the original tentative schedule: Sunday, July 31 at Susquehanna Speedway in Newberrytown, Pa., a return of big-block Modifieds for the first time since 2006 at the facility recently purchased by Scott Gobrecht….
A review of the 2015 STSS season by the numbers was truly impressive. During the recently completed season, 667 feature-event laps were run. Each lap was sponsored for a minimum of $20 per lap. A total of $20,167 was distributed in lap money alone to series racers. Additional bonus money (heat money, Hard Charger Awards, etc.) added up to $14,557. Base purses paid totaled $360,137 and the point fund distributed was $59,700. All told, racers received $394,841 from the STSS in ’15….
A drawing of North Region top point-getters for a Henry Stainless Steel Exhaust System went to Mike Mahaney. Meanwhile, Anthony Perrego’s name was drawn for a wrap, worth $850, by Pilat Graphic Design. Billy Pauch Jr. was the recipient of an outer body kit from S&D Bodyline of Bath, Pa., a drawing of drivers with perfect attendance in the North and South regions, respectively….
Contingency and product awards were plentiful, in addition to a slew of door prize gifts….
2016 STSS openers are set for Orange County Fair Speedway on April 2 (North) and Georgetown Speedway March 12 (South)….
DJ Jammin’ Jimmy Payne provided music for dancing following the awards portion of the evening….
Short Track Super Series Awards/Contingency Summary
Bob Hilbert Sportswear North Region
Hig Fab Chassis $500 Credit: Danny Creeden (Highest Rep)
Teo-Pro Car $500 Credit: Stewart Friesen (Highest Rep)
Bicknell Racing Products $500 Credit: Danny Johnson (Highest Rep)
Dirt Track Digest $250 Lap Leader Bonus: Stewart Friesen
Kirkey Racing Fabrication $300 Product Certificate: Stewart Friesen (Champion)
Kirkey Racing Fabrication $150 Product Certificate: Danny Johnson (Second)
Kirkey Racing Fabrication $100 Product Certificate: Andy Bachetti (Third)
FOX Racing Shocks Two FREE Shocks: Stewart Friesen (Highest Rep)
Henry’s Stainless Steel Exhaust System: Mike Mahaney (Draw)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear $250 Credit: Stewart Friesen (Champion)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear $150 Credit: Danny Johnson (Second)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear $100 Credit: Andy Bachetti (Third)
Hypercoil Two FREE Springs: Jeff Heotzler (Draw)
Hypercoil Two FREE Springs: Jackie Brown Jr. (Draw)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse $200 Gift Card: Jeff Heotzler (Fourth)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse $200 Gift Card: Tommy Meier (Ninth)
COMP Cams $150 Product Certificate: Stewart Friesen (Champion)
Quarter Master $150 Product Certificate: Stewart Friesen (Champion)
Crane Ignition $150 Product Certificate: Stewart Friesen (Champion)
Driven Racing Oil Any XP Oil, Two Cases: Stewart Friesen (Champion)
COMP Cams $100 Product Certificate: Danny Johnson (Second)
Quarter Master $100 Product Certificate: Danny Johnson (Second)
Crane Ignition $100 Product Certificate: Danny Johnson (Second)
Driven Racing Oil Carb Defender Race Concentrate, One Case: Danny Johnson (Second)
COMP Cams $50 Product Certificate: Billy Van Pelt (10th)
Vahlco Wheels FREE Beadlock Wheel: Anthony Perrego (Fifth)
Pilat Graphic Design FREE Wrap ($850 Value): Anthony Perrego (Draw)
VP Racing Fuels Five-Gallon Jug: Danny Creeden (Draw)
VP Racing Fuels Five Gallon Jug: Billy Van Pelt (Draw)
VP Racing Fuels Case, Small Engine Fuel: Jeff Strunk (Draw)
Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. South Region
S&D Bodyline Complete Outer Body Kit: Billy Pauch Jr. (Draw)
Hig Fab Chassis $500 Credit: Jeff Strunk (Highest Rep)
Teo-Pro Car $500 Credit: Anthony Perrego (Highest Rep)
Bicknell Racing Products $500 Credit: Billy Pauch Jr. (Highest Rep)
Dirt Track Digest $250 Lap Leader Bonus: Rick Laubach
FOX Racing Shocks Two FREE Shocks: Anthony Perrego (Highest Rep)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear $250 Credit: Ryan Watt (Champion)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear $150 Credit: Anthony Perrego (Second)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear $100 Credit: Billy Pauch Jr. (Third)
Hypercoil Two FREE Springs: Jordan Watson (Draw)
Hypercoil Two FREE Springs: Anthony Perrego (Draw)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse $200 Gift Card: Rick Laubach (Fourth)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse $200 Gift Card: Brad Trice (Ninth)
COMP Cams $150 Product Certificate: Ryan Watt (Champion)
Quarter Master $150 Product Certificate: Ryan Watt (Champion)
Crane Ignition $150 Product Certificate: Ryan Watt (Champion)
Driven Racing Oil Any XP Oil, Two Cases: Ryan Watt (Champion)
COMP Cams $100 Product Certificate: Anthony Perrego (Second)
Quarter Master $100 Product Certificate: Anthony Perrego (Second)
Crane Ignition $100 Product Certificate: Anthony Perrego (Second)
Driven Racing Oil Carb Defender Concentrate, One Case: Anthony Perrego (Second)
COMP Cams $50 Product Certificate: Jordan Watson (10th)
Vahlco Wheels FREE Beadlock Wheel: Billy Pauch Jr. (Fifth)
Allstar Performance $150 Certificate: David Van Horn Jr. (Third)
Allstar Performance $150 Certificate: Andy Bachetti (Eighth)
Shiley Fabrications Bumpers, Rubrails, Mounts, Etc.: Anthony Perrego (Perfect Attendance, North & South)
VP Racing Fuels Five-Gallon Jug: Brad Trice (Draw)
VP Racing Fuels Five-Gallon Jug: David Van Horn Jr. (Draw)
VP Racing Fuels Case, Small Engine Fuel: Craig Von Dohren (Draw)