SEPTEMBER | 3-6 | 2014
61st Annual GOLD CUP
RACE of CHAMPIONS
WORLD of OUTLAWS
Sprint Car Series
California Sprint Car
Civil War Series
Joe Hunt Magnetos
Wingless Sprint Car Series
Champions Crowned at Awards Banquet
By Troy Hennig
CHICO, CA (11-8-13) - Drivers, crew members, family friends and officials of the Silver Dollar Speedway all packed the house Friday night at the Feather Falls Casino in Oroville. Everyone was on hand to celebrate the 2013 racing season at Silver Dollar Speedway. Guests were treated to a fabulous dinner, plenty of socializing with fellow racers. The night concluded with drivers receiving beautiful plaques, made by Tim Grant, and championship point money handed out amongst the eight different divisions this year at Silver Dollar Speedway.
The awards ceremony started off with a bang as Promoter Dennis Gage announced he signed a new five-year contract. Present at the banquet was fair manager Scott Stoller who was also at the podium when Gage announced their new agreement. A separate press release will be written to announce the new agreement. Elijah Jones was presented an appreciation award for his excellent race reporting throughout the season. Wells Fargo, Riebes Auto Parts, JP's Paint and Body Works, Coors Light, Hoosier Tires West, Silver Dollar Fair and O'Reilly Auto Parts were all represented with sponsor appreciation plaques.
Bob Johnson was also on hand and representing his fast growing business Perma-Zyme. Johnson and his business was the 2013 title sponsor of the wingless division. Johnson was also able to hand out these nice jewelry box style awards to the driving champion in the division, Rowdy McClenon, and his father Steve, the car owner champion. This marked the second straight year that the McClenon's were the champions of the Perma-Zyme wingless series. Chico's Dustin Thompson earned the Rookie of the Year award and was on hand to receive the great honor.
Misty Castleberry received her second Silver Dollar Speedway track championship in a row tonight. She welcomed up her husband James and presented him with the Hoosier Racing championship jacket. Preston Irvin finished second in points and by doing so, received the rookie of the year honors.
Hobby Stock champion Brian Compton was excited to receive his championship plaque. Compton won numerous main events and for the second year in a row, won the 200-lap Fair Enduro held at the speedway. David Peirce was gracious in receiving the rookie of the year award. Kyle Allen finished third in the points but was also awarded the first ever Kevin Ward Inspirational award. Allen had credited Ward with giving him the inspiration to become a racer. Allen also changed his car number to 52k after Ward had passed to honor his fallen friend.
Unfortunately a big dirt modified race at the dirt track in Las Vegas prevented many of the top five dirt modified drivers from showing up at the banquet. Track champion Duane Cleveland, Ryan McDaniel and Richard Papenhausen were all racing in Vegas. The lone representative of the modified division was James Hite. Not only did he finish fifth in his first season of racing but earned the rookie of the year award.
Ryan McDaniel won the Limited Late Model track championship, but as mentioned above, he was not in attendance. Veteran driver Ken Micheli was on hand to pick up his second place award. Also in receiving plaques included David Larabee and Duane Zeider. Claiming the rookie of the year award was Zeider who gave a moving speech about his past health problems that at one time confided him to a possibility of never walking again.
Jake Vantol received his championship plaque and check for the second year in a row. The street stock division was one of the stronger car counts of the year. Because of this, Gage awarded the top ten drivers with plaques. Mark Newman finished third in points and grabbed the coveted Rookie of the Year award. During the night, Kevin Ward was mentioned numerous times. Champion Vantol gave an emotionally charged speech crediting Ward with building and selling him the car that won the championship for the last two years in a row.
Kyle Standley doubled up at the 2013 Silver Dollar Speedway awards banquet held at Feather Falls Casino on Friday night, November 8th. Standley was not only crowned the series champion in front of a packed banquet room, but, also received the rookie of the year honors. "It is pretty remarkable to think I won the championship in my first year of racing," said Standley as he addressed the crowd in attendance. Standley was one of two drivers to compete in all eight races this season. During his eight starts he had five top five finishes and won a lone heat race. Standley held a 50-point cushion over second place finished Ron Wyman. Both Wyman and veteran car owner Dave Smalley accepted their second place driver/owner plaques. Third place finisher Shawna Overton hobbled her way to the front of the stage and accepted her plaque. Jason Standley, fourth place, and Scott Gannett, fifth place, were also recognized at the banquet. A total of 19 different drivers earned points during the 2013 racing season at Silver Dollar Speedway. The steady growth of this division has earned them the right to come back in 2014 with another full slate of racing on Friday nights.
The night concluded with the 410 winged championship presentations. Bud Walberg and Andy Forsberg gave great speeches. Unfortunately our champion driver Sean Becker was unable to attend the banquet because of a racing conflict in Arizona. Tonight marked Becker's third track championship and second in a row. While the Becker family was gone, his M&S Racing Engines team was on hand. They were presented with a breath-taking plaque and a championship jacket. Also representing the Becker family was long-time supporters Mike and Carol McCann of Cherry St. Mini Storage.
While not present, Chuck Wolf was awarded the Silver Dollar Speedway car owner Dedication Award. Wolf and his family, crew members, friends and driver Keith Bloom all were talked about at the banquet and given accolades for an incredible season.The highlight of the night was the David Tarter Rookie of the Year Award. This year the award came down between Michael Tarter and Keith Bloom. In the end, Tarter beat Bloom by a mere three points. The Tarter family all walked up to the podium to accept the award. Howard Tarter gave a moving and inspirational speech about the family's strength and sadness once they lost David. Michael spoke next and addressed his love for his brother and filled the room with compliments towards the people and sponsors who helped the family win the award. Both Tarters were very complimentary of the speedway and Dennis Gage for continuing the memory of David and allowing the family to have an outlet on Friday nights to go race in honor of David.