November 09, 2015 at 8:49 AM
CHEEKTOWAGA, NY… The Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex officially closed the books on the 2015 season with the annual Night of Champions Awards Banquet. Once again, the banquet was held at the renowned Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga, NY. The Champions from Hollandwill be representing the speedway at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Banquet to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina the weekend of December 11-12. Magician Mike Siege entertained the crowd.
Tommy Catalano from Ontario, NY won his first career Getzoni Nationwide Insurance Agency NASCAR Pro Modified title. Catalano’s run to the title was boosted by six wins on the season and five in a row, including a sweep in twin 25’s and the victory in the running of the George Decker Memorial 100. “The Rocket” was also awarded the Most Popular Driver Award The Best Appearing Car Award presented by Martin Brothers Chevrolet went to Mike Fiebelkorn Jr. The Best Appearing Pit Crew went to Catalano Motorsports. The Hard Luck Award presented by Wardynski & Sons recipient was “Earthquake” Jake Vernon Other drivers that saw victory lane in 2015 included NYS NASCAR Champion Jimmy Zacharias, and Neil Dietz Jr.
“The Young Gun” Brandon Glover from Cuba, NY won his first career Seneca Niagara Casinos Late Models Championship. Glover went to victory lane three times this season to propel him to the title. Bill Osborn, Eldon King III, Eric Brown, Josh Hathaway and Nick Crassi all visited victory lane. The Best Appearing Car award went to Brandon Glover. The Most Improved Driver Award went to Eric Brown and JD Roberts was the recipient of the Hard Luck Award and Most Popular Driver.
Tom Northem from Alden, NY was on top of the points chase at the end of the season to win the track championship. .”Crazy T” picked up two checkered flags on his way to his second Bank of Holland Charger crown in three seasons. The Best Appearing Car Award went to Tommy Wentland while Kris Hamann’s crew received the Best Appearing Pit Crew Award. Kris Hamann also picked up the Most Popular Driver Award. Don Sitarski picked up the Hard Luck Award while Max Northem was awarded the Most Improved Award. Six different drivers saw victory lane this season including Tom Northem, Ken Maltby, Tommy Wentland, Mark Hoch, Eric Brown and Dave Wilson Jr.
Jeff Szafraniec from Buffalo, NY won his second career Hornet track title. Szafraniec was named Most Popular Driver by the fans and the rest of the Dice Racing team picked up the Best Appearing Pit Crew award while Mandie Orr’s car was awarded the Best Appearing Car. Louis Carbone was the recipient of the Hard Luck Award. Michele Maltby was named Most Improved Driver. Drivers that picked up checkered flags throughout the season included Louis Carbone, Szafraniec, Timmy Catalano, and Josh Hill.
Kyle Hutchinson from East Aurora, NY won the Holland title for the Jerry Gradl Motors NYPA TQ Midgets. Hutchinson was also named the overall series Champion and picked up the Most Popular Driver award. Andy Nye won the Best Appearing Car Award while Sean McNamara was named Most Improved. Jeremy Haudricourt was the recipient of the Hard Luck Award. In this competitive open-wheeled division, only three drivers were able to pick up checkered flags including track champion Hutchinson, Shawn Nye and Dave Wollaber.
Jeremy Haudricourt from Bliss, NY won the track championship in the INEX Legends. 2015 was the first full season that the INEX Legends ran on the highbanks. The Best Appearing Car Award went to Brandon DeBrakeleer while the Hard Luck Award went to Owen Bednasz. Divisional rookie Matt Mead was named Most Improved by speedway officials. Matt Kurzejewski, Jeremy Haudricourt, Brandon DeBrakeleer and Carl Vilardo IV were the four different drivers that picked up checkered flags this past season.
Jason Adams from Glenwood, NY continued his dominance over the Figure 8’s as he earned his fourth track championship in five years. Joe Mastrocicco, Shane Toms and Don Haskell each visited victory lane once during the season. Don Haskell was named most popular driver for the Figure 8’s. DJ Phillips from Angola, NY won the Future Four championship for his first title. Nikki Maltby was named Most Popular Driver and was awarded the Best Appearing Car Award for the Future 4’s. Chuck Kowalske, Nikki Maltby, DJ Phillips and Maddy Virts took home checkered flags this season in the class built for pure racing rookies.
Patrick Emerling from Orchard Park, NY took home the top prize in the annual visit by the Race of Champions Modified Tour. 30 mighty modifieds signed in pitside for their annual pilgrimage to Holland and Emerling picked up the win over 2014 race winner Andy Jankowiak and past Holland Pro Modified Champion George Skora III in a career best third place finish. The E-Mods ran four times at Holland and third generation driver Scott Wylie picked up a pair of victories at his home track. Randy Culver and Carter Mook also scored wins this past season.
The Rookie of Year Award is in memory of Clark Rice, a man who was vital in the beginning to make Holland what it is today. The Getzoni Nationwide Insurance Agency Pro Modified Rookie of the Year recipient was Alan Bookmiller while Eric Brown was awarded the Rookie of the Year for the Seneca Niagara Casino Late Models. The Bank of Holland Charger Rookie of the Year went to Max Northem while the Hornet Rookie of the Year was Alex Deshaies.
The Unsung Hero Award was presented to “the Voice of Holland” Rick Mooney. The Unsung Hero Award is presented to an individual who works with little fanfare, yet is instrumental in adding a significant part of the teamwork that takes place to make all aspects of Speedway operation come together on a weekly basis. Track official Jerry Ward presented the Woman in Racing Award to Amy Bennett. “Amy does so much for us and this was just our way of saying thank you to her” said Ward.
The Bennett family along with the entire staff and management of the Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex would like to thank all the drivers, crews and fans for supporting the track and wishes everyone a safe and joyous holiday season and hopes to see everyone back to the highbanks for the 2016 racing season. Look out for all the Christmas specials as well as the 2016 schedule and rules packages for all classes that will be released in the upcoming weeks.
We’re social; find us on Facebook (Holland Motorsports Complex), Twitter (@HollandSpeedway, @HollandXtreme), and Instagram (@hollandspeedway) as weekly specials and news on upcoming events will be seen on the track’s social media pages for the racetrack and the Holland Paintball Adventure Park. When posting on Social Media, use the #HollandSpeedway! Don’t forget to check out all of the pictures from each week’s racing program by logging on to hollandspeedway.smugmug.com For more information log on to www.hollandspeedway.com or www.hollandpaintballadventurepark.com.