The Genesee Speedway celebrated their Night of Champions at Batavia Downs Gaming on Saturday night. Batavia Downs Gaming were also running their last Harness Racing action this evening at the home of "America's Oldest Lighted Harness Track".
The speedway recognized those who finished in the top of each division while thanking all of those who helped kept the track running week in and week out throughout the 2009 racing season. The awards portion of the program were led by Master of Ceremonies Ken Hangauer, Jr. Mike Paz, and Steven Petty.
The Troyer Engineering DIRTcar Sportsman champion Brian Sage collected his seventh championship trophy along with the Lauterborn Electric Sprint Cars Rookie of the Year. Sage, from Brockport won eight times on the 1/3rd mile oval on the historic Genesee County Fairgrounds, while having 13 top five finishes as well as 17 top ten finishes in the Sportsman. For Sage in the Sprint Cars, two victories, 14 top fives and 15 top tens.
The Original Pizza Logs Late Models had a competitive season between champion Jon Rivers and defending division champ Dave DuBois. Rivers, from Basom graced victory lane five times while finishing in the top five 14 times along with 17 top ten finishes. Rivers won the points champion by a slim four point margin over Dave “the Outlaw” DuBois who won five times but had 15 top fives and 17 top tens.
resident Josh Smallidge won only two times but his 16 top five performances gave him his first Lauterborn Electric Street Stocks championship. Dan Norton won ten times to give him the championship in the Mini Stock division. Dave Ferguson won once in the four race mini series for the 600cc Sprint Cars to give him the title over John Smith and Timex Morgan.
Rookies of the Year awards were awarded to Jim Maier in the Mini Stock division. Maier had 16 top fives and 19 top ten finishes in his first season in the Mini Stock. Jerry Harding Jr was the Rookie of the Year in the DIRTcar Sportsman class. Harding ran for the first time on dirt since the dirt days at the Perry Speedway (now Wyoming County International Speedway). ’s Nick Skeet was the Rookie of the Year in the Original Pizza Logs Late Model division.
The Jack Veach Memorial Award for dedication to auto racing was awarded to Mike Paz. Paz, who suffered a stroke early in the year, made a comeback to the speedway towards the end of the season and with his love for auto racing, was awarded with the Jack Veach Award. Jack was a longtime official at many speedways across and and was a friend to many that knew him. Jack passed away a couple of years ago. His family including son John, daughter Dawn, wife Bonnie and their two grandchildren presented Paz with the award.
The special awards were handed out and the first award was presented to Ms Genesee Speedway Mary Walworth for her years of support to the racing at Genesee Speedway. Dave Gleason was honored with the Keeper of the Gate Award for watching the gate between the grandstands and the pit area. Former Pro Stock competitor Jim Bieber was awarded with the Man who Ran the Most Laps of the Season award for his service of driving the Ken Barrett Chevrolet Pace Car throughout the 2009 season. Ted Griffin won the award for the Best Tuck and Roll for his spectacular dive off of a tow truck after a car flipped over during the season. John Raniewzc, aka City Slicker, was honored for his dedication to the speedway. Raniewzc was always one of the last to leave the speedway after the night’s racing action and went above and beyond what was asked of him.
The speedway would like to thank all that attended the banquet along with supporting the speedway throughout the past three seasons. Genesee Speedway wishes everyone has a safe and joyous holiday season and many thanks of your patronage over the past many seasons.