"The evening was outstanding and out of this world," said Bill Bader Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park. "Spirits were high as we all came together to celebrate so many wonderful accomplishments. I'm proud of every person recognized, and I can't wait to see what's in store for Summit Motorsports Park in 2020."
The ceremony opened with grand entrances by Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco Novice champion Vince Tiburzi and his father, Cary Tiburzi; Intermediate champion Roman Iocoangeli and his mother, Lesley Iocoangeli; Advanced champion Ava Lawson and her grandfather, Ray Bouman; Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike champion Tom McGowan and his wife, Farrah McGowan; Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation champion Larry Strohscher and his wife, Nancy Strohscher; Edelbrock Pro champion Brian Cireddu and his friend, Amanda Hoover, Edelbrock Super Pro champion John Boes and his wife, Lisa Boes, and 2018 Bill Bader Sr. Sportsman of the Year, Tim Schmidt and his girlfriend, Abbie Cottrill.
Chris Harben sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Summit Motorsports Park's Bill Bader, Jr., Evan Bader, and Bobbie Bader began hosting the ceremony, with Edelbrock's Cary Redman as a co-presenter.
Then, the spotlight turned to drivers who finished sixth through tenth in points, including Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation drivers Maurice Edwards II, Cody Hipp, Jeff Gates, Nate Holzhauer and Jon Lowery; Edelbrock Pro drivers Nathan Schultze, Jason Proffitt, Mark Frazier, Warren Smith and Aaron Workman; Edelbrock Super Pro drivers Steve Seredich, Bob Cireddu, Michael Kubiak, Jeff Hura and Seth Feaster.
They were followed by drivers and riders who finished fifth in points, including Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco Novice driver Tensley Sage, Intermediate driver Peyton Novak and Advanced driver Antonio Iocoangeli, Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation driver Dale Boyer, Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike rider Steven Dolamore, Edelbrock Pro driver AJ Buchanan and Edelbrock Super Pro driver Vito Gambino.
Fourth place awards went to Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco Novice driver Parker Novak, Intermediate driver Nicholas Peters and Advanced driver Morgan Curtis, Edelbrock Super Pro driver Eric Manuel, Edelbrock Pro driver Rick Cole Jr., Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike rider Matthew Short and Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation driver Chas Lang.
Second place saw Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco Novice driver Brylan Biondo, Intermediate driver Brandon Buchanan and Advanced driver Cadence Soucek, Edebrock Super Pro driver Carl Keil, Edelbrock Pro driver Bryan Workman, Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike rider Roy Safreed II and Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation driver James Ring.
Feted for representing Summit Motorsports Park at the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Junior Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals presented by Huddleston Performance at Bristol Dragway in Tennessee were Logan Buckley, Keegan Beverly, Brandon Buchanan, Riley Cole, Aubrey Collins, Bryce Buehrer, Allyson Downs, Alex Cooper, Caleb Burns, Peyten Jimenez, Morgan Curtis, Kaitlyn Cooper, Callie Martel, Roman Iocoangeli, Antonio Iocoangeli, Lizzie Martel, Seth Jimenez, Tensley Sage, Nick Peters, Ava Lawson, Alena Schafer, Zachary Smith, Ryan Leasure, Landyn Seal. Vince Tiburzi, Brinasia Pollard, Ava Tiburzi, Grant Welte, Adam Retford, Kaitlin Zietlow, Chase Kulik, Jacob Kulik, Trinity Marshall, Jesse Mitschke, Sarah Mitschke, Braden Peters and Cruz Schafer.
Best Appearing awards were bestowed upon Edelbrock Super Pro driver Scott Sill, Edelbrock Pro driver Larry Keil, Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation driver Dave Geer, Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike rider Eric Harmon, Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco Novice driver Keegan Beverly, Intermediate driver Nicholas Peters and Advanced driver Landyn Seal.
In one of the evening's most touching moments, Bader Jr. read the name of each Bill Bader Sr. Sportsman of the Year back to 1975 before asking those in attendance to join him - as well as surprise guest Bill Bader Sr. - on stage. As a group, they warmly welcomed Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike rider Eric Harmon as the 2019 Bill Bader Sr. Sportsman of the Year, and making the moment even more memorable, Harmon accepted his trophy from Bader Sr. as well as the 2018 Bill Bader Sr. Sportsman of the Year, Tim Schmidt.
Additional awards were given to Edelbrock Pro driver Nathan Schultze for Most Improved, Edelbrock Super Pro driver Courtney Grisez for Rookie of the Year, Lucas Oil Products for Manufacturer of the Year, TFC Transportation for Sponsor of the Year, Cornwell Quality Tools' 100th Anniversary Celebration for Promotion of the Year and Keith Kelling and Mike Iocoangeli for Guy of the Year.
Jason Kalso was recognized for earning the championship in R&R Auto Body/DeCerbo Construction Rumble Wars Extreme 8, which was contested at select events at Summit Motorsports Park in 2019, and Summit Motorsports Park racer Matt Dadas was recognized for being on the cover of Drag Illustrated magazine as one of the magazine's 30 Under 30 for 2019, Summit Motorsports Park racer Phil Smida was recognized for earning the 2019 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series North Central Division Super Street championship and Summit Motorsports Park racer Peyten Jimenez was recognized for securing the 2019 Midwest Junior Drag Racing League's Pro Sportsman championship.
Attention was directed to prime programs at Summit Motorsports Park, including the Edelbrock Super Series, which awarded top performers with more than $54,000 in cash, the Lucas Oil Super 64 presented by American Race Cars, which awarded qualifiers the chance to win a total purse of $48,800, the R&R Auto Body Paint-My-Ride Program, which is in its tenth year and in 2019 awarded Edelbrock Super Pro driver Carl Keil a custom paint job on his dragster, the Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation Bonus, which awarded a minimum of $500 to racers laying down perfect passes in Edelbrock Super Pro, Edelbrock Pro, Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike and Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation, plus $100 to the runner-up, and finally, a scholarship to attend the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School.
Summit Motorsports Park offers sincere congratulations to all of those honored during the well-attended ceremony. Please visit the park's website and social media in the coming days for stories on champions and some award recipients.
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