Excellence Abounds at Summit Motorsports Park’s Edelbrock Banquet of Champions
The exceptional efforts and awe-inspiring achievements of the 2019 Summit Motorsports Park champions were celebrated during the 46th Annual Edelbrock Banquet of Champions presented by Lincoln Electric, Jan. 18, 2020, at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Sandusky, Ohio.
“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.
Special guests and banquet sponsors were acknowledged, including Edelbrock, Lincoln Electric, Summit Racing Equipment, B’laster, Mickey Thompson Tires and Wheels, Dornan’s Sales and Service, Norwalk Lions Club, Ink, Inc. and AGIA/Hagerty Insurance.
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.
Third place honors were delivered to Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco Novice driver Keegan Beverly, Intermediate driver Tyler Crowell and Advanced driver Caleb Burns, Edelbrock Super Pro driver Jono Gerber, Edelbrock Pro driver John Gregory, Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike rider Jeremy Hicks and Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation driver Lance Oberg.
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.
Summit Motorsports Park drivers who qualified for the North Central Division NHRA Summit Racing Series Team Finals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis also were applauded.
Representing Edelbrock Super Pro were John Boes, Carl Keil, Jono Gerber, Steve Seredich, Michael Kubiak, Seth Feaster, Nick Reber, Mike Carroll, Wayne Baker, Ryan Pickens and Rick Schneider.
The Edelbrock Pro team consisted of Brian Cireddu, Bryan Workman, John Gregory, Nathan Schultze, Jason Proffitt, Mark Frazier, Chad Sweitzer, Mike DuMonte, Owen Hoover, Lucas Buckley and Brian Green, while the Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation team included Larry Strohscher, James Ring, Lance Oberg, Dale Boyer, Maurice Edwards II, Cody Hipp, Jeff Gates, Nate Holzhauer, Dave Greer and Todd Norman.
Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike featured Tom McGowan, Roy Safreed II, Jeremy Hicks, Matthew Short, Steven Dolomore and Mike Wagner. The team finished in second place, and Owen Hoover was the runner-up in Pro, Brian Cireddu won in the Race of Champions Pro category, Larry Strohscher and Roy Safreed won Best Appearing, and Roy Safreed also won a Super Bike Bonus Race.
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.
“Eric Harmon is a man of principle who proceeds with respect and regard for everyone and everything around him,” said Bader Jr. “He’s also upstanding and upright, and very deserving of the Sportsman of the Year honor.”
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.
Additionally, Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco offered drivers an opportunity to compete in the 2019 season-long points chase for $3,000 in cash and awards, and the Summit Racing Equipment Jr. Dragster Shootout allowed the top eight junior-dragster drivers in Novice, Intermediate and Advanced to race in front of fans for a share of $7,000 in cash and prizes. Those programs, paired with an expansive contingency program, bonuses and incentives, awarded Summit Motorsports Park racers with nearly half a million dollars in cash and prizes.
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. Summit Motorsport Park is at 1300 State Route 18, Norwalk, Ohio. For more information, please call 419-668-5555 or visit www.summitmotorsportspark.com.
(Photos by Moto Lenz are labeled for identification)
About Summit Motorsports Park
As a major motorsports venue, Summit Motorsports Park welcomes more than 500,000 people each year for sportsman and professional drag racing and is home to the Kelly Night Under Fire and Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. Located on more than 400 acres and surrounded by theme parks and water parks, it has been named Track of the Year 20 times by the NHRA, NMCA and IHRA, and its annual economic impact to the community has been determined to be more than $100 million.