The talent and triumph of Summit Motorsports Park racers took center stage during the 48th Annual Edelbrock Banquet of Champions presented by Lincoln Electric,January 29, 2022 at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Sandusky, Ohio.
The uplifting ceremony began with side by side entrances by Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco Novice champion Abigail Baehr and her father, Brian; Intermediate champion Alena Schafer and her father, Mark; Advanced champion Caleb Burns and his mother, Jodi; Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike champion Jason Keller and his wife, Lisa; Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation champion Chas Lang and his husband, Jeremy; Edelbrock Pro champion Rick Cole Jr. and his wife, Amy; Edelbrock Super Pro champion Chris Bear and his wife, Kaitlyn, and 2019 Bill Bader Sr. Sportsman of the Year Eric Harmon and his wife, Lori.
“Throughout the 2021 racing season, I saw no quit from our champions,” said Bill Bader Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park. “I’m very proud of them. They’re a special class for sure.”
After Chris Harben performed our country’s national anthem, Bader, Jr. as well as Track ManagerEvan Bader, and Sponsor Sales and Services Specialist Bobbie Bader, began hosting the event, with Billy Carroll from Edelbrock as co-host, Kelli Bader as production assistant and Jeff Goretzki and Rock & Roll Express Disc Jockey Company as the production team.
Acknowledged were very special guests as well as banquet sponsors including Edelbrock, Lincoln Electric, Summit Racing Equipment, TFC Transportation, Norwalk Lions Club, Hagerty Insurance, Dornan’s Sales and Service, Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels and B’Laster.
Then the spotlight turned to racers who finished sixth through tenth in points, including Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation racers Gregory Klein, Thomas Summers, Jim Marcinowski, Jeff Gates and Tom Miller Jr.; Edelbrock Pro racers Mike Willi, Mark Frazier, Jason Profitt, Chad Sweitzer and Sean Dornan, and Edelbrock Super Pro racers Scott Sill, Wes Buckley, Tim Buckley, Maria Sill and Carl Keil.
They were followed by racers who finished fifth in points, including Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco Novice racer Kendall Moreland, Intermediate racer Roman Iocoangeli, Advanced racer Jesse Mitschke, Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation racer Lance Oberg, Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike racer Michael Maday, Edelbrock Pro driver Mike Kelley and Edelbrock Super Pro racer John Boes.
Fourth place awards went to Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco Novice racer Ellianna Oldenburg, Intermediate racer Brooke Bittle, Advanced racer Logan Buckley, Edelbrock Super Pro racer Ray Hout, Edelbrock Pro racer Jaeden Durst, Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike racer Joe Novak Sr. and Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation racer Codie Balcom.
Third place honors were delivered to Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco Novice driver Trey Dean, Intermediate driver Parker Novak, Advanced driver Aaron Verner,Edelbrock Super Pro driver Steve Seredich, Edelbrock Pro driver Vic Ellinger, Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike rider Ed James and Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation driver Larry Strohscher.
Second place saw Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco Novice competitor Brayden Baehr, Intermediate competitor Keegan Beverly, Advanced competitor Ava Lawson, Edebrock Super Pro competitor Justin Hardy, Edelbrock Pro competitor A.J. Buchanan, Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike competitor Rick McWaters and Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation competitor James Ring.
Applauded for representing Summit Motorsports Park at the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finalsat Bristol Dragway in Tennessee were Keegan Beverly, Ellianna Oldenburg, Roman Iocoangeli, Megan Kassin, Alena Schafer, Nick Peters, Kendall Mason, Vince Tiburzi, Autumn Gibson, Ryan Roberts, Sam Harvakek, Ava Lawson, Aaron Verner, Jaden Maze, Antonio Iocoangeli, Leah Verner, Riley Cole, Bryce Buehrer, Braden Peters, Cruz Schafer, Grant Welte, Lizzie Martel, Ava Tiburzi, Nick Kassin, Sydney Mason, Allyson Downs, Jake Harvanek, Summer Gibson and Peyten Jimenez.
Summit Motorsports Park racers who qualified for the North Central Division NHRA Summit Racing Series Team Finals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, and helped lead the team to the outstanding overall win, also were feted. Representing Edelbrock Super Pro were Justin Hardy, John Boes, Steve Seredich, Tim Buckley, Bob Kosanka, Dave Paone, Wes Buckley, Carl Keil, Scott Maschari, Shannon Compton, Herman Lester, Jeff Smith Jr., Jeff Hura, Nick Akoury, Brandon Hardin, Dennis Rock, Lisa Boes, Norm Davis, Aubrey Collins and Aaron McCaulla. The Edelbrock Pro team consisted of Rick Cole Jr., Mark Frazier, Chad Sweitzer, Kim Moritz, John Gregory, Sean Dornan, John Boes, Brian Green, Nathan Schultze, Rick Cole Sr., Wes Buckley, Todd Sweitzer and Chuck Dague, while the Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation team included Chas Lang, James Ring, Codie Balcom, Larry Strohscher, Lance Oberg, Gregory Klein, Jim Marcinowski, Tom Miller Jr., Dale Boyer and Nate Holzhauer. Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike featured Jason Keller, Rick McWaters, Ed James, Matthew Short and Jeremy Hicks.
Best Appearing awards went to Edelbrock Super Pro driver Dennis Rock, Edelbrock Pro driver Todd Sweitzer, Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation driver Kayla Burgess, Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike rider Joey Brandgard, Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco Novice driver Kendall Moreland, Intermediate driver Roman Iocoangeli and Advanced driver Jaden Maze.
Among the many highlights of the night was Bader Jr. reading the name of each Bill Bader Sr. Sportsman of the Year back to 1975 before those in attendance, including 2019 Bill Bader Sr. Sportsman of the Year Eric Harmon, joined him and very special guest Bill Bader Sr. on stage. Then, in an incredibly touching tribute, Bader Jr. announced Edelbrock Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation racer Larry Strohscher as the 2021 Bill Bader Sr. Sportsman of the Year, and delivered an impassioned speech about his integrity and incredible character. Strohscher received a standing ovation while his family members, who attended as a surprise, hugged him on stage.
“It was a privilege to install Larry Strohscher into our Bill Bader Sr. Sportsman of the Year Hall of Fame,” said Bader Jr. “Larry is the embodiment of what it means to be a true sportsman. He is genuine and goodhearted, and he builds people up. He holds his family and his friends close, and his faith is important to him. To recognize Larry as the Bill Bader Sr. Sportsman of the Year is to recognize how he has chosen to live his life.”
Additional awards were given to 2021 Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike champion Jason Keller for Most Improved; Edelbrock Super Pro racer Maria Sill for Rookie of the Year; Dan Ellenberger of University Hospitals, Jason Hess of Physicians Ambulanceand Dennis Laska of EZ Pole Flagpolesfor Appreciation; Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels for Manufacturer of the Year; Trick Flow Specialties for Sponsor of the Year; Brian Watt of Smith Family Foods for Guy of the Year and JoAnn Hastings for Gal of the Year.
Dave Roemer was recognized for earning the 2021 championship in R&R Auto Body/DeCerbo Construction Rumble Wars, an exciting series contested at select events at Summit Motorsports Park.
Summit Motorsports Park racers who went on to do well on a national level also were recognized, including Tim Molnar, 2021 PDRA MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman champion, Perry Paugh, 2021 Man Cup Vance & Hines V-Twin champion and Matt Knaggs, 2021 Man Cup MPS Racing Pro ET champion.
Additional attention was directed to the Edelbrock Super Series, which awarded the top performers with over $54,000 in cash, and the Lucas Oil Super 64 presented by American Race Cars, which awarded qualifiers the chance to win a total purse of $48,000 with four racers winning $10,000 in prize money.
Also acknowledged were unique programs including the R&R Auto Body Paint-My-Ride Program, which awarded Edelbrock Super Pro/Edelbrock Pro racer John Boes a custom car makeover; the Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation Bonus, which awarded a minimum of $500 to racers laying down perfect passes in Edelbrock Pro, Edelbrock Super Pro, Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike and Edelbrock Sportsman Delivered on Time by TFC Transportation, plus $100 to the runner-up, and a scholarship for a driver to attend the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School.
Additionally, Bear Motorsports Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco offered an opportunity for drivers to compete in the 2021 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 cash and prizes at the Cornwell Tools Night Under Fire. Those programs, plus a plump contingency program, bonuses and incentives, awarded Summit Motorsports Park racers with nearly half a million dollars in cash and prizes.
Summit Motorsports Park offers a sincere congratulations to each champion and award recipient on their awe-inspiring accomplishments.
Please visit the park’s website in the upcoming days for stories on champions and some award recipients.