Column By: ROBERT SYMONDS / RPW – COOPERS PLAINS, NY – After a grueling and competitive 2018 Race Season, all racers from the past season at New York Toughest Bull Ring all gathered for the annual awards banquet held at the Watson Homestead in Coopers Plains.
This years banquet included a very large amount of crew, drivers, and fans of the Woodhull Raceway. 250 people packed the Watson Homestead to celebrate the past race season’s accomplishments
Guests were entertained with a lavish dinner provided by Corning Catering Company and also with door prizes provided by Lamb and Webster, Woodhull Raceway, Scheigerts Sugar Shack, NYSCA, and American Racer Tire.
During the Top 10 Trophy announcements, other prestigious awards were handed out to a select few deserving. The Dust To Glory Award has long been passed down and presented at the awards banquet each year. This award was first announced by Jim Schneider who had passed away this past year. This years recipient was Cory Costa who had nearly won the Insinger Performance Modified Championship, coming up short in the final race of the season.
The Woodhull Raceway also handed out a unique Eagle trophy for the Perservence Award. This year it was awarded to Don Lawson. Don had suffered a stroke just one year ago but that did not stop the famed racer. Don made sure he could attend any race he could during the 2018 season. Between attending and watching from the pit area, Don still had time to talk racing and setups with his son, Donnie Lawson, and give tips and tricks to his grandson, Blake Lawson.
This years Dedication to Motorsports Award was given to Tony Van Pelt. For the better part of the 2018 season, Tony assumed the Race Director role which proved to be a challenge week in and week out. Though the challenge was great, Tony answered questions from the drivers before the races started and stayed afterwards as well. When the time came, Tony moved back to the flag stand and still helped bridge the gap between drivers and officials.
Megan Dupuy was awarded the 2018 Media Award. Megan started at the Woodhull Raceway in 2016 as a media intern willing to learn. Megan helped the announcing and media staff at the Woodhull Raceway preparing lineups for announcing on air and also preparing interviews. Over the years, Megan had sharpened her skills; tackling both weekly driver profiles and some other weekly articles, Megan also took over some of the announcing responsibilities with racing action and victory lane interviews.
After all the awards were handed out, the 2018 Woodhull Raceway Banquet came to a close with the announcement that Media Director Steven Ovens would be leaving the High Banks. In 2019, Ovens will be taking over responsibilities at the Land of Legends Raceway in Canandaigua NY. Though many advances were made to try and keep Ovens at the Media Director role by his loyal fans at the Woodhull Raceway, Ovens still had already decided to keep his agreement at the Legend of Legends Raceway in 2019.