Story By: STEVE PETTY / NEW HUMBERSTONE SPEEDWAY – NIAGARA FALLS, ONT – The New Humberstone Speedway officially closed the books on the 2019 season with the annual Night of Champions Awards Banquet at the Americana Resort.
The celebration was honoring the accomplishments of the drivers and teams that call New Humberstone home each race night. Point fund monies and trophies were distributed to drivers competing in the Epic Racewear Weekly Racing Series.
Brad Rouse from St. Catharines, Ontario celebrated his Cosco Haulage DIRTcar Sportsman championship. Rouse scored five wins en route to the title, including winning the Trevor Wilkens Memorial for the Sportsman Super DIRTcar Series. Rouse also was crowned Western Region champion for DIRTcar Sportsman. James Michael Friesen won three with Greg Panunte, and Cody McPherson getting multiple wins each. McPherson won the BEI Lightning Series event as well as the Pete Cosco Memorial for the Race of Champions Dirt 602 Sportsman Series. Adam Leslie also visited victory lane. Rouse edged out Panunte by 16 points to win the title. Adam Leslie, Jordan Cosco, Jay Mallory, James Friesen, Tyler Puchalski, Rob Sauder, Matt Sharpe, and Emily Puchalski completed the top ten in points. Rob Sauder was the division’s Rookie of the Year and was named Hard Charger. Jay Mallory was named Most Sportsmanlike and Jordan Cosco was named Most Improved. Emily Puchalski was the recipient of the Perseverance Award while Dylan Davidson had the Best Appearing Car.
Rob Pietz from Gasline, Ontario celebrated his first championship in the Pro Fabrication RUSH Late Models. For Pietz, it is his seventh career Humberstone Speedway track championship. Pietz won three times throughout the season. Two-time and defending track champion Chad Homan, who had a division-high four wins. Adam Ferri, Sam Pennacchio, and “Kid Cool” David Pangrazio celebrated in Breakwall Brewery victory lane this past season. Pietz beat Adam Ferri by 22 points to earn the title. Homan was one point behind Ferri. Tim Gillespie, Jay Liverance, Ken Winfield, Sam Pennacchio, Mike Greene, Josh Dolan and Colton Ledingham were the top ten. The best appearing went to Chad Homan. Rob Pietz and Josh Dolan were named Hard Chargers. Ken Winfield was handed the Perseverance Award. Jay Liverance was named Most Improved while Tim Gillespie (Most Sportsmanlike) and Josh Dolan (Rookie of the Year) also picked up awards.
For Hagersville, Ontario’s Dave Bailey, it was business as usual as “Brewster Baker” earned his third JC Auto Thunderstock title in four years. On the back of five wins, Bailey held off the 2018 titlist Jason Fontaine. Donny Lampman, Billy Bleich Jr, Jim Lampman, Dave Small, Go Fast Teeple, Bryce Richardson, Barry Beck Jr, and Zach Bleich completed the top ten in divisional points. Feature winners in the division were Bailey, Donny Lampman, Billy Bleich Jr, Rob Murray, and Justin Ramsay. Zach Bleich was named Rookie of the Year while Go Fast Teeple was named Most Sportsmanlike. Barry Blanchard was the recipient of the Perseverance Award while Billy Bleich Jr was named the Bob Pietz Heating & Air Conditioning Hard Charger. Barry Beck Jr had the Best Appearing Thunderstock.
Welland, Ontario’s Craig Vlasic claimed his first Glo & Go Tanning Mini Stock track championship. Vlasic won five times to claim the title. Evan Curtis was second in points followed by Leroy Buscumb, Jay Moulton, Mike Sarantakos, Kourtney Kocarik, Olivier Larocque, Cole Hardy, Sam Iftody, and Jeremy Cooper. Vlasic, Curtis, Buscumb, Moulton, Cooper, Tyler Lafantaisie, Anthony Kelly Jr, and Alex Riley visited Breakwall Brewery Victory Lane. Cole Hardy received the Perseverance Award. Leroy Buscumb was the Bob Pietz Heating and Air Conditioning Hard Charger. Jeremy Cooper had the Best Appearing Mini Stock. David Hoyle was named Most Sportsmanlike. Kourtney Kocarik was named Most Improved and Victoria Gravestock was named Rookie of the Year.
Mitch Dumont from Welland, Ontario won his second straight Airhardt Deliveries Pro 4 Truck track championship. Dumont was also named the division’s most sportsmanlike driver. Dumont won four features en route to the title. Dylan Llord had a divisional-high six feature wins and was second in points. Danny Wurster, Jay Dupuis, Brian Aube, Frank Perry, Justin Towers, Jamie Ayers, Clinton Barrick, and Doug Crawford were the top ten in divisional points. Clinton Barrick was named Rookie of the Year. Frank Perry was named most improved while Justin Towers received the Perseverance Award. Jamie Ayers was named the Bob Pietz Heating and Air Conditioning Hard Charger while Dylan Llord had the Best Appearing Truck.
2019 Mini Stock track champion Craig Vlasic was named the Trevor Wilkens Driver of the Year. The Jim Simpson Crew of the Year Award went to Triple J Motorsports for their efforts on Greg Panunte’s DIRTcar Sportsman. David and Wendy Bitner were the recipients of the Pete Cosco Dedication Award. Richard & Eileen Lee, Helen & Bob Smith, Debbie Ferri, and Mark Armstrong were the recipients of the Key Player Award.
Evan Curtis received the championship trophy in the inaugural King of the 4’s. Curtis had strong, consistent finishes in the three races that put the Mini Stocks and Pro 4 Trucks racing together. Dave Bailey received the championship trophy for the Can-Am Thunderstock Challenge. In a four-race mini-series between Humberstone and Ransomville Speedway, Bailey won three races, including both events at Humberstone, and the John Susice Memorial at Ransomville.
Speedway President and Promoter Dave Bitner Jr spoke to the crowd about the upcoming plans for 2020.It was announced that the Weekly Racing Series Championships will be renamed to the Club 54 Weekly Racing Series Championships. With the new sponsorship from Club 54, all drivers will receive FREE entry for every regular Sunday night racing program in 2020. Regardless if you run one week, or 15, all drivers will receive FREE entry for the season. Early plans for 2020 include the second year of the Can-Am Thunderstock Challenge in partnership with Ransomville Speedway. 2020 will also see the debut of the Can-Am Sportsman Challenge between Humberstone and Freedom Motorsports Park in efforts to build the Sportsman Modified division at the Western New York oval. It was also announced that Humberstone will host a Canada Day of Destruction on July 1. A 100 lap Enduro will be featured plus many other events. The 2020 season will begin with the annual Dawn of Destruction. The annual car shows at Pen Centre and Seaway Mall will also be back prior to the start of the season.
Look for updates on the tracks social media pages throughout the winter months to build anticipation for the 2020 season.