Story By: TOBY LAGRANGE / CRSA – VERNON, NY – The Super Gen Products with Champion Power Equipment CRSA Sprint Car Series closed out the 2019 racing season Saturday night at the beautiful Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel in Vernon, New York with the annual Awards Banquet. As has become tradition, the banquet was a combined banquet with the Patriot Sprint Tour.
Emceed by CRSA Sprint Car Series Announcer Toby LaGrange and Patriot Sprint Tour Announcer Paul Harkenrider, more than $13,000 and numerous beautiful custom awards were handed out to the CRSA Award Winners representing the top 12 in final overall point standings, the top ten finishers in the CRSA/Land of Legends Raceway Five Star Series, the top five finishers in the Kennedy’s of Troy Northway 90 Challenge and other special awards.
Following a delicious dinner, LaGrange introduced CRSA Director of Operations Peter Meskill who addressed the crowd. Meskill introduced series owner Mike Emhof who also delivered remarks before the duo thanked the sponsors for both series.
The first awards of the evening were the Special Awards. Each season the CRSA Sprint Car Series hands out a variety of Special Awards. Saturday night, that tradition was kept alive as the series awarded ten awards to dedicated drivers, officials, crew members and sponsors.
The 2019 CRSA Sprint Car Series Special awards were awarded to Matt Priscott (CRSA Rookie of the Year), Cliff Craft from Kennedy’s of Troy (CRSA Dedicated Service Award), Gerry Sehn (CRSA Sportsmanship Award), Warren Alexson (CRSA Mechanic of the Year Award), Justin Mills (CRSA Best Appearing Car Award), Dana Wagner (CRSA Perseverance Award), John Scarborough (CRSA Outstanding New Comer Award), Mike Van Pelt (CRSA Most Improved Driver Award), Jeff Trombley (Powder Tech Powder Coatings Overall Hard Charger Award) and Dale Meskill (CRSA Service Award).
One of the unique aspects to the CRSA Sprint Car Series is the mini-series that dots the schedule. These series within the overall series offer extra money, prestige and above all else a bit more fun for the CRSA competitors. In 2019 the CRSA offered two mini-series – the Kennedy’s of Troy Northway 90 Challenge Series (with a $1,075 point fund) and the CRSA/Land of Legend Raceway Five Star Series presented by SuperGen Products and Champion Power Equipment (with a $3,000 point fund).
First to be recognized were the top five finishers in the Kennedy’s of Troy Northway 90 Challenge Series. The mini-series was made up of events at the Fonda Speedway, Albany-Saratoga Speedway and the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park. Jeff Trombley picked up the mini-series title for the second season in a row. Emily VanInwegen would finish second in the final rundown with Dalton Herrick, Dana Wagner and Justin Mills completing the top five.
The CRSA/Land of Legends Raceway Five Star Series presented by SuperGen Products and Champion Power Equipment would see the top ten finishers recognized. The mini-series was made up of the five scheduled events at the Land of Legends Raceway. One event was lost to rain. Jeff Trombley made it a clean sweep of the mini-series titles by picking up his first CRSA/Land of Legends Raceway Five Star title. Johnny Kolosek would finish in the runner up spot with Justin Mills, Darryl Ruggles and Dan Bennett following. Positions six through ten would be claimed by Alysha Bay, Brandyn Griffin, Jason Whipple, Dan Craun and Trevor Years.
The final set of award to be handed out recognized the top 12 drivers in the overall final standings. Recognized in reverse order, positions six through 12 were claimed by Johnny Kolosek, Dana Wagner, Gerry Sehn, John Scarborough, Dalton Herrick, Mike VanPelt and Matt Priscott.
Emily VanInwegen finished fifth in the overall final standings. The driver of the Mike VanDusen owned number 56 finished fourth a season ago and repeated as a top five finisher on the heels of two top five and eight top ten finishes. VanInwegen started 12 events in 2019 which pushed her unmatched total of events started since 2014 to 101.
Finishing in the fourth position is Alysha Bay. The second generation driver out of Canandaigua scored a pair of feature wins in 2019 (Land of Legends Raceway and Afton Motorsports Park) along with six top five and ten top ten finishes. The two feature wins pushed her career total to three with the CRSA.
One season ago Justin Mills not only was crowned CRSA Rookie of the Year but also finished fifth in the final point standings. With a pair of Powder Tech Powder Coatings Hard Chargers Awards under his belt and three top five and nine top ten finishes, the driver of the Bluestone Excavating number M1 improved on that fifth place finish in 2019. Mills ended the season in the third position.
After claiming the 2018 Land of Legends Raceway Track Championship, Darryl Ruggles tackled the CRSA Sprint Car Series for the first time looking for the series championship. With six top five and nine top ten finishes along with a huge win at the Weedsport Speedway on Memorial Day, Ruggles would come close but fall a bit short in his bid for that first CRSA crown, finishing second. Ruggles did repeat as track champion at the Land of Legends Raceway.
It is never easy to repeat as champion and even harder to push that championship winning streak to three. In 2019, though Jeff Trombley was able to do just that when he claimed his third consecutive series title, worth a combined $3,000. The season was one of wins and consistency for Trombley. The Altamont, New York driver won four events (Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Fonda Speedway, Land of Legends Raceway, Afton Motorsports Park) and claimed ten top five finishes and 12 top ten finishes in the series 13 events. The only event that Warren Alexson owned team finished outside the top nine was in the season finale at Afton when mechanical issues plagued the team all evening long.
Since the 2017 season Trombley has won on average one out of every five CRSA events that the CRSA has held and has a 57 percent top five finishing percentage.
It was announced at the banquet that the tentative 2020 CRSA schedule could hit 20 events. At present time events have been confirmed at the Fonda Speedway, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, Penn Can Speedway, Land of Legends Raceway and Afton Motorsports Park. One of the events at the Fonda Speedway will be on day number two (Friday) of the Fonda 200 Weekend.
New Penn Can Speedway promoters Gary Folk, Sr. and Gary Folk, Jr. were on hand at the banquet. The Folk’s held a drawing for teams in attendance that awarded two team’s four admissions to the first CRSA event tentatively scheduled for July at the track. The winners of the drawings were Jeff Trombley and Matt Priscott.
Paul Cole of SuperGen Products/Champion Power Equipment and the Land of Legends Raceway donated a generator, pressure washer and inverter that were raffled off during the banquet.