Truck, Midget champions honored

Toledo, Ohio, 11-11-00 -- More than 300 people jammed the Radisson Hotel in downtown Toledo, Ohio Saturday night to honor champions and front-runners from the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series as well as the ARCA Auto Value Midget Series. The...

Toledo, Ohio, 11-11-00 -- More than 300 people jammed the Radisson Hotel in downtown Toledo, Ohio Saturday night to honor champions and front-runners from the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series as well as the ARCA Auto Value Midget Series.

The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series, having just finished its second season, crowned Columbus, Ohio's Robbin Slaughter as champion while the long-standing ARCA Auto Value Midget Series, finishing its 21st season, toasted open wheel veteran and champion Gene Lee Gibson for the third consecutive season.

Slaughter was never far from the front in 2000 posting four wins, 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 16 starts. "Nothing could be more gratifying to me, and the crew, than to win our first championship," said Slaughter. "It took more than 15 years of trying, working two jobs and lots of persistence but it's all worth it now. I'd like to thank Ed & Jackie Yoak of Ed & Company for a great chassis, Tom Hooker for awesome engines and my crew chief Tom Cumbow for all his dedication and expertise. Without their help, I wouldn't be standing before you. It takes the heart of a lot of people to make it all happen, and there's plenty of heart on this team. I'd also like to thank my sponsors' Carmen's Vacuum Sales, NAPA Auto Parts and TWC Enterprises."

To go along with championship rings, Slaughter received $9,500 in cash and prizes including championship jackets and shoes for the entire crew from Fastlane Footwear, a mig welder from Lincoln Electric, a new truck body from Revenge Racing Bodies, $1,000 from Coachmen RV, an ignition box from Nelson Specialties, torch set form Harris Torches & Regulators, digital air gauge from Intercomp as well as product certificates from Diamond Wheels, Cornwell Quality Tools, Racing Electronics and Hawk Brake. Champion crew chief Cumbow won the Cornwell Quality Tools Crew Chief of the Year Award and with it, a new rolling Cornwell Tools pit box. Additional point fund contributors included Pate Manufacturing and Brooks Racing Tires.

Chad Guinn, who posted four wins, 11 top-fives and 11 top-10s, was honored as runner-up in points and also won $1,000 Strictly Legal-Sonic Racing Rookie of the Year Award as well as the Hoosier Tire Pole Award for winning the most poles while Flat Rock winner Johnny Witham was recognized as third in points ahead of Troy Marciniak and Bill Withers to complete the top-five. In all, positions one through 20 for driver and owners were honored with trophies and point fund money compliments of series sponsor Lincoln Welders. In other awards, Chuck Carroll won the $1,000 Clevite-Victor Reinz Engine Builder of the Year honors while Marciniak, who also posted four wins, won the Cloyes Gear Halfway Leader Award. Driver Stan Maitlen won ARCA's Spirit Award for his perseverance throughout and chassis builders' AJ Pate and Ed Yoak were awarded Golden Circle Awards for their instrumentation within the series. Kyle Witwer won the QuicShine Best Appearing Truck Award while Michael Carter Jr won the Holley Performance Most Improved Driver Award. Tully Esterline was the Target Expediting Sportsman of the Year and part-time series driver Kendra Lake won a Quaife transmission in a drawing from Quaife America Transmissions.

In 13 ARCA Auto Value Midget Series events, Gibson, who rarely finished out of the top three, garnered six victories in all en route to the championship. "I'm just really lucky to have great people around me," said the Richwood, Ohio second-generation driver. "As always, a big thanks to my father (Todd Gibson), who through all the ups and downs of motorsports, keeps me focused and on track. In a family that has four boys that race, that's not an easy job. He's the biggest reason I'm here and the mastermind behind all the set-ups as well as chassis design. I appreciate my family more than they may ever know. I'd like to thank my wife Cindy, who is fairly new to racing and has learned to adjust through all the thrills of victories and all the agonies of defeats. She's the best and I wouldn't want any of this without her blessings. I appreciate all the accolades. I like the money too." In addition to Auto Value point fund money, Gibson and crew were also the recipients of championship jackets and shoes by Fastlane Footwear as well as championship rings from ARCA. Gibson also received an ignition box from Nelson Specialties and $500 from Hoosier Tire for winning the Hoosier Tire Pole-Win Award. Gibson's father Todd won the $500 Clevite-Victor Reinz Midget Engine Builder of the Year honors.

Dave Baumgartner was honored as second in points ahead of Jason Fuller, Kevin Myers and Rick Harrell to complete the top-five. In all, positions one through 20 in drivers and owners were honored with trophies and point fund money compliments of series sponsor Auto Value Parts Stores. Additional point fund contributors included Suspension Spring and Steingass Photos. Chris Randolph and Travis Miniea were honored as Seymour's Autocraft Engines Co-Rookies of the Year while Gary Harrell won the Auto Value Midget Most Improved Driver Award. Harrell's father Don Harrell won ARCA's prestigious Spirit Award for his contributions to motorsports to include crew-chiefing Rollie Beale to the 1973 USAC Sprint Car championship as well as two ARCA Midget championships for son Rick. Brian Medley won the Auto Value Sportsman of the Year Award while long-time open-wheel photographer Dave Steingass won ARCA's Golden Circle Award for his dedication through the years.

In honor of Perry Younce, who lost his life in a racing accident, more than $2,000 was raised throughout the ceremony on behalf of his children's education.

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