All Stars Crown Champion at 2005 Awards Banquet Chad Kemenah, winner of 8 All Star features in 2005 and recipient of the Huggins Cams Fast Time award for setting the most top qualifying times throughout the season, was crowned Champion of the...
All Stars Crown Champion at 2005 Awards Banquet
Chad Kemenah, winner of 8 All Star features in 2005 and recipient of the Huggins Cams Fast Time award for setting the most top qualifying times throughout the season, was crowned Champion of the All Star Circuit of Champions for the 4th consecutive year. Chad made the announcement that he will return to the All Stars in 2006 and make a run at his 5th points title. "I'd like to thank Guy Webb for everything he's done since he's been here," said Kemenah. "I'm looking forward to bigger and better things, as Guy would put it." He continued, "I'd also like to thank all the other competitors, my brother, and Kevin & Scott for giving me a great race car. I want to thank my wife, Tracy -- she has a lot do deal with sometimes." He continued, "I want to thank Jim Harble for this opportunity and John Bores and UUI -- without them this wouldn't be possible".
Guy Webb started off the evening with the announcement that the All Stars will start off the 2006 season at Volusia County Speedway in Barberville, FL (Daytona) on Feb. 7th. The All Stars will have four dates at Volusia sandwiched around two World of Outlaw dates. The All Stars will race Feb. 7, 8, 11, and 12. For more information, visit www.volusiaspeedwaypark.com . Dean Miracle has taken over as promoter at Volusia and many improvements have been made to the facility. "This will hopefully start building back our presence in Florida," said Webb. "We'll also have family packs of tickets available, and another neat thing will be a $10,000 to win 360 race on Feb. 7th with the USCS series."
Guy Webb announced that the All Star series has not been sold as some internet rumors that had been circulating have stated. He has teamed up with Indiana businessman Glynn Barber and Michigan based businessman Mike Bowen to form a company that will be involved in land acquisitions that will include several dirt tracks around the country. "There is a need to stabilize some of the things we do," Webb stated, "and this will enable us to do those things and to run more $10,000 to win events and get the series where it needs to be." The model for these acquisitions is not to run these tracks under the All Star banner, but instead to put capable teams in place to promote these facilities and handle the day to day operations, while running weekly racing programs and special events. The concept is simple, but much planning is still underway.
Michael Bowen is CEO of the Westwood Development Group which is a national commercial retail developer (www.thewestwoodgroup.com). Glynn Barber is the owner of Qualtech Tool & Engineering in Portland, IN and is also the man behind the new Xplex Extreme Competition Park (www.xplexpark.com). Qualtech has begun to manufacture bolt-on components for the sprint car industry and will become a sponsor of the All Star series. Ryan VanAtter is the Chief Operating Officer of the Xplex Park and will be working closely with the All Stars in this new venture along with Glynn. David Ayers is the Motorsports Manager for the park and will also be assisting the All Stars in future scheduling and business operations at the tracks that the series will visit. "I'm not going to make a lot of bold statements regarding these purchases," said Webb, "but we'll release information on these tracks as those deals are signed."
Other news regarding plans for the 2006 season included:
- Hummers Gone Wild will join the All Stars as a new sponsor for 2006. They will be at several of the events throughout the year and will have contests and displays to promote their products.
- Ohio Speedweek will have a $10,000 individual payoff to the winner of the week's points. Guy Webb welcomed back Wayne County Speedway to the Speedweek schedule for next year.
- The Haulmark Dash will have a season points fund rather than a nightly payoff. There will be a race at the end of the season with the Top 6 cars in dash points racing for $5000 to win.
- The 2006 schedule is still being solidified and currently has 46 dates. More are being added and the goal is to have 60 dates. The new track acquisitions will help to fill that schedule. It will be released when the contracts have been signed and the schedule is as complete as possible to eliminate some of the confusion that was seen in 2005.
In closing, Guy Webb stated, "We are no longer playing defense here. We are moving forward. The thing that I want to be able to do," he continued, "is have more higher paying events, more two day shows, and take the series to some new tracks where we can link our events with other entertainment packages that will help the promoters sell more tickets."
Danny Smith won the All-Pro Heads gift certificate for a new set of heads. "I want to thank Bob Williams from All Pro," said Smith. "He's been a big supporter of the All Stars and he's really helped our motor program. I want to thank him for his support. We really appreciate it."
Chad Kemenah won the Huggins Cams Fast Time award. Chad set quick time at 26.6% of the All Star races and is a threat every time he goes out to qualify, whether he draws a high number, low number, or somewhere in between. "I used to be the world's worst qualifier, but now I think I've got a pretty good grip on it," said Kemenah.
The Fisher Performance Hard Charger award went to Paul May. "I want to thank Rick Susong for this award," said May, "and for being there every night and supporting us and supplying us with parts."
The All Star Circuit of Champions Rookie of the Year award went to Cody Geldart. The Canadian young gun was a contender each week and had consistent finishes throughout the season. He won his first All Star event in Mayetta, KS back in August. "I want to thank my dad for paying all the bills and putting up with me. It was an awesome year," said Geldart.
The Crew Chief of the Year award went to Danny Smith. "I need to talk to my car owner about a raise now," said Smith. Danny's shop burned to the ground last winter and he was aided by several different people to get everything back together in time to make it to Florida for the start of the 2005 season. He was able to turn his hard work and determination into a 2nd place finish in series points.
The banquet awards ceremony, hosted by All Star announcer Rob Klepper, was filled with video highlights from Dean Mills, who is the official All Star videographer. Each award recipient's highlight reel from the 2005 season ran before they took the stage to receive their trophy and series points fund check.
Barry Ruble, who finished 11th in driver points thanked his crew chief Fred Scott, and his sponsors who have helped him along the way. Barry has been with the All Stars for several years and thanked those who have supported him in his racing career.
Rob Hunter was 11th in car owner points with drivers Kenny Jacobs and Tim Hunter. "I want to thank all of our sponsors and I want to thank Kenny Jacobs for driving for us," said Hunter. "I want to thank the All Stars. As a car owner, the All Stars are just great. They've done everything that they said they would and they've stepped up to the plate. I know there have been other people who have tried to form other things to go against them," he continued, "but the All Stars just keep on going. I'm glad to be a part of it."
Tom Chiapelli finished 10th in owner points with drivers Mike Lutz and Dan Shetler but was unable to attend the event.
Bob Bennett was 10th in driver points and 9th in owner points. "It was a tough season for us," said Bennett. We went through some trying times." He commented that he was glad to be able to do this deal with his dad helping him every step of the way. He continued, "We met some great people along the way and I hope to see you all again next year."
Cody Geldart was 9th in driver points for 2005 and his father, Brian Geldart, was 8th in owner points. "This year was a lot of fun," said Cody. "It was a learning experience. I got to meet a lot of new people." He also thanked his dad and sponsors for their support.
Paul May was 8th in driver points and 7th in owner points for the season. "I first want to thank my mother and father for giving me this opportunity to drive a sprint car," said May. "I grew up racing quarter midgets and micros and I begged my dad to death to buy me a sprint car. He finally did and here we are today." He also thanked his mother, his girlfriend, and all his sponsors for their support.
Brock Mayes finished 7th in driver points and 6th in owner points. He thanked his father and his crew for all their hard work. He thanked his sponsors and Shirley Kears for her help. "I also want to thank Guy Webb and the All Stars," he continued, "for getting us what they said they would. If it wasn't for that none of this would be possible."
Jeremy Campbell finished 6th in driver points and 5th in owner points. He thanked his sponsors and his step-mom and father for their help.
Greg Wilson finished 5th in driver points piloting 2 different cars. He also accepted the award for Jack Elden who finished 4th in owner points. Greg began by saying "I must be a messed up driver. I sent two car owners into retirement in one year." He was referring to long time All Star car owners Bob Hampshire (who retired after Ohio Speedweek) and Jack Elden (who retired at the end of the season). He thanked his girlfriend, his mom & dad, and all the people and sponsors who have supported him along the way. He said a special thanks to Bob Hampshire and Jack Elden for their support of the All Star series over the years. "Next year I'll be driving for a new team owned by Verl Warnimont," said Wilson. "Verl is new to the series and ran some races with Mike Brecht in 2005. We have a lot of sponsor help for 2006 and I just hope that we have a good and successful season next year."
Randy Hannagan finished 4th in driver points and his brother, Terry Hannagan, was 3rd in owner points. He started out by congratulating Brian and Chad Kemenah on their championship. "This was my first full year with the All Stars, and I think I picked the wrong year to do it," said Hannagan. "Next year looks a lot brighter for the series and I wish everyone well. I know I've always got a home to come back to." Randy has joined another series for the 2006 season. He continued, "The All Star's people are great. Randy Fink does a great job with the officiating. Guy Webb is bringing the series up to where it needs to be and I commend him for that." He went on to thank his crew, his brother, his sponsors, and especially Bob Williams at All Pro for helping his motor program. "This is my first year up here on this stage, and I hope to be back up here again in the years to come."
Finishing 3rd in 2005 was Dale Blaney who drove for both George Fisher and Jack Elden in 2005. "I'd like to thank everyone with the All Stars," he stated. "Guy Webb does a good job as well as the All Star officials. Sprint car racing is a tough deal right now. We all hope this series is headed in the right direction. It's a great series for guys from this area to make a good living at." He also thanked car owner George Fisher for the opportunity to drive his car. He thanked the Eldens for letting him drive their car. "I'd also like to thank them for firing me so I could go back and run for George. That was a difficult situation, but we made the best of it." He also thanked Tom and Fritz Andrews for their help.
Second place in points for the 2005 season was veteran Danny Smith. "Congrats to the 15k team," he stated. "The second year in a row running 2nd to them would normally suck, but after the way the season started -- and the way the season ended -- we'll take it." He thanked everyone who helped him get back on his feet after the shop fire. He thanked all of his sponsors and the people who have supported him through the years. He went on to say, "I also want to thank Guy Webb and all of his staff. You do an outstanding job. We complain a lot, but it really is the best show on dirt."