WS: WM: FF: Western series awards banquet summary

USAC's 2007 WESTERN CHAMPIONS HONORED AT BANQUET IN ARCADIA, CALIFORNIA The United States Auto Club's 2007 racing series champions were toasted Saturday night at the annual Western Awards Banquet at the Embassy Suites Hotel in...

USAC's 2007 WESTERN CHAMPIONS HONORED AT BANQUET IN ARCADIA, CALIFORNIA

The United States Auto Club's 2007 racing series champions were toasted Saturday night at the annual Western Awards Banquet at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Arcadia, Calif.

Drivers Tony Jones of Norco, Calif. (Lucas Oil USAC/CRA Sprints), Ryan Kaplan of Chico, Calif. (Lucas Oil Western Sprints), Johnny Rodriguez of Elk Grove, Calif. (Western Midgets), Tim Skoglund of Fresno, Calif. (California Paved Ford Focus), Nic Faas of Huntington Beach, Calif. (California Dirt Ford Focus), Ryan Burdett of West Jordan, Utah (Young Automotive Rocky Mountain Sprint Cars) and Tim Savage of Herriman, Utah (Utah Ford Focus) earned 2007 driving titles.

Car owners Western Speed Racing of Madera, Calif. (California Dirt Ford Focus) and Faas (California Paved Ford Focus), Mitchell Motorsports of Yorba Linda, Calif. (Western Midgets), Michael Swanson of Kingsburg, Calif. (Lucas Oil Western Sprints), Alexander Racing of Torrance, Calif. (Lucas Oil USAC/CRA Sprints), Frank Burdett of West Jordan, Utah (Young Automotive Rocky Mountain Sprints) and Savage (Utah Ford Focus) were also lauded for the championship-winning efforts.

Assisting emcee Rob Klepper with interview were Perris Auto Speedway announcers Scott Daloisio and Chris Holt, while special addresses were given by USAC President Rollie Helmling, USAC Western Operations VP Tommy Hunt and Daloisio.

Special awards were presented to Jerry Faas of Huntington Beach, Calif. (the Walt Johnson Memorial Award, presented by Bob Pool and Pat & Walt Johnson Jr.); Ron Sutton of Sacramento, Calif. (the Curly Merrill Let's Go Racing Award) and Duane McQueen of Bakersfield, Calif. (Joe Lynch Memorial Award presented by Wally Pankratz).

Josh Laughton, the Hoosier Tire West representative, assisted in presenting Hoosier/K & N Engineering "Rookie of the Year" and Hoosier "Most Improved Driver" awards. Earning rookie honors were Scotty Weir of Marion, Ind. (Lucas Oil USAC/CRA Sprints), Ryan Kaplan of Chico, Calif. (Lucas Oil Western Sprints), Quintin Crye of Gridley, Calif. and C.J. Sarna of Palm Desert, Calif. (Western Midgets) and Robby Josett of Santa Clarita, Calif. (California Ford Focus).

Hoosier "Most Improved" drivers for 2007 were David Cardey of Riverside, Calif. and Blake Miller of Yorba Linda, Calif. (Lucas Oil USAC/CRA Sprints), JoJo Helberg of Rohnert Park, Calif. (Lucas Oil Western Sprints), Matt Mitchell of Yorba Linda, Calif. (Western Midgets) and Dennis Howell of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. (California Ford Focus).

Jim Naylor of Ventura Raceway accepted USAC's Western Race Organizer of the Year award from Tommy Hunt.

Earl's Fast Qualifying Champions Lance Pierovich of Alamo, Calif. (Western Midgets) and Alan Kaiser of Vallejo, Calif. (Lucas Oil Western Sprints) and Lincoln Electric Western Mechanical Achievement Award winner Steve Alexander of Torrance, Calif. were announced and will receive their 2007 awards at the USAC National Awards Dinner in Indianapolis, Ind. January 19.

A capacity turnout of nearly 300 were in attendance for Saturday night's festivities.

-credit: usac

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Series USAC
Drivers Scotty Weir , Tony Jones , Johnny Rodriguez , Wally Pankratz , Ryan Kaplan , Matt Mitchell , Nic Faas