TOLEDO OH (11-1-03) Among an impressive assortment of top ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series honorees, defending champion Chad Guinn again took center stage at the 2003 championship awards banquet Saturday night at the Radisson Hotel Grand...
TOLEDO OH (11-1-03) Among an impressive assortment of top ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series honorees, defending champion Chad Guinn again took center stage at the 2003 championship awards banquet Saturday night at the Radisson Hotel Grand Ballroom in downtown Toledo, Ohio.
The touring series, in its fifth consecutive season, officially crowned Guinn as champion for the second consecutive season while Barboursville, West Virginia newcomer Brian Rowe, who finished just 30 points away from Guinn in the title chase, was toasted as runner-up driver and Hoosier Racing Tires Rookie of the Year.
Guinn, in his father and champion truck owner Larry Guinn's BFI-M&M Heating & Cooling-Northland Collision-Voll Frame Ford Ranger, posted three victories among eight top-five finishes. In addition, the all-time series winner with 18 career victories led 225 laps en route to his second touring series title. "This is a really big deal for us," said Guinn on stage. "I want to thank my Mom and Dad for this opportunity, and for standing by the program. I guess my Dad should've never taken me to Toledo Speedway when I was five, because ever since, all I ever wanted to do was drive a racecar. But it's my parents who make it happen for me. Chuck Carroll is the best crew chief in the garage, and we're just so fortunate he's on our side. I wouldn't be up here if it wasn't for him. I also want to congratulate Brian Rowe for winning Rookie of the Year and finishing second. He gave us a heck of a battle for the championship; we sure enjoyed racing with him. He did a great job all year."
Rowe, a rookie in the truest sense, came straight from the Legends Cars and wasted no time adapting to the touring truck division with three victories all on tracks he had never seen before including the DuQuoin, Illinois fairgrounds mile-dirt. "I'd like to thank my truck owner AJ Pate; he gave us a great truck every time out. I also want to congratulate Chad Guinn on the championship; we sure enjoyed racing with him. We had a great time this year; this is a great little series and we're looking forward to coming back next year and running for the championship." In addition to the runner-up honors and $1,000 Hoosier Rookie of the Year prize, Rowe won the Racing Electronics Lightning Challenge award. AJ Pate, the runner-up truck owner, won the $2,000 Holley Performance Crew Chief of the Year award.
Canton, Michigan second-generation driver Paul Hahn, who won the season finale at Salem Speedway, was honored as third place driver as well as the Performance Race Fuels Sportsman of the Year while his father and truck owner Rick Hahn picked up the QuicShine 99 Best Appearing Truck honors. Two-time series champion Robbin Slaughter was recognized for his fourth place points finish while Kevin Reeb, who posted his career-first series victory at Lake Erie Speedway, picked up fifth place driver honors. Seventeen-year-old Brandon Knupp made the stage for his sixth place points finish as did the remaining top-10 drivers to include Ron Wells in seventh, John Kasmierski in eighth, 1999 series champion Bill Withers in ninth and Mark Otting in tenth. In all, the top 20 drivers and owners were welcomed to the stage to receive their respective honors.
Other special awards went to Tully Esterline who won the Old Milwaukee Pole honors for his season-high three pole awards -- significant because Esterline only made three starts and finished second each time out.
Tom Hooker won the Clevite-Victor Reinz Engine Builder of the Year award for the fourth consecutive season. The ARCA Spirit award went to tenth place driver Otting while ARCA's prestigious Golden Circle award went to series fuel supplier Rich Dunn of Performance Race Fuels. Knupp picked up the Holley Performance Most Improved Driver award.
In addition to Guinn's $6,000 point payout, championship ring and championship team jackets, the Erie, Michigan racer received an additional $1,000 from Damon Motorcoach as well as a two-week vacation aboard a Damon Motorcoach. Guinn also received the Cloyes Gear Halfway Leader award and a new Lincoln Electric wire welder from series sponsor Lincoln Welders. Additional prizes for Guinn included a Harris torch set and regulator, ignitions boxes from Nelson Specialties and Jacobs Electronics, a service certificate from Livernois Motorsports plus a digital air gauge compliments of Intercomp Scales.
In addition, there was an assortment of door prizes given away compliments of Lincoln Welders, Pate Manufacturing, Ed & Company, Kluhsman Racing Components, Diamond Wheels, Razor Performance, ARCA, Jacobs Electronics, Intercomp and Harris.