HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Selinsgrove Speedway and Raceway Park officials concluded the 2003 season with the annual awards banquet Saturday evening at the Harrisburg-Hershey Marriott. More than 500 guests were in attendance representing the track's ...
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Selinsgrove Speedway and Raceway Park officials concluded the 2003 season with the annual awards banquet Saturday evening at the Harrisburg-Hershey Marriott.
More than 500 guests were in attendance representing the track's go kart, micro sprint, roadrunner, pro stock, late model and sprint car divisions.
Track officials distributed more than $20,000 in point fund monies and trophies to the season's top performing race teams.
Leading the list of champions was Chad Layton, 28, of Harrisburg. Layton won his third consecutive Cindy Rowe Paintless Dent Repair sprint car championship at Selinsgrove Speedway at the wheel of the Wholesale Auto No. U-1.
Layton, whose career in open wheel race cars began in 1998, competed in 19 of the 20 events this season, won three features, and recorded 15 top five finishes at Selinsgrove Speedway.
In 2003, Layton won a total of seven feature events at four different speedways, and became the all-time career leading limited sprint car feature winner in Central Pennsylvania. He confirmed his intentions to move into 410 sprint car competition full-time in 2004.
Dan Foss of Foss Jewelers, Selinsgrove, presented Layton with a specially-designed championship ring encrusted with diamonds to commemorate Layton's third championship repeat.
Shelley Whitcomb, of Millersburg, widow of the late sprint car driver Joe Whitcomb, presented Nate Snyder of Halifax with the Joe Whitcomb Memorial Sportsman of the Year Award for Sprint Cars.
Joe Whitcomb, who was the recipient of the track's Sportsman of the Year award in 2001, was fatally injured in a sprint car crash at Selinsgrove Speedway on June 21.
Dale Kerstetter, 50, of Liverpool, clinched his second career MAPCO Machine Shop late model track championship. Kerstetter qualified for all 19 events and posted three feature wins and 13 top five finishes.
In 1980, Kerstetter and Bob Smith were named late model co-champions. Kerstetter's racing career began in 1972, and he won his first late model race in 1974.
Kyle Bachman, 31, of Selinsgrove became the track's sixth different Keller's Auto Body/Salem RV Center pro stock champion in as many seasons of competition for the stock car division. Bachman won nine features and recorded 21 top five finishes in 2003. Bachman announced he will be competing in the 358 sprint car division in 2004.
Matt Drum, 23, of Port Trevorton, won the track's second ever roadrunner title. Drum, who also competed in pro stocks this season, won seven roadrunner features and drove to 14 top five finishes.
All Selinsgrove Speedway divisional champions were the recipients of the gold championship rings from Foss Jewelers.
Special recognition awards were also presented in the following categories: Most Improved Driver awards went to Brian Powell (sprints), Dave Shulski (late models), Meade Hahn (pro stocks) and Chris Eckert (roadrunners). Sportsman Of The Year plaques were handed to Nate Snyder (sprints), Jeff Smith (late models), Mark Benson (pro stocks) and Jeff Baney (roadrunners). Rookie of the Year honors went to Davie Franek (sprints), Tony Smith (late models), Gary Welsh (pro stocks) and Brad Mitch (roadrunners).
Jerry Reigle, of Harrisburg, was recognized as the 2003 Media Member of the Year. Reigle began writing the motorsports column for the Harrisburg Patriot-News in 1992, and has been a contributing editor and columnist for Area Auto Racing News since 1990.
Track officials also recognized The Daily Item (Sunbury) Sports Department for its outstanding coverage of motorsports in general and Selinsgrove Speedway in particular in 2003.
Selinsgrove Raceway Park champions also shared the spotlight. Shane Penny, of Nescopeck, clinched the Selinsgrove Ford micro sprint car championship with four feature wins and 12 top five finishes in 17 starts. He became the third champion in as many seasons of micro sprint car competition at the track.
Go kart champions were recognized as follows: Jessica Miller (kid karts), Kasi Miller (rookies 1), Corbin Leiby (rookies 2 and rookie cage 9-12), Nathan Long (rookie cage 5-8), Nathan Orwan (jr. restricted lites), Dylan Yoder (jr. cage), Trenton Sheaffer (lites), Ken Duke (mediums), Mike Trevitz (heavies), Brian Snyder (x-heavies), Dwayne Zimmerman (adult cage and controlled wing karts), Branden Libby (jr. restricted heavies), Jace Cresswell (animal class).
Track officials announced the 2004 season openers will be Sunday, March 14 for Selinsgrove Raceway Park and Saturday, March 20 for Selinsgrove Speedway. The annual motorsports show at the Susquehanna Valley Mall has been scheduled for Feb. 15 -- 21. 2004 schedules and rulebooks are expected to be finalized by December.
Facility renovations are in progress at the speedway during the off-season, including the installation of new steel guardrails stretching from the inside of turn two to turn four. Both the half-mile and one-fifth mile tracks have been resurfaced with sifted clay and are race-ready for the start of the 2004 season.
For the latest news and information, visit the speedway's official website at selinsgrovespeedway.com.