Grandview Speedway 2002 Banquet summary

Jeff Strunk and Lou Egrie celebrate championship efforts at 40th Annual Grandview Speedway NASCAR Awards Banquet. Gilbertsville, PA November 16, 2002 . . . For the second time in his career Jeff Strunk was honored as the NASCAR Weekly Racing ...

Jeff Strunk and Lou Egrie celebrate championship efforts at 40th Annual Grandview Speedway NASCAR Awards Banquet.

Gilbertsville, PA November 16, 2002 . . . For the second time in his career Jeff Strunk was honored as the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge Modified stock car champion at the 40th annual Grandview Speedway NASCAR Awards Banquet on Saturday night. Close to 400 people filled the Gilbertsville, PA Fire Co. Social Hall. Lou Egrie also was honored for winning his second NASCAR ShorTrack Late Model championship.

Strunk took home more than $20,000 in cash and prizes for title winning efforts of himself and car owner Keith Harring, a trucking company executive from Bethel, PA. The veteran race driver, who has won titles at a number of area speedways, had also won the championship at Grandview Speedway in 2000.

Included in championship awards for him and his car owner was $10,000 from Grandview Speedway, $5600 from NASCAR for their fifth place finish in the NASCAR New England Regional point standings, the Champion's Trip for he and a guest to Mexico valued at more than $3,000 from track owners Bruce and Teresa Rogers, NASCAR track championship money, a custom made championship ring valued at $1,000 and more.

Strunk tallied up two feature wins during the season and that combined with a long list of consistent strong finishes earned the team 4,982 points and the championship.

Lou Egrie, Huntington Valley, PA, also picked up his second Late Model championship along with car owners Frank and Doris McCarthy. Egrie was champion in 1997. Two feature wins, including the prestigious Chuck Sennott Memorial, and strong finishes in a number of other main events earned the team 4874 points and the title.

Egrie earned point fund money for the team from Grandview Speedway and NASCAR that tallied up to more than $2,000 plus other perks. Both Strunk and Egrie have indicated that they will be back at Grandview Speedway to defend their titles.

The top ten drivers and top five owners in each division shared in point fund money while the top twenty drivers and top ten owners in each division went home with some very large and very attractive trophies. The championship awards were more than 6 feet tall. The Grandview Groove track magazine Most Popular Driver Awards went to late model racer Kelly Snyder and modified driver Kerry Kratz by vote of the fans.

The first annual Jerry Glase Memorial Spirit Award, named in honor of the late long time track employee who passed away in September, went to Vicki Gehris. The award, sponsored by Ernie and Marilyn Saxton to keep their long time friend's name alive, was presented to Gehris in recognition of her tireless efforts behind the scenes at Grandview Speedway.

Special appreciation awards were presented to Emma Schnable for her work with the various sponsors, T.H. Properties for their sponsorship of the Freedom 76 and Stauffer Construction for their sponsorship of the Firecracker 40 and Forrest Rogers Memorial.

Additional appreciation awards were presented to the more than dozen media on hand and the tow and push truck operators who are so important to the success of events at Grandview Speedway.

Other special awards included:
Rookie of the Year - Modifieds: Jon Kellner, Jr.
Rookie of the Year - Late Models: Steve Sennott
Most Improved Driver - Modifieds - Ryan Watt (finished 12th in point standings after finishing 42nd the season before)
Most Improved Driver - Late Models - Chuck Schutz (improving from 9th in 2001 to 2nd in 2002)
Best Newcomer - Modifieds - Ron Solomon Jr. (a former motocross racer)
Best Newcomer - Late Models - Ray Mancinelli ( a former track champion in Oklahoma and New York State)
Best Dressed Crew - Modifieds - Tracy Readinger #2T -D&S Archery entry
Best Dressed Crew - Late Models - Rick Todorow #93 - Juniper Auto Body entry
Best Appearing Car - Modifieds - Barry Readinger with the Devine Transport #70D
Best Appearing Car - Late Models - Randy Stoudt  with the Rogers Auto Parts #22
Sportsmanship Award - Modifieds - Kenny Gilmore
Sportsmanship Award - Late Models - John Giesler
Hard Luck Award - Modifieds - Tom Mayberry
Hard Luck Award - Late Models - Ed Trimbur

Representing NASCAR at the banquet was Jim Cassady who made a few comments to the audience about the state of NASCAR racing, the continued sponsorship support from Dodge and NASCAR's continuing involvement in racing at Grandview Speedway. He also presented awards to the top three finishers in each division which included Jeff Strunk, Doug Manmiller and Craig VonDohren in the Modifieds along with Lou Egrie, Chuck Schutz and Randy Stoudt in the Late Models.

Ken Sandman received a True Value Hardware NASCAR Mechanic's award and Lou Egrie took home an award for finishing in the NASCAR ShorTrack New England Regional standings.

Track announcer and marketing director Ernie Saxton closed out the evening by making several announcements of interest to attendees. Grandview Speedway will open for their 41st consecutive season of racing on Saturday, March 29th, with a free-to-the-public practice session. And the chase for the point championships will get the green flag on Saturday, April 5, 6 p.m. with Patriot Bank Night featuring the NASCAR Modifieds and Late Models.


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