Ten Regional Mechanic of the Year awards honored

Ten Regional Champions Honored With The NASCAR Weekly Racing Series True Value Mechanic Of The Year Award DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 31, 2001) - In recognition of the efforts of mechanics and weekly crew members across the nation,...

Ten Regional Champions Honored With The NASCAR Weekly Racing Series True Value Mechanic Of The Year Award

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 31, 2001) - In recognition of the efforts of mechanics and weekly crew members across the nation, officials for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) have announced the 2001 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series True Value Regional Mechanics of the Year. NASCAR members who compete in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series selected the 10 regional winners via a ballot that appeared in NASCAR Magazine in August.

From the 10 regional champions, a national True Value Mechanic of the Year Award winner will be announced at the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series champions banquet at the Peabody Hotel and Resort in Orlando, Fla., on Friday, November 16. The True Value Mechanic of the Year national champion will receive more than $6,000 in awards from True Value Hardware Stores. True Value provides travel and accommodations for all 10 regional award winners. Each regional winner will receive $2,000, a trophy and an opportunity to compete with the nine other regional champions in the‘ Experience of a Lifetime’ drawing. The winner of the drawing will travel to the True Value IROC race of their choice and participate in the event with Jay Signore and the True Value IROC mechanics.

A region-by-region breakdown of the True Value Mechanic of the Year Award winners follows:

Atlantic Seaboard Region:
Janice Wood, of Benson, N.C., won the 2001 True Value Mechanic of the Year Award for the Atlantic Seaboard Region. Wood, 50, is the crew chief for her husband of almost 23 years, Stacey Wood. The duo competes in the Super Stock class at the .400-mile Southern National Speedway in Kenly, N.C.

Blue Ridge Region:
Darrell Poe, 49, of Bear Creek, N.C., is this year's NASCAR Weekly Racing Series True Value Mechanic of the Year in the Blue Ridge Region. The award is Poe's fifth; he was also the 2000 National True Value Mechanic of the Year. Poe is an accomplished engine builder, with dozens of Late Model Stock Car engines in competition this year. Poe represents many southeastern Late Model Stock Car teams and will represent Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway in 2001.

Great West Region:
Ben Bailey, 55, of Ft. Collins, Colo., won the 2001 True Value Mechanic of the Year Award for the Great West Region. Bailey works with his son-in-law, driver Bruce Yackey, in the Late Model division at Colorado National Speedway in Erie, Colo. Bailey and Yackey teamed up to win the track championship this year.

Heartland Region:
Bob Korn, of Miamisburg, Ohio, won his second consecutive True Value Mechanic of the Year Award in the Heartland Region. Korn, 74, went through several changes between the 2000 and 2001 seasons, but finished out this year with a strong performance from driver Jack Woods in the Late Model division at Kil-Kare Speedway in Xenia, Ohio.

Mid-America Region:
Ryan Powell, of Barre Mills, Wisc., is the 2001 Mid-America Region True Value Mechanic of the Year. Powell guided his brother, Brad, to three wins and the 2001 Late Model championship at the .625-mile LaCrosse (Wisc.) Fairgrounds Speedway.

Midwest Region:
Jack McKee, of Massena, Iowa, was named the 2001 Midwest Region True Value Mechanic of the Year. McKee, 55, serves as both owner and crew chief for a pair of dirt Late Model cars driven by his sons Todd and Troy at Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa. The brothers finished fourth and fifth, in the track point standings this year.

New England Region:
Stanley Swinehart, of Fleetwood, Pa. is the 2001 New England Region True Value Mechanic of the Year. Swinehart, 30, is the crew chief for his father, Ray Swinehart, 60, for their dirt Modified machines at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa. and Big Diamond Raceway in Minersville, Pa., where they compete each weekend.

Northeast Region:
Robert Demling, 35, of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., won the True Value Mechanic of the Year Award in the Northeast Region. Demling, who works on the NASCAR Modified driven by Chuck Steuer at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway, won a track championship with Steuer in 1996 and was previously the Northeast Region Mechanic of the Year in 1997. Demling was also a crew member for Steve Park, who competes in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, early in his career at Riverhead.

Pacific Coast Region:
Todd Saffiote, 27, of Escondido, Calif., won the 2001 Pacific Coast Region True Value Mechanic of the Year Award. Saffiote is the crew chief on the NWRS Super Late Model driven by Nathan Wulff. Saffiote has assisted his team in earning two wins and nine top-fives this season.

Sunbelt Region:
Terry Rye, of Middleburg, Fla., was named the 2001 True Value Mechanic of the Year in the Sunbelt Region. Rye, 45, is the owner and crew chief for a NWRS dirt Modified at Jax Raceways in Jacksonville, Fla., which is driven by Steve Whitener. Rye and Whitener teamed up to collect 12 wins, 18 top-fives and 21 top-tens in 22 starts this season.

"We are extremely pleased to announce our True Value Mechanic of the Year national and regional champions,” stated Chris Boals, director of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series.“ Each champion is a person who dedicates all of their spare time to weekly racing. Through True Value’s dedicated support to the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series we are able to recognize our regional and national champions, but we would also like to salute all of our nominees this season for their hard work and dedication to short track racing."

NASCAR received a record number of ballots for this year’s True Value Mechanic of the Year award. NASCAR members selected more than 375 local divisional winners at NASCAR Weekly Racing Series tracks, and the NASCAR Member Services department certified nearly 11,025 ballots during the 2001 voting process.

-NWRS True Value-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Steve Park