INDIANAPOLIS - The career feature win leader with the All Star Circuit of Champions sprint car racing series, Kenny Jacobs, was honored as a defending three-time champion Friday night at the All Star awards banquet held at the Crown Plaza hotel...
INDIANAPOLIS - The career feature win leader with the All Star Circuit of Champions sprint car racing series, Kenny Jacobs, was honored as a defending three-time champion Friday night at the All Star awards banquet held at the Crown Plaza hotel in Indianapolis. Jacobs, along with team co-owner Tom Honecker, received the $20,000 series points fund check in the name of Jacobs/Honecker Motorsports, plus many other awards at the gala affair. The function was held in connection with the PRI trade show and was attended by 200 guests representing the top ten teams, sponsors, race fans, All Star staff and special guests.
Al Rasegan, of the GM Powertrain Group, presented Jacobs and Honecker with the keys to the series 2000 Chevrolet pace truck valued at $30,000, in recognition as the series champion. Rasegan, who is retiring from General Motors, was also presented a plaque from All Star President Bert Emick in honor of his support of the series over the past several years. Jim Spaulding from GM Performance Parts presented Jacobs with an aluminum Chevrolet Engine block as the points champion.
After several speakers had their fun with the unique tuxedo attire worn by the champion team of Jacobs and mechanic Aaron Hammer, Jacobs challenged his fellow competitors, "If you think I gave you a hard time at the track this year, just wait till next year," indicating his commitment to return to the series in 2001.
Following dinner, Emick introduced the All Star staff, including new employees Randy and Lisa Hammer, hired to help the All Stars grow in the 21st century. Bill "Barney" Lyle was also recognized for his outstanding job as competition director last year. Emick also recognized other staff members @!Nicole Hull, Bear Shue, Jeff Kristensen and Scott Hall. Several special guests were on hand including All Star Vice-president Jean Lynch and her husband Ed and Secretary-Treasurer Brigitte Emick.
Promoters in attendance were Fremont's Jim and Joanne Ford, Attica's Gene and Carol Frankart and TV announcer Brad Doty. IRL driver Sarah Fisher and her father Dave, who last raced with the All Stars in 1998, were on hand and Fisher credited her fellow All Star competitors with preparing her for a promising racing career. WFIN Radio show announcers Andrew and Scott Barman, Tom Schmeh and Craig Agan from the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, Open Wheel Magazine Editor Doug Auld and TV announcer and writer Dave Argabright were also recognized. Agan presented All Star president Emick with a duplicate of the induction plaque he received this summer from the NSCHof. It was an emotional moment for Emick who had dedicated the award to his father, "Pop" Emick. He received a standing ovation when the plaque was presented. Auld congratulated the All Stars on their successful implementation of a sprint car weight rule and their continued efforts to keep down the cost of racing. Argabright honored Brigitte Emick with a crystal gift for her devotion and hard work on behalf of the All Stars as the "woman behind the man" over the last 21 years. Brigitte also received words of appreciation and a crystal vase from United Expressline's Butch Johnson with the thanks of the Johnson family. Retired driver Frankie Kerr, wife Vickie and owner @!Stan Shoff were honored with plaques of appreciation for their four championships and many other accomplishments. Bert Emick thanked the 2000 All Star corporate sponsors for their ongoing support. Joe Darmofal of TW Metals, who was the largest corporate sponsor in 2000, provided many special awards and assistance throughout the season. He indicated that TW Metals will be returning as a corporate sponsor and continue their unique bonus program in 2001. Orren Zook's
Commercial Truck & Trailer was honored as the Dash sponsor for the past several seasons. Warren and Butch Johnson of United Expressline, who provide the T-shirt trailer for the series and Tom Long of B-Main Sponsor Georgia Marketing and Promotions were also thanked by Emick. HARF was also recognized for providing the video equipment for the evening. One of the highlights of the evening was the surprise announcement of Brian Kemenah, crew chief of Chad Kemenah's Jimmy Harble Underground Utilities No. 15, being honored as the Outerwears Company Crewchief of the Year. Following season review video clips of each team composed by Jeff Kristensen, the top ten in points received their season points fund checks, trophies, product certificates and special awards. Tenth place owner Denny Ashworth was honored, with Kevin Huntley driving the No. 92 most of the season after Dave Calaman piloted the machine in February and April. Burton, Ohio's Barry Ruble was honored as the tenth place driver. Ninth place owner and driver honors fell to Pa. driver Daryl Stimeling , with driver Danny Smith and owner John Baker capturing eighth place. Driver Greg Wilson and owner Bob Hampshire were seventh in the final rundown, with driver Kelly Kinser and owner @!Jerry Kinser sixth. Todd Gracey and owner Ken Cooper finished fifth in the final points, with Gracey also receiving the KSE Racing Products Rookie of the Year award from Gary Rocky of KSE. They also received a Mallory coil magneto from Fisher Performance. Missouri driver Jerrod Hull was honored for his fourth place showing, along with car owner Guy Webb. Owner Jim Harble and Chad Kemenah captured third place honors, and the runner-up position went to driver Rodney Duncan and car owner Al Harrison.
Champion Jacobs had a consistent year with six feature wins out of 44 events with five seconds, and three each finishes of third, fourth and fifth. He also recorded 13 fast times during the season and 10 heat race wins. Emick also thanked the rest of the series sponsors for the 2000 campaign, including tire companies Competition Tire West, Race Tires America, Dayton Enterprises and Hoosier Tire. All Pro Heads, Bailey Racing Products, Brodix Heads, C&R Racing, Donovan Engineering, Eagle Chassis, Engler Tool and Machine, Fisher Performance, Fuel Safe, Gaerte Engines, Hank's Performance Products, Intercomp Scales, J&J Chassis, Kear's Speed Shop, Lunati Cams/Holley Performance, NBC Steering, Outerwears, PRO-shocks, Rodeck Aluminum Blocks, Royal Publishing, Schoenfeld Headers and Team Simpson Racing were also recognized. Special awards went to Al Harrison for a set of cylinder heads from All Pro, a J&J chassis from Jack Elam to Todd Gracey, and an NBC steering unit to Kelly Kinser from the Nickles Brothers plus a set of heads from Brodix. Jacobs also received a new ButlerBuilt seat for earning the most ButlerBuilt Hot Seat pole positions during the season. Emick recognized Brodix Heads and Gaerte Engines for being All Star sponsors since their first season in 1980, plus he thanked Kear's Speed Shop for their long time support. Engler was also thanked for coming aboard as a new All Star sponsor for the 2000 season. The evening concluded with the announcement that Haulmark Trailers will join the All Stars in 2001 as a corporate sponsor, including the Haulmark Dash at every race and the year-end Haulmark Shoot-out. Several other sponsors made commitments for the 2001 season, and the complete list will be announced at a later date. Columbus, Ohio radio personality Dave "Bash" Campbell served as emcee for the evening's activities, while the banquet room was beautifully decorated by Lisa Hammer and Fran Darmofal.