THREE FIRST TIME CHAMPIONS CROWNED BY DEBI DOMBY - SOUTHGATE, MICHIGAN Tom Paonessa from AC Delco & Larry Robinson from Goodyear Tire & Rubber were in attendance at the 20th Annual Toledo Speedway banquet held on November...
THREE FIRST TIME CHAMPIONS CROWNED
BY DEBI DOMBY - SOUTHGATE, MICHIGAN
Tom Paonessa from AC Delco & Larry Robinson from Goodyear Tire & Rubber were in attendance at the 20th Annual Toledo Speedway banquet held on November 8. The banquet honored the AC Delco / Murray's Iceman Series drivers along with the speedway's two weekly divisions. Glenn Gault became the series 8th different champion in the AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series 11 year history. Russell Wood won the championship in the Late Model Sportsman division while Dennis Randall took the title in the Street Stock class. All three newly crowned champions won their titles for the first time in their careers.
For the 2nd time in as many seasons, the point battle came down to the final race. Glenn Gault won the championship a scant 2 points over defending series champion Dave Kuhlman. It was the smallest margin of victory for the championship since Butch Miller & Dennis Berry tied in '93.
Glenn Gault now has won 12 championships in his racing career. His most prestigious championship came in 1988 when he was crowned the NASCAR Northeast Region Winston Racing Series Champion. His other 10 championships came at: 1997-Sharon Speedway & Lorain County Speedway, OH; 1983-Expo Speedway, OH (dirt); 1986-Sharon Speedway, OH (dirt); 1988-Clearfield Mountain Speedway, PA; 1991-Clearfield Mountain Speedway, Motordrome Speedway & Jennerstown Speedway, PA; 1993-Clearfield Mountain Speedway, PA.
A jubilant Gault said after receiving his trophy, "I'd like to thank Larry (Zolata) & the rest of my crew, along with Lefthander Chassis & Carrera Shocks. We ran the same car & engine combination that we ran for the past few seasons. We were very consistent this year with our finishes & didn't have any breakdowns. I enjoyed racing with the entire group of guys on the series & am looking forward to returning next season to defend my title. I think the most exciting race of the season this year was the last one, the 200 lapper. I got tangled in a wreck & had to work my way back to the front."
'96 champion Dave Kuhlman presented Gault with the AC Delco / Murray's Iceman Series champion's ring, while promoter Sonny Adams presented Glenn with the winner's check for $20,000. The Hubbard, Ohio driver also received two race car bodies (one each from ARP & 5Star), a jacket from Goodyear Tire & Rubber & an AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series champion's jacket from Creative Sportswear along with other various contingencies.
In descending order trophies were handed out to the top 15 pointsmen, along with their points fund checks. This year the top 15 car owners in points received awards with a picture of their car affixed to the plaques. Dave Kuhlman finished 2nd while Kenny Phillips finished 3rd (the pair finished 1st & 2nd the previous season). '96 Rookie of the year Stan Boyd was 4th while Scott Baker finished 5th. Mike Hunter, Chuck Roumell, Dave James, Gary Camelet & Jerry Cook rounded out the top 10 in points. Rounding out the top 15 were: rookie Ronnie Ridenour, Greg Taylor, rookie Dennis Anscombe, Sean Sholtis & rookie Steve Seegott. The 1997 season had the most rookies competing for the title. Six rookies finished in the top 20 in points with 3 finishing in the "money" positions. Ronnie Ridenour trailed Dennis Anscombe the 1st half the season & took over the lead when Ascombe suffered a blown engine in race 5. Anscombe mounted a challenge in the final race, but Ridenour held on for the title beating Anscombe by 46 points. Ridenour took home over $5,000 in money contingencies. Steve Seegott, in his1st year of racing a stock car, finished 15th in points.
The top 10 drivers in the Late Model Sportsman division also received trophies & point fund money. Russell Wood became Toledo Speedway's first Canadian LLM champion since 1978 when Don Mallott won the title. Wood broke Art Rozanne's streak of 3 consecutive championships. Rozanne was the runner-up to Wood this year. Finishing third through 10th were: Greg Sharp, Norm Lewallen Jr, Mike Demars, Howard Kelly, Scott Plonski, Dennis Fetters, Clayton Smith & Dan DeLisle.
Dennis Randall took home the championship crown in the Street Stock division. Runners up were Dave Rupp, Steve Zilka, Craig Pace, Brian Graybill, Dave Gilbert, Michael Baer, Harold Boyd & Chris Wilcox.