Joel Kauffman honored at 2002 Sunoco Super Series Awards Banquet. Salem, Ind. (January 20, 2003) -- LaGrange, Indiana native Joel Kauffman was honored as the 2002 Sunoco Super Series Champion this past Saturday night at the 2002 Sunoco Super ...
Joel Kauffman honored at 2002 Sunoco Super Series Awards Banquet.
Salem, Ind. (January 20, 2003) -- LaGrange, Indiana native Joel Kauffman was honored as the 2002 Sunoco Super Series Champion this past Saturday night at the 2002 Sunoco Super Series Season Awards Banquet held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The banquet attracted a record crowd of series teams, sponsors, guest and officials who were treated to a great evening of food, the awards presentation, and entertainment.
The championship presentation for the 17-year-old Kauffman put the finishing touch on a record breaking season that saw him become the youngest champion in Sunoco Super Series history. Kauffman also set records as the youngest series driver to win a series race, and set a series record with five fast qualifier awards in a season.
"I want to thank my family for making all of this possible," remarked Kauffman, "My father, the team owner, my mother and sister have dedicated most of their lives to my racing career over the past six years. I have to thank my entire crew for preparing great racecars for me, I was just the lucky one who got to drive them. My Crew Chief Bill Rievley is the main reason I'm the one standing here tonight receiving the championship trophy. Bill and I had great communication from the start, I new great things were going to happen this season from the first time I drove my racecar after he had prepared it. I want to thank all my sponsors, the series sponsors and my fellow racers for a great season!"
In all Team LA Motorsports collected over $17,000 of the $53,200 in money and contingencies that were award to the top fifteen drivers in final series points. In addition, Kauffman received an embroidered champions leather jacket from Goodyear Racing Tires. Larry Robinson, representing Goodyear Racing Tires short track program, presented the jacket to Kauffman.
Michigan driver Andy Ponstein received the Hubler Group / Blake Carburetion Rookie Of The Year Award. Ponstein received $6,925 in money and contingencies for winning the rookie award, and finishing 8th in the final series points. Ponstein was the Hubler Group / Blake Carburetion Rookie of the Race eight times during the 2002 season.
Second year series racer Scott Wolfe was named the 2002 TDR Screen Graphics Sportsman Of The Year. Wolfe, a Decatur, Indiana native, received a $600 bonus from TDR Screen Graphics, in addition to the money and contingencies for his tenth place finish in final series points.
Tim Phillips, second in the Hubler Group / Blake Carburetion Rookie Of The Year points, received the EMF Corporation Hang Tough bonus. Phillips finished 13th in the final series points with the lowest amount of top ten finishes of the top fifteen drivers during the season. Phillips received a $200 bonus from EMF Corporation. Phillips also received his Product Certificate for a Bare Offset Chassis from Lefthander Chassis for winning the 2002 Lefthander Challenge.
The awards banquet had a special unannounced guest, NASCAR Winston Cup veteran driver Geoffrey Bodine was in attendance as a guest of the Kauffman family. Bodine made a special trip from Charlotte, North Carolina to see Joel Kauffman receive his championship trophy. Bodine has been a friend of the family and has been a mentor for Joel Kauffman for several years.
Team LA Motorsports and driver Joel Kauffman announced they would be moving up to compete with the USAR Hooters ProCup Series in 2003. They will compete for Rookie Of The Year honors with the Northern Division at USAR Hooters ProCup, but will make selected starts when time allows with the Sunoco Super Series including the 2003 season opener on April 19th at Anderson Speedway.
There were several announcements from the Sunoco Super Series for the 2003 season. The standard series purse will be increased in two areas for 2003. The winner's share of the purse will increase from $2,500 to $3,000 for the 2003 season. In addition, the standard purse will now pay a minimum of $450 to start in 2003, this is a $50 increase from last season.
The 19-event 2003 Sunoco Super Series schedule was formally announced Saturday night. Mark Gundrum of ASA was on hand and made a short presentation about the October 18th Sunoco Super Series non-points event at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee. That ASA promoted event will be a 200-lap event that will be Co-sanctioned by the Sunoco Super Series and the Southern All-Stars Series. The race will be ran in conjunction with ASA's Championship event at the same track on Sunday, October 19th.