47th Annual MARFC Banquet in the Books!
Thank You goes out to Jim Lamb, Lenny Trinklein, Jim Hanks, and Tim Phillips for bringing out the race cars we had on display at the banquet. It was a wide representation from past to present, Oval Track to Road Racing. We had a Waterford Hills road racer, Old Yeller from Whittemore Speedway, 2 GLS Mini-Cups, and a Winged Sprinter from Must See Racing. Everyone enjoyed the cars and I also want to pass along kudos to Kyle Trinklein and Tim Phillips who were working on the Mini-Cups right up until the doors opened up and they looked fantastic. Many thanks to those who helped with set-up and tear down of this year’s banquet as without their help it would be impossible to get this thing done as efficiently as we do every year: Bob Capps, Chuck Horan, Jeff Horan, Bill Walters, Linda Walters, Laura Tucker, Sue Ginter, Scott Menlen, Larry Iacoboni, Al Peltier, and Wild Bill. Set-up was done in record time this year and tear down once again was smooth. Alan Lardie, the voice of Infineon Raceway did a wonderful job as our Emcee this year and was very well prepared and even worked through a few hiccups flawlessly. Paul Anton was once again right on top of everything as the official MARFC Photographer, Thank You Paul. I’d really like to thank our Board of Directors for being there all the time and helping out in any way possible, I appreciate it and I know the members do as well.
Our President’s Award went to Harley Boeve and Port City Racecars and it was great to be able to visit with the Boeves and learn a bit more about their business and talk a bit about the success they have enjoyed over the years. One thing that I already knew but was surely reminded of is that these folks are extremely committed to racers, their safety, their success, and their employees. They truly put everything into their business along with the folks working on and assembling every Port City race Car and component that leaves their shop.
The MARFC/Eddie Sachs Jr. Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Open Wheel Veteran and USAC standout, Mr. Tom Bigelow. Tom is the winningest Sprint Car driver in USAC History and is also one of the outstanding color commentators for Must See Racing. Tom’s career and accomplishments at tracks all over the United States and his prowess in a USAC Indy Car and many starts in the Indianapolis 500 made Tom a worthy choice for this honor. While Tom is a racer, he is also very active with many of the Fan Based organizations and Clubs in the Mid-West.
“Big Ed” Inloes received our MARFC Writer of the Year Award and gave us a lively acceptance speech and some banter with yours truly. Ed is very deserving of this award for all of his efforts not only this past season but for the many seasons leading up to this past year as well. Ed and his wife Linda can be found at many of the area race tracks when Ed is not in the announcing booth at Spartan Speedway on Friday nights. Ed also directs his energies to the Michigan Short track racing Club’s annual Bowling Tournament that raises funds for racers that need a hand up financially. This year’s event is on February 9th at the Capital Bowl in Owosso.
Our MARFC Promoter of the Year Award was given to Betty Crook of the Mt. Pleasant Speedway. Betty and her Son Mario celebrated 25 years of ownership and promotion of the speedway in 2012. Jimmy Gullett of Jim’s Industrial Catering helped present the award that he sponsors in memory of longtime Toledo and former Mt. Clemens Promoter Sonny Adams.
The MARFC Mechanic of the Year Award once again went to two individuals this year, Jeff Erickson and Richie Lee were recognized by the Board of Directors for their accomplishments not only in 2012 but over the years leading up to their championship seasons.
Fan of the Year for 2012 went to longtime club member and supporter Bob Ryder. Bob helped out at numerous events this past summer at the table and with helping to sign up new members. Bob’s contributions to the club over the years are immeasurable and once again this award was sponsored by Jim’s Industrial Catering in memory of “Big Jim” Gullett. Bob was very pleased and surprised to be honored with this award. MARFC Appreciation Awards were given out to Jim Lamb, Lenny Trinklein, Jim Hanks/Must See Racing, Tim Phillips/GLS Mini-Cups and John Turnbull Sr.
Joe DeWitte presented the Michigan Speedway Promoters Association (MSPA) Promoter of the Year Award to a very happy and honored Tom Sprague Sr. of the Winston Speedway located just off of US-31 in Rothbury just north of Muskegon.
Terry Fitzwater was on hand to present the Henry J. Fitzwater Driver of the Year awards to Terry Senneker Jr. for asphalt and to Brandon Thirlby for dirt. Both drivers had phenomenal seasons with some very big wins in 2012.
Terry also presented the Tom Carnegie Announcer of the Year award to the voice of the Attica Raceway and the Fremont Speedway, Brian Liskai. Brian shared how very honored and excited He was to win this award and it showed in his acceptance speech. Brian extended an invitation to all present to venture down to Ohio for some great Dirt Track Racing action at both of these excellent race tracks.