Last year was the first year of the full fledged “22 Awards” with twenty-two awards going out to Late Model Stock Car drivers, team owners, crew members, race tracks and race track management and this year it’s a little different, but still it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. Right now we’re announcing several different awards that the RACE22.com staff and partners will be voting on over the next couple of days with these awards being announced on Monday, January 5th, 2009. Other awards will be added to this list, but we are still putting the final touches on some and will be continuing to work on others over the next week or so.
Let me first say Thanks for your support of RACE22.com, we came a long way this year in solidifying our spot in Late Model Stock Car racing and we’d like to think that you the readers had a lot to do with that. Continue to tell your friends and family about us and we’ll continue to bring you the best in Late Model Stock Car racing news not just gossip, but the inside info that only someone embedded deep in the sport can give you.
Take a look at our nominations for the “22 Awards” this season and enjoy your Holiday season, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 2009 is going to be a great season of racing … the doom and gloom you hear on the news is what you make of it … RACE22.com and the Star City Racing News is going head first into the new year with new advertisers, new strategies and even more people to help bring you the best Late Model Stock Car racing coverage there is!
Special Thanks to my finance’ Kimberly Smith, Corey Latham, Doc Love, Wesley Outland, Debra & Greg Manter, Michelle Smith and everyone who has helped us out in 2008. Special thanks to all our advertisers and supporters without you this website wouldn’t be possible.
Here you go … Nominations for the “22 Awards” on RACE22.com!
Best Driver in 2008:
“Driver of the Year”
*Philip Morris/Motor Mile Speedway …. He’s Philip Morris, do I dare say more? Morris won theNASCAR National Title for the Second time in Three Seasons and he dominated the season ending race known as the ” MasonDixon ” at South Boston Speedway, not to mention being in contention for the win in the Bailey’s 300 at Martinsville Speedway, the biggest of all Late Model Stock Car races.
*Jason York/ LMSC Gypsy …. Jason didn’t compete in many races in 2008, but he sure was able to make the most of it. Ask the casual Late Model Stock Car fan who Jason York is and they are certain to tell you about his dramatic win in the Bailey’s 300 at Martinsville Speedway, but York was a part of more dramatic races including what may have been the greatest race of all … the UARA -STARS race at Ace Speedway. York won a handful of races this season at Ace Speedway, Asheboro and of courseMartinsville .
*Matt McCall/Traveler …. Formerly a NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, this veteran of Late Model Stock Car racing and former UARA -STARS and Hickory Motor Speedway champion turned the Late Model Stock Car racing scene up on it’s ear driving for two different teams and winning races nearly everywhere he traveled. Winning races at Orange County, Southern National and Tri -County Motor Speedway this season with top five runs at Asheboro for the Mid-Atlantic Championship, the Bobby Isaac Memorial at Hickory and the Bailey’s 300 at Martinsville . This guy also was the #1 driver as voted by RACE22. com’s panel of experts in the Fall 2008 Late Model Stock Car Power Rankings as well as the pre -Myrtle Beach 400 “Big Race” Power Rankings in the Star City Racing News
*Jake Crum / UARA -STARS …. For the first time in his Late Model Stock Car racing career, 17 year-old Jake Crum can call himself a champion. Crum had a great season on the UARA -STARS tour with two wins coming around mid-season and although he fell off during one part of the season just after halfway, the youngster led by crew chief and former racer, Nick Hutchins held it together right down to the last lap.
*Andy Loden /Hickory & Tri -County Motor Speedway …. Loden has had a good couple of seasons at Hickory Motor Speedway and this year when Tri -County Speedway added NASCAR Sanctioning, the veteran of Late Model Stock Car racing ventured down there for double duty every weekend. The hard work for he and his team paid off as the driver took home not only both track championships, but also captured his first NASCAR North Carolina State Championship. Loden was certainly one of the most dominant drivers during the 2008 season and would certainly be worthy of the title “RACE22.com Driver of the Year”!
Best Original Drama:
“Most Dramatic Moment of the Year”
*Jason York, BJ Mackey , Richard Boswell and Darrell Wallace, Jr. take a four way battle all the way to the finish line in the UARA -STARS Series race at Ace Speedway
*Davin Scites Gets Rough with Philip Morris in Season Opener to Take win on final lap
*Andy Mercer gets into Andy Loden for a Win at Hickory Motor Speedway as the two drivers battle for the track championship.
*Jason York takes evasive action in the final laps of the Bailey’s 300 when Philip Morris and DennisSetzer get into one another for the lead. York goes on to secure an emotional first win in the Bailey’s 300.
*Jamey Caudill Threads the Needle down the backstretch at Myrtle Beach Speedway in the Seneca 400 to win while battling side by side with Frank Deiny for the win on the final lap.
*Jake Crum narrowly escapes a black flag in the UARA -STARS Season Finale to win the series championship when he left front fender becomes loose. Crum made it to the final lap and secured the championship becoming the youngest driver in series history to do so.
Temper, Temper … Best Rivalry(One Race or All Season)
*Clay Greenfield and Alex Yontz’ teams brawl at Orange County Speedway following contact during aUARA -STARS event. The fight lasted all of about 45 seconds, but gave the fans in attendance something to cheer about.
*Rodney Cook and Speedy Faucette have an intense rivalry all season at Ace Speedway for the LMSCchampionship. Neither driver ends up winning the championship and both end up more mad at the track than each other despite some tense moments where both teams got very verbal with one another.
*Andy Loden and Andy Mercer at Hickory Motor Speedway. There was no rivalry more talked about than this one, that started out as friendly affair and boiled over one night while the two raced side by side for a victory late in the season as the two also found themselves in a tight battle for the championship.
*Roger Lee Newton and Jamey Caudill lose control at Greenville Pickens Speedway during race 14 of 16 for the UARA -STARS tour. Caudill and Newton make contact while racing for a top five position with Newton spinning around hitting the wall … Newton retaliates under caution and slams into the side of Caudill , the two teams then exchange words on pit road, but no punches were thrown.
Best Stunt Scene:
“Crash of the Year”
*Aaron Adams gets spun by Travis Hurt in the Bailey’s 300 during a heat race, takes out Bobby Griffin along the way. Adams car is destroyed and Hurt is parked by the NASCAR officials, all three drivers would miss the Bailey’s 300.
*James Goff ends up on the hood of Bear Rzesnowiecky in the Fall Brawl at Hickory Motor Speedway. Rzesnowiecky running his first Late Model Stock Car race gets intimately acquainted with the underside of Goff’s car.
*Corey LaJoie and Kenneth Headen get together on the backstretch of Greenville Pickens Speedway during the UARA -STARS event. Headen ends up on his side as the two ride nearly the length of the wall and when the cars come to rest Headen’s car catches fire and LaJoie has to help him from his car.
*Justin Johnson and Doug Godsey make heat race one at Martinsville for the Bailey’s 300 very interesting. Godsey first dumps Johnson early in the race, then Johnson and Godsey get together on the final lap with Johnson climbing over top the hood of Godsey’s car. Remarkably Johnson goes up and over Godsey’s car and still makes the field for the biggest Late Model Stock Car race.
Most Dominating Performance:
*Philip Morris/Motor Mile Speedway … Dominated the season whether in a Chevy or a Dodge and also winning his second NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Title in three seasons.
*Speedy Faucette /Ace Speedway … Dominated the season at Ace, but ended up with a championship trophy due to the “chase” format that Ace Speedway uses to determine a champion.
*Alex Yontz / UARA @ Bristol … Dominated both races at Bristol finishing second in one, but winning the other and becoming the only guy to have won two Late Model Stock Car races on the half mile track.
*Andy Mercer/Hickory Motor Speedway … He got on a mid-season hot streak and looked to be on his way to catching up with another Andy, Andy Loden , but a late season incident between the two seemed to spark Loden as he rallied back to win the title.
*Andy Loden /Hickory & Tri -County Speedway … Andy Loden has won everything in Late Model Stock Car racing at Hickory Motor Speedway, but this season with Tri -County going NASCAR sanctioned the veteran driver was able to secure his first NASCAR North Carolina State Championship with track titles at both Hickory and Tri -County.
Most Improved Driver:
*Zeke Shell/Motor Mile Speedway … Rarely even a threat to finish in the top five in 2007 and before, this young driver put himself on the map with top five runs at Motor Mile Speedway against some of the toughest competition anywhere.
*Dean Fogleman /Ace Speedway … A veteran of Ace Speedway’s Late Model division and this season he turned it up on it’s ear winning his first career race, then winning the championship after some misfortune for fellow title contenders.
*Dude Gibbs/South Boston Speedway … Gibbs became a top contender this season after stepping intoFDJ Motorsports equipment and winning his first race in the ultra-competitive Late Model Stock Car division at South Boston Speedway.
*Roger Lee Newton/ UARA -STARS … It wasn’t about winning races, he didn’t win any this season, but rather consistency for Newton. Newton was a title contender all season until a late season altercation got him suspended for one race.
*Lucas Ransone /Hickory Motor Speedway … Another driver who didn’t win this season, but made huge strides in their racing career. Ransone got it together this season and was a contender for wins in nearly every race he competed in. Qualified for the Bailey’s 300 on time and finished third in the Seneca 400 at Myrtle Beach Speedway … huge accomplishments for the young driver.
*Jesse LeFevers /Hickory & Tri -County Speedway … LeFevers brought his game to life this season as the young driver knocked down a couple wins at Tri -County Motor Speedway and was competitive all season at both Hickory & Tri -County Speedway.
Best Rookie Driver:
“Rookie of the Year”
*Darrell Wallace, Jr./ UARA -STARS … Rookie of the Year for the UARA -STARS Series, this 15 year-old driver turned it up this season in his first full year of Late Model Stock Car racing after running four races in 2007. Wallace started the season a little rocky missing the season opening event, but redeemed himself winning his first LM race at Franklin County Speedway in May and then winning his first UARA race at Asheboro in October.
*Owen Kelly/Motor Mile Speedway … Owen driving for JR Motorsports had a positive regular season at Motor Mile Speedway and then drove his way on to the Late Model Stock Car racing map with a $10,000 win in the Mid-Atlantic Championship event at Asheboro .
*Grant Wimbish /Hickory & Tri -County Speedway … Wimbish had a good rookie season, no he didn’t knock down any wins this season, but the LMSC rookie turned a few heads on the way to winning Hickory’s Rookie of the Year award.
*Brandon McReynolds / UARA -STARS … McReynolds unfortunately came full circle this season bookending his season with car crippling crashes, the first happening at Concord in the UARA -STARS Season Opener which he redeemed himself at Concord in the next UARA event finishing second after having a good chance to win. His second big crash took place in testing for the Seneca 400 at Myrtle Beach where he lost control of his car and crashed his car ending his season prematurely. McReynolds however
Overcoming All Odds:
“Underdog of the Year”
*Jake Crum / UARA -STARS … hanging on to the UARA -STARS championship to win over the JRMotorsports team as well as veteran, Alex Yontz .
*Jamie Byrd/Bailey’s 300 @ Martinsville … Started 19th in a heat race at Martinsville for the Bailey’s 300 and made the 42-car starting field transferring into the race with the last transfer spot and beating out former race winner, Frank Deiny , Jr. for the position.
*Owen Kelly/Mid-Atlantic Championship @ Asheboro … A top ten contender all season in a JRMotorsports entry, but the rookie driver was unable to win a race at his home track of Motor Mile Speedway, but in one of the “big races”, the Mid-Atlantic Championship, he broke through. Kelly took advantage of an incident between veterans Jason York and Frank Deiny , Jr. to win one of the biggest races of the year and cashing a $10,000 check in the process.
*Joey Coulter /Southern National Thanksgiving Classic …. Joey Coulter , who hasn’t been known as one of the top Late Model Stock Car drivers through the last couple of seasons was another surprisewinner in one of the season’s biggest races. Coulter , who rallied back from a crash early in the Thanksgiving Classic scored the win after apparent winner, Jamey Caudill was stripped of his win for an earlier on track accident.