King of Dirt Banquet Closes 2016 Race Season
FONDA, NY – King Of Dirt Racing closed the history books on the 2016 racing season this past Saturday night at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant in Fonda, New York during the annual Night Of Champions banquet.
Top honors went to a pair of Kings; Robbie Speed and Connor Cleveland who both claimed championships in their respective divisions. Cleveland claimed his first career Sportsman Modified championship by besting 146 other drivers earning the title King Connor the 1st. Robbie Speed out paced 75 other full-fender Pro Stock drivers earning the title King Robbie the 1st.
After another outstanding dinner courtesy of the Winner’s Circle Restaurant located in Fonda, New York ceremonies began with greetings from series promoter Rob Hazer and series announcer Mike Warren. The pair sat at the front of the ballroom in a unique town hall type setting.
Pro Stock awards were first handed out, with top ten drivers receiving plaques and point fund money followed by interviews with the top three in point standings leading up to an energetic conversation with the champ, Robbie Speed.
“Yeah we were ready to load up at the first race, until my wife settled me down and my crew chief Scott got me focused and we drove from 26th to 1st. From there it was a great season,” Speed said during interviews.
Rob Yetman who scored second place in points had a new nickname bestowed upon him during his entertaining interview saying, “We’ll get one of these championships sooner or later. We had a shot at the Valley, but things can change in a hurry and that flat tire didn’t help during the last race.”
Dean Charbonneau came through with third place in points after the 2016 season and elaborated on closing out strong saying, “This year we were able to close out the season strong at the Valley. Hopefully we’ll get the ticker straightened out and be back on the track in spring.”
Anticipation was high for Pro Stock special award recipients, which was led by Jason Casey receiving the Award Of Excellence and Byron Wescott earning Newcomer Of The Year honors.
Other Pro Stock special award winners were: Robbie Speed (Outstanding Performance), Daniel Sanchez (Memorable Moment), Nick Stone (Hard Charger), Dean Charbonneau (Most Improved Driver), Dan Older (Dirt Dog Lap Leader), Gus Hollner (Hard Luck), Chuck Dumblewski (Most Popular Driver), and Luke Horning (1st Man Out).
Sportsman Modifieds then took center stage, with champion Connor Cleveland talking about his first championship run.
“We had a great season. We won four heat races, had a great win during Friday Night Lights, and were able to hold on by six points to earn the title. It wasn’t easy, but my team and I got it done and it feels great,” Cleveland said.
Runner up in point standings David Schilling echoed those thoughts saying, “It was a great battle right down to the last race. I did what I had to do and won in Vermont, but Connor was able to come through with a top 10 run to clinch the title. It was a great battle.”
Michael Sabia reflected on his season expressing gratitude for a third place finish in points by saying, “We had a good year. The one place I thought we’d do better, which was Lebanon Valley, we broke both times. If we didn’t, I may have been able to do better, but we’ll take third among these guys. They’re tough.”
Big winners on the night besides the champion were Adam Pierson, Scott Duell, and Cody Hunt whom all won a pair of awards.
Pierson received the Award Of Excellence in the Sportsman Modified division along with the Hard Luck award after a tough touring season.
Scott Duell earned the Most Popular Driver honors through the King Of Dirt fall madness tournament along with the Hard Charger award for coming from 45th in points to finish 7th.
Cody Hunt had a career year finishing 5th in points and earning both the Redline Graphics Newcomer Of The Year and the Bicknell Racing Products Top Warrior award from Randy Williamson and the folks at BRP.
Other Sportsman special award winners were: David Schilling (Outstanding Performance), Connor Cleveland (Memorable Moment), Andrew Buff (Most Improved Driver), Michael Sabia (DTD Lap Leader), and Adam Gage (1st Man Out).
TOP 10 KING OF DIRT SPORTSMAN
(Total Banquet Take Cash & Prizes)
1 – Connor Cleveland ($2,375)
2 – David Schilling ($1,325)
3 – Michael Sabia ($1,700)
4 – Cody Bleau ($700)
5 – Cody Hunt ($1,250)
6 – Kevin Chaffee ($575)
7 – Scott Duell ($1,050)
8 – Andrew Buff ($650)
9 – Jon Miller ($600)
10 – Adam Pierson ($650)
TOP 10 KING OF DIRT PRO STOCK
(Total Banquet Take Cash & Prizes)
1 – Robbie Speed ($1,100)
2 – Rob Yetman ($600)
3 – Dean Charbonneau ($550)
4 – Nick Stone ($350)
5 – Dan Older ($550)
6 – Chuck Dumblewski ($325)
7 – Byron Wescott ($325)
8 – Jason Casey ($250)
9 – Jon Routhier ($325)
10 – Mike White ($250)
SPORTSMAN PRODUCT AWARDS
Set Of Fox Shocks – Michael Sabia
Complete Beyea Exhaust – Scott Duell
Extreme Speed & Performance Pac Spring Package – Cody Hunt
Keizer Aluminum Wheel From Elmo’s Speed Supply – Andrew Buff
Flach Performance Products Expansion Tank – Jon Miller
Front Axle From Andy’s Speed Shop – Cody Bleau
HICO Fabrication Bumper/Nurf Bar Package – Adam Pierson
Johnstown/Gloversville NAPA Oil/Filter Package – Kevin Chaffee
Hoosier Racing Tire – Connor Cleveland
Hoosier Racing Tire – David Schilling
Hoosier Racing Tire – Adam Gage
PRO STOCK PRODUCT AWARDS
Stone Motorsports $100 Certificate – Dean Charbonneau
Traction Grabber Grinding Disc – Chuck Dumblewski
Racing Wheel From Stone Motorsports – Mike White
Johnstown/Gloversville NAPA Oil/Filter Package – Byron Wescott
PFC Brake Pads (2 Sets) – Jon Routheir
Hoosier Racing Tire – Luke Horning
SPORTSMAN SPECIAL AWARDS
Award Of Excellence – Adam Pierson
Newcomer Of The Year – Cody Hunt
Memorable Moment – Connor Cleveland
Most Popular Driver – Scott Duell
Outstanding Performance – David Schilling
Hard Charger – Scott Duell
Most Improved Driver – Andrew Buff
Lap Leader Award – Michael Sabia
Bicknell Top Warrior – Cody Hunt
Hard Luck – Adam Pierson
1st Man Out – Adam Gage
PRO STOCK SPECIAL AWARDS
Award Of Excellence – Jason Casey
Newcomer Of The Year – Byron Wescott
Memorable Moment – Daniel Sanchez
Most Popular Driver – Chuck Dumblewski
Outstanding Performance – Robbie Speed
Hard Charger – Nick Stone
Most Improved Driver – Dean Charbonneau
Lap Leader Award – Dan Older
Hard Luck – Gus Hollner
1st Man Out – Luke Horning
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