Outlaw Banquet; Siri Shows Appreciation to Drivers and Supporters

DUNDEE, NY-The Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen, NY was the setting for the Annual Outlaw Speedway Awards Banquet.  Situated on the southern shores of Seneca Lake, the popular venue was jammed to capacity with drivers, crew members, car owners, fans, sponsors and employees as track owner, Tyler Siri dished out well over thirty thousand dollars in cash and hardware to the top point finishers in each of the tracks eight weekly divisions of competition.

Cocktails and bench racing kicked off the evening followed by a scrumptious buffet style prime rib dinner that was enjoyed by everyone.  

“I want to see that our competitors, fans, employees, and sponsors have a state of the art facility for our banquet.  All these people work hard, and they deserve a nice banquet.”  That according to Outlaw Speedway owner, Tyler Siri.

Event Emcee’s, Craig “Spazman” Simmons and Kenny Shupp Jr. handled the bulk of the awards including the presentation of massive trophies to all division track champions. A pair of young ladies, Hanna Jackson and Heather Risley, were also on stage presenting trophies, plaques, checks and greeting all the competitors as they came up to accept their awards. Some opening remarks including plans for an aggressive 2023 schedule of events which begins with a joint car show on March 11 and 12 with the Woodhull Raceway.  This year’s Arnot Mall Car Show is open to any drivers that compete at either venue and those interested can register at their respective tracks Facebook or Website.  The Outlaw/Woodhull Arnot Mall Car Show in Horseheads will find the popular Upstate New York tracks joining forces for the first time in over two decades.  

Racing will then follow with open practice on Saturday, April 1, as the traditional Lucas Oil Nationals will follow on April 7 and 8 with practice on Friday and racing Saturday of that weekend.  From there it is a season chock full of weekly classes along with numerous touring groups that will visit the facility many of which were touched on by Siri during his time at the podium.

In typical Tyler Siri style, he then proceeded to acknowledge countless employees, sponsors, car owners and others by presenting them with commemorative plaques with all hardware including trophies professionally produced and assembled by Chris Daugherty and his staff of Big Jim’s Wicked Tee’s in Horseheads.

The headline Friendly Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Modifieds found a first time track champion in Ajay Potrzebowski as the third generation Elmira, NY speedster was able to overcome motor issues during the season to claim his first ever Modified Track Title at any venue.  Still in his teens, Potrzebowski was able to hold off another young gun in Jeff Daugherty and veteran competitor, Brady Fultz to claim the title with Phil Vigneri III and Cory Costa completing the top five point finishers.  2021 Outlaw Modified Track Champ, Hurricane Steve Paine was sixth in the final point tally followed by Tyler Siri, Alex Payne, Billy Paine and veteran driver, Derrick Podsiadlo.  A gracious Ajay Potrzebowski indicated how appreciative he was of all his sponsors, crew, and family for allowing him the opportunity to race and win the title with plans to come back and defend in 2023.  Ajay Potrzebowski Jr was also awarded the Rookie of the Year Award along with a huge check in the amount of $5,000 for his effort. Not within recent memory has a Modified Track Champion at Outlaw Speedway also been a Rookie of the Year honoree.  Rodney Cole of Friendly Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram was present to assist in presenting awards to the top ten.

In the Sunrise Insulation American Racer Tire 602 Crate Sportsman Division, Chris Fisher had to hold off a young man half his age to claim yet another Outlaw Speedway Championship and it did not come easy by any means for the veteran driver carrying Bully Hill Vineyards sponsorship.  It came right down to the last lap of the last night of the season of the year with Fisher claiming the title by a scant fourteen markers over high school student and fourth generation pilot Carter Crooker. Like Fisher, another veteran Sportsman driver and former Outlaw Speedway Track Champ, Tommy Collins Jr. finished third in points followed by another teenager in Justice Mayo with ageless competitor and fan favorite, Dale Welty finishing fifth.  Like the top five, the next group was also a mix of age versus youth with youngster, Ben Feldman claiming sixth, Greg Crooker, father of Carter Crooker would follow next in seventh with Alex Payne eighth, Brandon Butler came next in line as Kreg Crooker, brother to Greg and uncle to Carter completed the top five putting the entire Crooker Racing Family in the top ten in points.  Brandon Grover picked up the Rookie of the Year Title.  Sunrise Insulation owner, Tim Gibson was at the awards ceremony and helped present hardware to the class recipients bearing his company’s name.

In the companion Speed Connection DIRTcar Hoosier Tire 602 Crate Sportsman Division, veteran driver, AJ Lloyd was able to quiet all the critics as he claimed his first ever Outlaw Speedway Hoosier Tire Sportsman Title after years of trying.  Lloyd was able to nail the double point season ending event for his first feature win of the season and that was enough to seal the deal over point runner-up and second generation pilot, Brett Buono as Brent Ayers, Stacy Jackson and sophomore driver, Blake Parsons completing the top five.  Leading the charge of the next group of five in the points was Tim Guild, Bryan Rhodes, Ethan Decker, Alex Payne, and Timmy Borden Jr.  Alex Payne’s ninth place point finish means that he finished in the top ten in the final point tally in all three open wheel divisions that he competes in weekly at Outlaw.  Ethan Decker claimed the Rookie of the Year Award.  Alex Payne not only accepted his ninth place award, but also helped in congratulating all the award recipients as his family’s business, Speed Connection is the class headline sponsor.

CJ Guererri was able to accomplishment his dream of winning an Outlaw Speedway Stan’s No Tubes Street Stock Championship.  With three wins in a four week span mid-season, Guererri was able to hold off a late season assault my Jared Hill who had to settle for the runner-up spot with former 4 Cylinder Mini Stock standout, Chris Woodard completing the podium of top three point finishers.  Ely Mangiarelli and Zach Teed would complete the top five.  Tim Grady, Jimmy Grant, Gene Balmer, Glenn Whritenour, and John Burrit were credited with positions six through ten.  Chris Woodard was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award.  Stan Koziatek, now retired owner of Stan’s No Tubes along with his daughter, Tiffany has sponsored the popular Street Stock Class at Outlaw for over half a decade with plans calling for a return in 2023.

Marc Minutolo made it three NAPA Hobby Stock Track Championships in the past four seasons; however, the Big Guy had his hands full with a young man by the name of Willy Easling who gave Minutolo fits throughout the entire 2022 season.  But, at the end of the day MM was able to seal the deal in claiming the title over Easling with Kenny Hunt having perhaps his best-ever season in taking home third place point money with Alex Dykes and Phil Yaw completing the top five.  Brian Lloyd, Bruce Kinner, Rich Rider, Justin Eldredge and Dave Yehl completed the top ten as the participating NAPA Stores in Addison, Corning, Hornell, and Wellsville successfully completed their sophomore season in sponsoring the popular Hobby Stock Division at Outlaw Speedway.  Alex Dykes was crowned Hobby Stock Rookie of the Year.  Vera Eaker of the Addison NAPA and Nate Dunning who owns NAPA stores in Corning, Hornell and Wellsville are staunch supporters of the NAPA Hobby Stock Class with plans calling for a return in 2023.

The Winners Circle Deli of Dundee 4 Cylinder Mini Stock Class found another new face as a track champion as Jason Smart would claim the 2022 Track Championship by just fourteen markers over Lee Fritz who finished second with Kenneth Evans taking home third place money.  Craig DeCamp and Brian Avery would give chase in completing the top five with Derrick Evans, Jeffery Moore, Michael Golotty, Robert Decker, and Michael Dickerson rounding the top ten in the final point standings.  Craig DeCamp picked up Rookie of the Year honors.  Sam Morse, owner of Winners Circle Deli was present at the banquet and in addition to taking photos of the event he also helped present awards for the class that his company sponsors.

The inaugural season for the Swarthout Recycling 600cc Modifieds would see James Randall visit victory lane some half dozen times in route to the 2022 title.  Chelsie Beebe would keep Randall honest but came up some fourteen points shy of the title in claiming second place with PJ Goodwin finishing third.  Ageless veteran and Painted Post, NY native, Carl Sparky Hills would nail fourth place. Phil Yaw, a Swarthout Recycling employee, and an Outlaw Speedway competitor was on hand to congratulate the top point finishers in the class.  In 2023 Swarthout Recycling will begin sponsorship of the upstart, Rookie Sportsman Division which will pay $150 each week to the winner and $40 just to start.  The overall 2023 Track Champion will pick up a nifty check for $1,200.  More information on the Swarthout Recycling Rookie Sportsman Division will be forthcoming.

Last but certainly not least the Fritz Masonry sponsored Youth Bandit Division received their hardware which included first time Track Champion and female competitor, Elle Grant who was able to hold off Gavin Hall, Connor Erick, Marcus Kerr, Brighton Grant, Tate Moore who would complete the top six.  Bradly Morseman, Lyle Daum, Marshall O’Brian, Kayleigh Morseman, and Courtney Thomas also saw action during the2022 campaign.  In addition to the track title, Elle Grant also picked up Rookie of the Year honors. Fritz Masonry owner, Lee Fritz was present to assist in handing out the awards to the Bandit competitors and for her accomplishment of winning the track title, Fritz presented Elle Grant with a redeemable gift certificate for $600 in goods and services to Wicked Tee’s of Pine Valley, NY.

Congratulations to all competitors.

In addition to the top point getters and Rookie of the Year recipients, Tyler Siri gave special recognition to numerous members of his loyal staff including the prestigious Dedication to Motorsports Award which went to track loyalist, Artie Teed.  Announcer, Craig Spazman Simmons, track photographer, Dan Tome and Kenny Shupp Jr. as the trio received Media Awards.

Sportsmanship Award was presented to Zach Teed, Car Owner of the Year honors went to Dave Guererri with other special appreciation plaques handed out to Lane’s Yamaha with both Mal Lane and his son Keith in attendance to accept, George Fisher, Rodney Cole, Lee Fritz, Tim Gibson, NAPA, Speed Connection, Sam Morse, Swarthout’s and Stan’s No Tubes.

Siri wrapped up his awards presentation by handing out professionally crafted and designed appreciation plaques by Wicked Tee’s to numerous loyal employees that attended the 7th Annual Outlaw Speedway Awards Ceremony and included track loyalists Sheila Darcy, Sharon Schuyler, and Tommy Curtis with the three combined having well over one hundred years of service and dedication to the Yates County facility.  Others included a pair of Siri’s “Go to Guys” in Dave Wyre and Mark Gurnsey who are at the facility all week accumulating countless hours.  Track preparation specialists Ronnie and Terry Povoski were recognized along with head flagman, Raymond Kennerup.  Pit Security, Greg Turner was also presented his appreciation award.

Additionally, Siri welcomed to the stage Carmen and Mike Moss, Sandra Lopes, Renee Lopes, Makenna Hansen, Rich Clayton, Merry Leiterman, Kelli Martz and Grandma Pat Baker for their dedication to the track over the past season.

Last but certainly not least Siri then presented special awards to his stepmother Theresa Siri along with his girlfriend and number one supporter, Tara Drane.  Theresa Siri is the wife of the late Ted Siri, Tyler’s father, who passed away in early 2022 and even after his passing Theresa is still at the track every week handling numerous different tasks.  Tara Drane is not only Siri’s companion in life, but she too is a weekly track employee taking care of a multitude of jobs and like Theresa Siri, Dave Wyre and Mark Gurnsey, Tara Drane also wears many hats on race night.

Congratulations to all track employees as well as other special honorees who were present to accept their accolades.

For a complete look at the final point tallies in each of Outlaw Speedway’s eight regular divisions of competition simply click on at www.outlawspeedwayllc.com.

More information regarding the 2022 awards banquets including photos and posted comments can be found at www.Facebook.com/OutlawSpeedwayLLC/.