KIRKWOOD, NY – The Claude Garrison Memorial, Inc. American Legion post 1645 in Binghamton, NY was the site of the 2018 Annual Five Mile Point Speedway Awards Dinner. Brian Malcolm from Lake Ariel, PA was honored as the 2018 Modified Track Champion at the historic speedway this past weekend. A large gathering attended the annual dinner as all of the Track Champions from the past season were honored with our special awards presented throughout the evening as well.
Malcolm, captured his Modified Championship by collecting one feature win along with four additional top five finishes during the season. His steady approach and consistent finishes put him at the top of the podium for 2018. Entering the final point race of the season. Malcolm, Rusty Smith and Nick Rochinski were all within striking distance of the title. The Modified Season Championship feature went caution free with the top three drivers finishing one through three, settling the title on the track. Rusty Smith won the event but it wasn’t enough to unseat Malcolm as the 2018 title holder. For Malcolm, the Awards Dinner was the end result of a huge effort and a longtime goal of winning the Five Mile Point Speedway title.
Malcolm commented during his championship interview at the dinner, “We have wanted this for so long and have had so much help along the way to make it possible. No one can imagine how much this really means for me.” He added, “We just feel at home at Five Mile Point Speedway and look forward to defending our 2018 title.” That defense begins on Saturday, April 20th for the Modified division. The title was worth an impressive $4,000 despite only 10 open point races and two “show up” point events. For the second straight season the Modified title went to a driver from Lake Ariel, PA. Last year Kevin Bates, also from Lake Ariel, won the title.
Rusty Smith finished second in the Modified point title with Nick Rochinski finishing third in the final standings. The father and son combination of Mike and Joey Colsten finished fourth and fifth. Positions six through ten in the final standings went to Brian Puckett, Donnie Elliott, Travis Smith, Glenn Knapp and Tyler Siri.
Alex Yankowski from Jermyn, PA recorded his first ever Five Mile Point Speedway title in the Crate Sportsman division. The fourteen year old driver won the championship despite missing an early point race during the season. His six feature wins and four top five finishes vaulted him to the title. Matt Cole from Johnson City, NY finished second in the final standings. Cole, a former multi-time IMCA Modified Track Champion trailed Yankowski by 58 points at the conclusion of the season. Tanner Harpell, Devon Zona and Tommy Collins, Jr. rounded out the top five in the final standings.
Doug Polhamus from Windsor, NY was introduced as the 2018 Street Stock Track Champion for the second straight season. He collected five feature wins along with six top five finishes on his way to the title. Ray Lindquist, Tyler Yeagle, Keith Beach and Matt Bowman completed the top five in the Street Stock division.
Nick Kennedy also from Windsor, NY was honored as the Lightning Cat Expert Track Champion for the second straight season. Kennedy claimed three feature wins during his championship campaign. Bob Kress, Jake Maynard, Kenny Underwood and Jimmy DiFulvio comprised the top five in the final point standings.
Charlie Gilbert, from Kirkwood, NY was introduced as the 2018 Factory Stock Track Champion. Gilbert compiled two feature wins along with seven top five finishes during the season. Charlie Towner, Gregg Turner, Andy Brigham and Justin Slezak filled the top five slots in the final standings.
Bailey Boyd, from Binghamton, NY was introduced as the Xcel 600 Modified Track Champion. Boyd recorded six feature wins along with four top five finishes during the point season. Damon Henry, Rich Christman, Eric Boyd and Adam Mudge completed the top five in the points battle.
Randy Lane from Towanda, PA celebrated his Lightning Cat Novice Track Championship at the Awards Dinner. Lane had two feature wins but was a perfect eight for eight in finishing in the top five in the remaining races. John Maynard, Jason Colwell Jr., Bethany Bertram and Cory Brown were recognized for their top five efforts in 2018.
Several special awards were also presented throughout the evening. Patricia Harpell, the daughter of track founders Anna and Irving Heath was recognized with a “Lifetime Achievement Award”.
The Annual Glenn Knapp Memorial “Owner of the Year Award” winner was Chuck Grimm who helped supply the Modified cars for Track Champion Brian Malcolm. Malcolm accepted the award in his absence.
The Annual “Head of the Class Award” was presented to Lightning Cat Novice Track Champion Randy Lane. Lane provides portable light towers throughout the season in the pit area at the speedway.
A number of special awards were presented during the evening. The Best Appearing Car Award Winners were: Brian Puckett (Modifieds), Blaine Klinger (Crate Sportsman), Ray Lindquist (Street Stock), Gregg Turner (Factory Stocks), Bob Kress (Lightning Cat Expert), Bethany Bertram (Lightning Cat Novice), Bailey Boyd (600 Modified).
The Most Improved Drivers were: Rusty Smith (Modifieds), Todd Titus (Crate Sportsman), Ray Lindquist (Street Stock), Justin Slezak (Factory Stock), Jimmy DiFulvio (Lightning Cat Expert), Cory Bown (Lightning Cat Novice).
The 2018 Rookie of the Year award winners were: Leo McGurrin (Modifieds), Alex Yankowski (Crate Sportsman), Keith Beach (Street Stocks), Andy Brigham (Factory Stocks), Brian Salmini (Lightning Cat Expert), Bethany Bertram (Lightning Cat Novice), Chelsie Beebe (600 Modified).
2018 Hard Luck Award Recipients were Glenn Knapp (Modifieds), Randy Fox (Crate Sportsman), Jeff Emanuel (Street Stock), Alan Komar (Factory Stock), Josh Wilder (Lightning Cat Expert), Mike Start (Lightning Cat Novice), Mike Wilcha (600 Modified).
New Track Operators Tyler, Tanner and Tucker Harpell were introduced to the large crowd on Friday evening. The trio have leased the speedway for the 2019 racing season and have an ambitious schedule in place for the 69th consecutive season of racing. The season opener is slated for Saturday, March 30th.
Five Mile Point Speedway is one of the most historic racing facilities in the United States. Built in 1951 by Irving and Anna Heath the speedway is priming for a big 69th consecutive season of auto racing. For more information please log on to www.5milepointspeedway.com. The speedway race line is 607-775-5555.