RANSOMVILLE, NY – Last Friday night, Ransomville Speedway put the finishing touches to its 2016 season. Nearly 200 people filled the Ransomville Fire Hall, drivers from the weekly five division program received $30,000 point fund money and hardware. The banquet completes the first season for the Atwal family ownership of the facility.
Ryan Susice of Ransomville grabbed his second consecutive Krown Undercoating of Ransomville 358 Modified championship. The points battle went down to the final points night with Pete Bicknell of St. Catharines, Ontario and Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, finishing second and third. BIcknell is a fourteen time Ransomville Speedway champion. Susice won three times in 2016 at Ransomville Speedway and Bicknell would have had two victories. Rudolph won five times including the Super DIRTcar 358 Modified Series event in May. Ryan leads a list of successful stock car drivers that learned from the Thursday night go-kart program.
Susice not only excelled in a 358 Modified at Ransomville Speedway. He also nearly won in a Patriot Sprint car in June. Tommy Flannigan of St. Catharines was fourth in points while Jeff McGinnis of Ransomville was fifth. Kenny Wills of Ransomville, NIck Joy of Lyndonville, NY Scott Kerwin would also also get plaques for taking feature wins.
In the Investors Service Sportsman, Matt Farnham of Tonawanda, NY is just twenty-one years old and completed his second season in the class winning the division championship. Matt would win three feature events in 2016, including the season ending King of the Hill 100. James Henry of Niagara Falls, NY was second in points while Kevin Wills of Ransomville was third in points, winning two feature events. Jesse Cotriss of Medina, NY was fourth in points winning three times. Greg Martin of Wilson, NY was fifth with also getting three wins. Chris Burek, Austin Susice, Brett Martin, Steve Lewis and Derrick Borkenhagen was won awards for winning feature events. Cotriss will be moving up the Krown Undercoating of Ransomville 358 Modifieds in 2017.
In the Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stocks, Cory Sawyer of Niagara Falls, NY, it was the second time that Sawyer had won a Ransomville Speedway Street Stock championship. His first time was in 1996. Sawyer had two victories on the season and several top five finishes aiding his championship run. Finishing second in points was Billy Bleich Jr of Port Robinson, ONT with six feature wins. MIke Short of Tonawanda was third. Jaren Israel of Wilson was fourth with six victories. Pat Dell of Niagara Falls, NY was fifth with two wins. Kyle Wendt of Ransomville, Brandon Sherwood of Sanborn, NY and Ryan Hoolihan also of Sanborn took home feature winners plaques.
Cole Susice of Ransomville won the Gippsters Collision Four Banger championship with two feature wins. Chad Lederhouse, also of Ransomville had three wins while Mike Kramarz of Niagara Falls, NY finished third with a single victory. Pat O’Keefe of Youngstown, NY was fourth in points getting one feature win. Anthony Guthrie of Niagara Falls, NY was fifth in points with four feature wins. Anthony Hermanson, Jose Torres and Chris Leone all took home feature winners plaques.
Justin McKay of North Tonawanda, NY moved into the Van Raine Construction Novice Sportsman class after spending time in the Gippsters Collision Four Banger class and responded with the division championship. Justin would win three feature events, all coming in the final four nights of the season. McKay and Andrew Spurback of Niagara Falls, NY came into the final points night tied at the top of the Van Raine Construction Novice Sportsman points. Andrew would sell his race car in that final week, Spurback was unable to find a ride. Despite this, Andrew was able to hang on for second place in points getting three feature wins. Anthony Muscato of Lockport, NY had two wins and finished third in points. Darrell Borkenhagen of Sanborn was fourth with two wins. Garrison Krentz of North Tonawanda was fifth in points. Receiving winners plaques was Dustin Gorhan, AJ Custodi, Robbie Johnston, Chase Matteson, Chris Miller and Brandon Williams.
There was several individual awards handed out.
DRIVER OF THE YEAR: Matt Farnham…The Investors Services Sportsman Champion, King of the Hill winner and a Futures Feature winner at Super DIRT Week. OWNER OF THE YEAR: Ray Coons, owner of the Kevin Wills driven Investors Service Sportsman. Ray has been a key part of the Ransomville Speedway pit area for several years. PAT SPINA MECHANIC OF THE YEAR: Roy Susice has been a major part in the career of his son Ryan as the second generation driver has won two straight Krown Undercoating of Ransomville 358 Modified championships.
RAY MACIVER SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD: Pete Bicknell, made himself available to a new track preparation group at Ransomville Speedway after early season problems persisted after the new management team put on a new track surface. Pete Bicknell, responsible for putting the track in at Merrittville Speedway, has been part owner of that facility for the past fourteen years. His additional duties also include part owner of Bicknell Racing Parts, which include locations in St. Catharines, Ontario and NIagara Falls, NY. Pete also has a busy Friday/Saturday racing schedule.
BEST APPEARING-Krown Undercoating of Ransomville 358 Modifieds: Jeff McGinnis, Nick Joy; Investors Service Company Sportsman: James Henry, Jesse Cotriss; KI-Po Chevrolet Street Stocks: Chris Dziombra; Gippsters Collision Four Bangers: MIke Pahl, Anthony Guthrie; VAN RAINE CONSTRUCTION NOVICE SPORTSMAN: Robbie Johnston.
The Most Popular Driver was determined by a ballet process which could be found in the weekly Laps Program. Jeff McGinnis was the winner for the Krown Undercoating 358 Modifieds. Jesse Cotriss for the Investors Service Company Sportsman; Joey Zimmerman for the Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stocks; For the Gippsters Collision Four Cylinders it was Cole Susice and Robbie Johnston for the Van Raine Construction Novice Sportsman.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR-Krown Undercoating of Ransomville 358 Modifieds: Phil Vigneri III; Investors Service Company Sportsman: Austin Susice; KI-PO CHEVROLET STREET STOCKS: Ryan Hoolihan. MOST IMPROVED DRIVERS-Krown Undercoating of Ransomville: Kenny Wills; Investors Service Company Sportsman: Steve Lewis Jr; Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stocks: Austin Hauser.
Ransomville Speedway gave out two Performance Awards. The first went to KI-Po Chevrolet Street Stock champion Cory Sawyer. Sawyer won a championship in 1996 and waited twenty years to repeat that performance. While he didn’t drive for several seasons, Sawyer could be in the Ransomville Speedway pits lending a hand to those needing it. Helping him get that second championship, Sawyer finished in top five thirteen times. Erick Rudolph kept his run at the Ransomville Speedway 358 Modified title going into the final night, despite missing three nights to run a BRP Modified Series event or something else, in which he won it’s championship. Erick was still able to finish third in Ransomville Speedway points, helped by having no finishes outside the top five and five victories.
With the change of management, The Key Player Award went to the entire staff of Ransomville Speedway, annually the award would go to one individual. The Atwal family and General Manager Tana Robinson realized the current staff has went over and beyond what has been asked of them.
Tana Robinson addressed the gathering following and thanked everyone for it’s participation during the 2016 season.