December 17, 2012 (West Salem, WI) – The final event of the 2012 LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season took place Friday night at the 26th annual Champions’ Banquet.
A hall full of guests, including many of the 2012 race teams, sponsors and family members, joined in on the festivities. Over 100 awards were handed out at the event, which was held at Onalaska’s Stoney Creek Inn Conference Center on a balmy December evening.
The event kicked off by recognizing the tenth through fourth place drivers in the Thunderstox, Sportsmen and Late Model divisions, in addition to 5th and 4th in the Hornet and Outlawz divisions.
Late Model Drivers participating in at least half of the 2012 features last season in attendance were eligible to win a $500 certificate towards a body package purchase at Five Star Race Car Bodies. In a random draw, drivers were eliminated from the award as their spouse, girlfriend or driver representative lined up and picked a beverage can at random, with a driver’s car number at the bottom. The final two drivers were then paired up with the two remaining driver representatives and had a trivia question battle. The pair to correctly answer two questions first rewarded the driver with the prize, which went to Adam Degenhardt.
Andrew Buhrow gave the invocation, and a brief 2012 season review video produced by KQEG TV-23 was shown to the guests during dinner. Dinner was served by local racing supporter C&C Catering of Sparta.
The awards ceremony began immediately after dinner, and honored the top three in each division, plus many of the fun awards that the race teams get to vote on.
The ceremony kicked off honoring the 2012 Rookies of the Year; Jacinda Pfaff in Thunderstox, Jack Litsheim in Sportsmen and John Olson in Late Models. Dakota Miller took home the Novelty Division trophy, while Michael Young, crew chief for Jake Arneson in Sportsmen was recipient of the NASCAR UNOH Ultimate Mechanic.
Gary Gonzcy of Kwik Trip was on hand to present gifts to the Late Model drivers. The drivers thanked him for his support of the division by giving him a Sunoco Racing Fuel checkered flag signed by all of them.
There were many door prizes given away to the guests, which had been donated to the event by Kwik Trip, United Auto Supply, Hoosier Racing Tire and Competition Products.
A new tradition begun at this year’s banquet. Each driver winning the “Good Luck Award” also received a gold horseshoe to hang inside his or her race car next season, to hopefully bring them good luck.
The champion in each division highlighted the evening, featuring Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Model champion Todd Korish, North Country Contractors Sportsmen champion Randy Humfeld, United Auto Supply Thunderstox Champion Tom Luethe, Mark Bornitz as Window World Hornet Champion and Volden Construction Outlawz champion Jerry Aylsworth. All of them with the exception of Bornitz had won their first track championships at LaCrosse Speedway this year.
The event drew to a close with the annual Sportsman of the Year Award. This prestigious award was given to KQEG-TV and Rick Wilson, for their dedication to the weekly television broadcast of the racing events during each of the last eight seasons.
For more information about the LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, please call the speedway office at 608-786-1525, email email@example.com, or visit www.lacrossespeedway.com.
2012 LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway Award Recipients:
Champions: Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Model Champion: Todd Korish, North Country Contractors Sportsmen Champion: Randy Humfeld, United Auto Supply Thunderstox Champion: Tom Luethe, Window World Hornet Champion: Mark Bornitz, Volden Construction Outlawz Champion: Jerry Aylsworth, Budweiser Dash Champions: Todd Korish (Late Model), Jake Arneson (Sportsmen), Dakota Miller (Thunderstox); Novelty Event Champion: Dakota Miller;
Rookie of the Year: Thunderstox – Jacinda Pfaff, Sportsmen – Jack Litsheim, Late Model – John Olson;
Best Appearing Car Award (Fan Balloting): Outlawz – Jerry Aylsworth, Hornet – Chris Swenson, Thunderstox – Tom Luethe, Sportsmen – Jack Litsheim, Late Model – Mike Carlson;
Best Appearing Car Award (Race Team Balloting): Outlawz – Jerry Aylsworth, Hornet Sammy Linnehan, Thunderstox -Dakota Miller, Sportsmen – Jake Arneson, Late Model – Todd Korish;
Tough Man Award: Thunderstox-Adam Moore, Sportsmen-Matt Inglett, Late Model – J. Herbst;
Noisemaker Award: – Adam Degenhardt & Mark Challet;
NASCAR UNOH Ultimate Mechanic – Michael Young;
Outstanding Performance Award: Thunderstox – Jacinda Pfaff, Sportsmen – Jack Litsheim, Late Model – Steve Owen;
Extra Lap Award: Jerrod Loging, Matthew Henderson;
Showmanship Award: Jake Arneson, Bill Niles;
Fan Club Award: – Hornets – Wood Racing, Thunderstox – Tom Luethe, Sportsmen – Matt Inglett, Late Model – Todd Korish;
Competition Achievement awards: Larry Holets, Justin Mullikin, Bob Manske, Brad Powell, Tim Murphy;
Best Use of Social Media: Bill Niles;
Most Improved Driver: Thunderstox – Nathan White, Sportsmen – Steve Bachman, Late Model – Harley Jankowski;
Best Appearing Race Team: Eckelberg Racing;
Special Recognition Award: Stacey Owen, Andrew Buhrow;
Hard Charger Award: Thunderstox – Jordan Myers, Sportsmen – Aaron Hass, Late Model – Matthew Henderson;
Good Luck Award: Outlawz – Tim Steinhoff, Hornets – Wendy Liebsch, Thunderstox – Jason Schaller, Sportsmen – Brian Hesselberg, Late Model – Craig Kohlmeier;
Quick Decision Award: Shawn Pfaff;
Most Popular Driver Award (Fan Balloting): Outlawz – Jerry Aylsworth, Hornet – Jake Bemis, Thunderstox – Nathan White, Sportsmen – Jamie Dummer, Late Model – Todd Korish;
Sharing Award: Tom Korish;
2012 Sportsman of the Year: KQEG-TV 23 & Rick Wilson.