December 7, 2015
(West Salem, WI) – With the 2015 racing season in the record books, race teams took one last look back at the season just passed at the LaCrosse Speedway’s Awards Banquet last Friday night.
Racers from all six divisions plus several of the Great Northern Sportsman Series converged at the 29th annual Champions’ Banquet, at Onalaska’s Stoney Creek Inn Conference Center.
Track announcer and event emcee Dan Deicher took part in distributing over 100 awards throughout the evening, including the prestigious “Sportsman of the Year” award.
Five Star Race Car Bodies sponsored a $500 gift certificate giveaway to one lucky Late Model Driver at the conclusion of Budweiser Social Hour. Winner of the contest and the Five Star certificate was Brad Powell. “This is great, I’m building a new car right now and I would like to thank Five Star Bodies for this product certificate,” Powell told the audience.
Speedway pastor Andrew Buhrow gave the invocation to the guests. Dinner was served by C&C Catering of Sparta, during which a brief 2015 season review video by KQEG TV-23 was shown on the big screen, as well as State Bank Financial 2015 Videos of the Week and several produced by Ultimate Lap Photo.
The top ten drivers in Late Model, Sportsmen, Thunderstox, Hornets, and Street Stocks were honored during the event, as well as top the five Outlawz and the Great Northern Sportsmen Series. Rookies of the year were crowned, in addition to champions in the Budweiser Dash.
The University of Northwestern Ohio award through the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series rewarded Kaleb Hardy $500 as the highest finishing youth, for his 3rd place in the Thunderstox standings.
Fans and drivers were again able to vote by ballot online this year for several of the awards, including Best Appearing Car, Most Popular Driver, Tough Man Awards and more. “Being recognized by the fans is important to the drivers, and it is fun to have them involved in the awards process,” commented announcer Deicher. “Several of the awards are exclusively voted on by the race teams however, as they have a more intimate perspective on the teams in the pits, and the hard work that is involved in weekly racing. To be recognized with an award that your peers vote on is very rewarding,” concluded Deicher.
The evening included honoring a third consecutive Late Model track championship by veteran racer Steve Carlson.
Pastor Buhrow presented his annual “Racing Family of the Year” award. It was presented to John and Matthew Henderson. The Hendersons not only operate their race team together but they work together during the daytime.
The Great Northern Series congratulated Champion Dave Trute, as well as Sportsman of the Year Adam Oxborough and Special Recognition to Jason Thoma. Michael Gilomen and Jeremy Wolff also were congratulated for their top five performance in the season standings.
All award winners had the opportunity to get photos taken with their new hardware and family or friends by Mary Schill, of ForteDesignSite.com
The event drew to a close with the annual Sportsman of the Year Award. This prestigious award recognized Curt Eckelberg for his participation at the track for over 25 years. He raced throughout that duration, and raised two children who now have raced alongside him in recent years. 2015 was his final year behind the steering wheel.
The 2016 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season kicks off on Sunday afternoon, April 24th with the running of the Budweiser “Frostbuster” race.
For more information about the LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway or the 2015 season, please call the speedway office at 608-786-1525, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.lacrossespeedway.com.
2015 LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway Award Recipients:
Champions: Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Models: Steve Carlson, Dean’s Satellite Sportsmen: Nick Clements, Auto Value Thunderstox: Andy Moore, ANTS Complete Pest Control Hornets: Nate Towner , Auto Value Street Stocks: John Eron, Mountain Dew Outlawz: Ron Lockington, Figure-8: John Clauson, Budweiser Dash: Brad Powell (Late Model), Tony Leis (Sportsmen), Andy Moore (Thunderstox); Novelty Events: Andy Moore;
Rookie of the Year: Thunderstox – Kaleb Hardy, Sportsmen – John Radtke, Late Model – Jason Dummer;
Best Appearing Car Award (Fans Vote): Outlawz – Ron Lockington, Street Stocks – Dan Osthoff, Hornet – Nate Towner, Thunderstox – Charles Vian Jr., Sportsmen – Nick Clements, Late Model – Matthew Henderson;
Best Appearing Car Award (Race Teams Vote): Outlawz – Kevin Kvalheim / Jason Stark, Street Stocks – Bill Bentzen, Hornet – Kim Strom, Thunderstox -Kaleb Hardy, Sportsmen – Jamie Dummer, Late Model – Carter Christenson;
Tough Man Award: Outlawz: Ron Lockington, Street Stocks – John Eron, Hornets – Nate Towner, Thunderstox-Andy Moore, Sportsmen-Tony Leis, Late Model – Steve Carlson;
Lucky Dog Award: – Jeff Thompson;
Outstanding Performance Award: Brad Powell, Steve Bachman;
Extra Lap Award: Henderson Motorsports, Eckelberg Racing Teams;
Showmanship Award: Nick Clements, Jerimy Wagner;
Competition Achievement awards: Ron White, Cam Dezelske, Mandi Eckelberg, Brandon LeMoine, Garrett Thicke
Racing Family of the Year by Pastor Andy: John & Matthew Henderson;
Social Media: Justin Mullikin
Most Improved Driver: Hornets – Kris Berg, Thunderstox – Kayla Lockington, Sportsmen – Jeff Thompson, Late Model – Jerimy Wagner;
Best Appearing Race Team: Kaleb Hardy Racing, Henderson Motorsports, Eckelberg Racing
Special Recognition Award: Lance Berger, Dan Deicher
Hard Charger Award: Outlawz – Jason Bolster, Street Stocks – Jonathon Burbach, Hornets – Hunter Miller, Thunderstox – Ron White, Sportsmen – Jeff Thompson, Late Model – Adam Degenhardt;
Good Luck Award: Outlawz – Jason Bolster, Street Stocks – Jonathon Burbach, Hornets – Sammy Linnehan, Thunderstox – Melissa Rusch, Sportsmen – Brian Hesselberg, Late Model – Mike Carlson;
Sharing Award: Moore Racing;
Most Popular Driver Award (Fan Balloting): Outlawz – Ron Lockington, Street Stocks – Taylor Dobbs, Hornet – Jeff Thompson, Thunderstox – Kayla Lockington, Sportsmen – Nick Clements, Late Model – Brad Powell;
2015 Sportsman of the Year: Curt Eckelberg