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AMRA FETE CELEBRATES CHAMPIONS
TOP DRIVERS/TEAMS HONORED
Bright Future Lies Ahead for Organization
PARKERSBURG, WV-Amid the classy confines of the Grande Point Conference & Reception Center in Parkersburg, WV, the American Motor Racing Association celebrated its 20th racing season with a fine dinner and awards fete Friday night. Over $32,500 in prize money was awarded to the top 35 drivers in the AMRA Octane Race Products National Points' Series where Tuppers Plains, Ohio driver Roy Roush claimed the $5,000 as the 2013 Champion. In the Kryptonite Late Model Series Chris Garnes claimed his fourth straight championship and claimed $2,000 of the total $10,000 in prize money for the top fifteen drivers.
Director of Racing Operations and President of the AMRA Scott Wolfe gave the opening welcome to the nearly 350 folks in attendance. Robbie Evans, driver of the #17 modified gave the invocation, then guests were treated to a grand meal compliments of the Grande Pointe staff.
Steve Vincent, professional photograher and track photographer at the Ohio Valley Speedway, made a first-class video presentation for both classes of honorees. The presentation featured the work of all AMRA photographers and was a compiliation of competitors, especially the top 35 in modified points and the top 15 in Late Models.
Following the video presentation which played throughout the night, Wolfe addressed the crowd. "Despite a slow economy in our region, the AMRA remains strong," said Wolfe. "We have been here for 20 years now and with the new ownership we are looking for bigger and better things in the future."
Wolfe first recognized the Veterans in attendance, then thanked all drivers, crews, owners, fans and others associated with making the 2013 season a success. Wolfe also thanked the AMRA staff for great work and the race tracks, race promoters, and race workers, especially the "tech inspectors" that brought back the integrity of what the AMRA is about.
Wolfe said, "The AMRA is a brand name-- a name that through time has shown its stability and its commitment to provide drivers with a worthy point fund each and every season for the past 20 years. We are looking forward to a bright future and a commitment to grow the AMRA every year."
Wolfe then introduced fellow Master of Ceremonies Bruce Hines before introducing Dave Poske of Poske's Performance Parts, who paid homage to all those who helped make the 2013 AMRA season a successful venture. Poske thanked Wolfe, Hines, and Director of Tech Mike Haught and wife Angie Haught, who also serve as Vice President and Secretary of the AMRA. Poske also recognized Margaret Duncan for her service to the organization as Treasurer.
Poske summarized the season as the new ownership's "First Time at the Plate", but an "at-bat" that has made a difference in preserving the values of the AMRA and the ability to strive towards keeping the playing field level. Poske also paid tribute to the many sponsors that have helped make the AMRA an "established, successful organization."
Poske then recognized Russ Gray of Wrisco Aluminum, a long-time sponsor; and Russ Bradford of Bazelle Oil and Sunoco Race Fuels, another long-time sponsor. Poske then went through a long list of AMRA sponsors that besides their financial commitment, also provided nearly $20,000 in contingencies and door prizes. These awards were in addition to $40,000-plus in point fund money and special awards such as the "MSD Ironman" awards.
Poske gave special recognition to Jenni Cook Fussell, who along with Angie Haught, put numerous hours into organizing the banquet. Alice Keefer and Katie Dickson were recognized for their help with the banquet, and Todd Frye, Hoosier Ohio Valley, received great praise for his support of the AMRA, as well as his work with organizing banquet events and getting the awards' hardware. Fussell was also honored for her work on the AMRA website and facebook page.
Track promoters were then recognized along with track crews and AMRA tech inspectors. Poske noted, "Without the promoters going out there and putting their necks on the line each and every week, and the hard work that the tech inspectors put in to restore unity and consistency from track-to-track, the success and respect earned this season would not have been possible."
Poske referenced several stories and Biblical scriptures that not only related to racers and AMRA, but also to life.
Together Wolfe and Bruce Hines introduced the top 35 in the AMRA Octane National Series. The top 35 will be listed at the conclusion of this press release along with the amount of point money earned. 2013 National Champion Roy Roush praised his sponsors and the AMRA along with the support of fans and fellow drivers.
"It was a crazy year," said Roush. "There were times when I thought we were done, but everyone pitched in and got me back to the track. Shawn Donahue loaned me his engine. We won a race with it then we blew it up, but each time friends and sponsors stepped in to keep me going."
"The AMRA points' race was a huge incentive. It kept me going. It was a once in a lifetime situation and we decided we were in it to the end. Congratulations to Kenny (Johnson) on a great year. We had a lot of great runs together and Kenny and I battled the entire year." said Roush who won 18 races this season and 13 last year in a 2009 Jimmy Owens chassis that had two previous owners. Johnson won eleven races this season in an effort to go 4-for-4 as AMRA champion.
The new champion and driver of the R-2 Owens Loose Gruff Chassis concluded, "Thanks to my sponsors--Adams Drilling, A-1 Sanitation, AC Group Malta, Ohio; Antill Enterpirses-- and thanks to my girlfriend Raquel and to the AMRA and their sponsors."
"The Lucky 13 Award" went to Jesse Wisecarver of Zanesville. Wisecarver claimed $800 in AMRA winnings for 13th plus another $1,000 from Two Brothers Motorsports and proprietor Jr. Nolan. The award commemorates Nolan's #13 race car number. Nolan announced that he is aboard with the AMRA in 2014 and will post $1,300 for the award.
Hines then recognized the AMRA Carthage Auto Parts "Rookie of the Year" winner James Dennis and runner-up Marc Martin. Dave Norton of Carthage Auto Parts sent along his congratulations to Dennis along with the $500 paycheck and a commitment to be the ROY sponsor in 2014.
MSD Performance and the American Motor Racing Association (AMRA) proudly announced KC Burdette, Darren Roush, Roy Roush and Frankie Roush as this year’s winners of the AMRA/MSD "Ironman Awards." The 2013 MSD/AMRA Ironman Award follows a three year alliance naming MSD as the Official Ignition of the AMRA, a highly competitive race series.
Ironman Awards were given to two drivers in the Modified Division, and two in the Late Model Division, each earning a prize of $500! The winners were chosen by their number of weeks completed. The competitive racing of these divisions provides excitement for the fans, and the Ironman Awards are fitting for AMRA racers as it takes strength to survive.
Following a brief intermission, ADRA Owner/Director Rocky Estep introduced Tony Dillow, the ADRA front-man and Director of Racers in Christ. Dillow recognized Wayne Hughes as the Runner-up in the ADRA Late Models and presented him with $2,000 in cash. Next, Bryan Casey the driver of the #25 Racers In Christ, Casey Racing, Lazer Chassis was crowned as the ADRA Champion. Casey made every race and despite not posting a win, won the $3,000 championship check and ADRA crown. Both Hughes and Casey professed their thanks to the Lord and the many blessings they had running with the ADRA. The ADRA and AMRA teamed up for several big Late Model shows in 2013 and looks to continue the bond next year.
Track Champions were then recognized-- Beckley Motor Speedway: Modifieds, Keith Bills; Late Models, Ricky Williams; Hilltop Speedway: Roy Roush, Modified; Jackson County Speedway: Roy Roush, Modified; I-77 Raceway Park: James Dennis, Modified; Travis Brookover, Late Model; Midway Speedway: Anthony Kincade, Modified; Ronnie Mayle, Late Model; Ohio Valley Speedway: Tyler Evans, Modified; Andy Bond, Late Model; Princeton Speedway: Jason Cochran, Modified; Skyline Speedway: Kenny Johnson, Modified; Freddie Carpenter, Late Model; and Thunder Mountain Raceway: Dale Lyons, modified.
The Kryptonite AMRA Late Model drivers were then honored. Evans, WV driver of the #42 Swartz Extreme Chassis Chris Garnes was the winner for the fourth year in a row. Garnes, who cited 2013 for having "a slow start, and a year that we struggled", still managed 14 feature wins and claimed a 1238 to 1183 point spread over second place K-C Burdette.
Garnes said, "Congratulations to these guys (other drivers) behind me for having a great year. Somehow we did this again. It wasn't a great year, but it was a good year. I'd like to thank my sponsors and my dad, mom, and crew--Glendal Garnes, JJ Garnes, Jake Bourgeois, Bryant Shamblin, Robert "Booger" Garnes. I would also like to thank the AMRA for giving us something to shoot for every year."
"Also, without my sponsors I couldn't do this: Garnes Performance Shocks(GPS), Tri County Builders, Tri County Properties, Audie SWARTZ race cars, Dave Poskes Performance Parts, Octance Race Products, Hoosier Tire by FRYE, Wrisco, Sunoco, Slicker Graphics, Öhlins, Franklin Rear ends, Pro Power Performance, and BSB Mfg."
Garnes added, "I can't say enough about my car builder Audie Swartz. This is our 4th year in a Swartz car thanks to Billy Jarrell. He hooked us up four years ago after I won the championship at Skyline. We have had a great four years, but I am still learning....there is always something to learn and Audie provides a wealth of advice. Again thanks to him and thanks to the AMRA and all their sponsors."
Garnes, who himself builds shocks added, "I'd like to offer a discount to the top five modified drivers and the top five late model drivers on a set of shocks. I will give $250 off a set of 4 Öhlins CCJ non adjustable shocks for the mods and $400 off a set of 6 Öhlins double adjustable canister shocks for the late models."
Zach Yost was the official photographer for the event. His photos in part can be found at this link:
The top 35 modified and top 15 late model drivers participated in door prize drawings throughout the night. The winner of the Lincoln Electric Welder and Cart valued at over $1,000 went to modified driver Jesse Rupe of Sophia, WV.
Other prizes will be announced in a separate release to better recognize the AMRA sponsorship.
Octane Race Products Modifieds Top 35 2013
1 Roy Roush Tuppers Plains, OH 2R 1292 $ 5000.00
2 Kenny Johnson Mineral Wells, WV 1J 1267 $ 2000.00
3 Jeremy Berwanger Murray City, OH 44J 1213 $ 1800.00
4 Robbie Evans Mineral Wells, WV 17 1207 $ 1600.00
5 Nick Corbitt Waverly, WV 45 1204 $ 1500.00
6 Tyler Evans Mineral Wells, WV 17T 1197 $ 1400.00
7 James Dennis Ripley, WV 156 1138 $ 1300.00
8 Vince Conrad Ripley, WV 3c 1089 $ 1200.00
9 Andy Bond Coolville, OH O1 1085 $ 1100.00
10 Keith Bills Kincaid, WV 36K 1073 $ 1000.00
11 Jeremy Blake Guysville, OH B4 1071 $ 900.00
12 Jess Hartman Zanesville, OH 5 1066 $ 850.00
13 Jesse Wisecarver Zanesville, OH 101 1054 $ 800.00
14 Robert Garnes Ripley, WV 0O0 1045 $ 750.00
15 Kyle Bond Coolville, OH 10 1033 $ 700.00
16 Mike Duncan Beckley, WV 53 1024 $ 650.00
17 Tanner Wilson Zanesville, OH 17 996 $ 600.00
18 Derrick Smith Oak Hill, OH 87S 990 $ 575.00
19 Frankie Roush Coolville, OH R3 988 $ 550.00
20 Jason Cochran Flat Top, WV 17 986 $ 525.00
21 Jason Brookover Washington, WV 28B 978 $ 500.00
22 Mark Lunning Corning, OH 7L 977 $ 475.00
23 J P Roberts Gallipolis, OH 9R 976 $ 450.00
24 Jesse Rupe Sophia, WV 11 973 $ 425.00
25 Michael Moore Beckley, WV 2 969 $ 400.00
26 Anthony Kinkade Zanesville, OH 144 964 $ 375.00
27 Scott Chew Caldwell, OH 57C 939 $ 350.00
28 Gary Gould Stewart, OH 29 926 $ 325.00
29 Casey Fritz Chandlersville, OH C7 924 $ 300.00
30 Tate Hughes Beaver, WV 22C 921 $ 280.00
31 Mike McPherson Millfield, OH RV1 912 $ 275.00
32 Marc Martin Parkersburg, WV 794 903 $ 270.00
33 Bruce Dennis Salem, OH B1 896 $ 265.00
34 Bill Fordyce Mineral Wells, WV O2 887 $ 260.00
35 Mark Dickson Gallipolis, OH 0 886 $ 250.00
Kryptonite Late Model 2013 Top 15
1 Chris Garnes Evans, WV 42 1238 $ 2000.00
2 K C Burdette Parkersburg, WV KC44 1183 $ 1000.00
3 Ronnie Mayle Chesterhill, OH 50 1176 $ 850.00
4 Andy Bond Coolville, OH O1 1174 $ 800.00
5 Tyler Carpenter Parkersburg, WV 28 1146 $ 700.00
6 Travis Brookover Kenna, WV 12B 1078 $ 625.00
7 Freddie Carpenter Parkersburg, WV C4 1064 $ 600.00
8 Harold Redman Jr Charleston, WV 28R 1058 $ 550.00
9 Steve Lucas Charleston, WV 5 1010 $ 525.00
10 Dan Morrison Newport, OH 7 1003 $ 500.00
11 Ed Shuman Mineral Wells, WV 0 932 $ 450.00
12 Brock Morris Charleston, WV 529 928 $ 425.00
13 Rick Williams Beckley, WV 12 919 $ 350.00
14 Jimmy Glassburn Newark, OH 88D 905 $ 325.00
15 Steve Bigley Guysville, OH 53C 875 $ 300.00