SOUTHGATE, Mich. – Race teams, officials, family and friends met Friday evening for the annual Flat Rock and Toledo Speedways banquet, held at the elegant Crystal Gardens Banquet Center in Southgate, Mich.
Each of the champions received their championship jackets as Master of Ceremonies Gary Lindahl led a toast to the champions.
Flat Rock’s ARCA Moran Chevrolet Late Models saw Paul Pelletier claim his third Flat Rock Late Model crown at the ¼ mile paved oval. Paul had an amazing 6 wins out of the 10 events at “The Rock” in 2012. Pelletier and his father and car owner, David, accepted the championship trophies and a check for $1500 from Moran Chevrolet. Dennis Strickland was second in the final points for the second season in a row.
Derek Wiley, Steve Cronenwett Jr., Joe Hawes, Terry Bogusz, 2011 champ Eric Lee, Stan Yee Jr., Dan Trosen Jr. and Jim Alvis completed the top ten. Brad Turner was the Rookie of the Year. Pelletier ($300) and Strickland ($200) also received product certificates from Penske Shocks for their efforts.
Jeremy Miller captured his first Flat Rock ARCA Parts Galore Figure 8 title, topping Dennis Whisman by 40 markers. Gary Cronenwett, Greg Studt, Robbie Loving, Scott Apperson, Steve Chartrand, Danny Gaddis, Ian Jezylo and Billy Earley were next in line in the final standings. Allen Bland Jr. was named Rookie of the Year.
The ARCA DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stock class is divided up into A and B divisions by qualifying each race night. Frank Jiovani capped off a great season by winning his first-ever championship in the A Main standings.
Tadek Stadniczuk moved up one spot from the 2011 points finish to take second, Rob Moore recorded his best season with a third place finish in the final points, with Rich Frantz fourth and Clyde McKee fifth, followed by Grant Hedges, Landon Schuster, Steve Chartrand, 2011 champ Tim Moore and Billy Cronce. Jiovani also took home a $500 product certificate, courtesy of AR Bodies. Cronce took the A Main Rookie of the Year honor.
Another first-time champion emerged in the name of Don Roberts, who captured the DTS Drive Train Specialists ARCA Street Stock B Main crown. Rick Bennett, 2009 B Main champ Anthony Camilli, Mark Lavoie, 2008 champ Rich Abel, Tom Jacobs, Chris Fitzpatrick, Aaron Greathouse, Steve Theobald and 2006 champ Lonnie York completed the top ten in the final B points. Bennett collected the B Main Rookie of the Year award.
The Flat Rock ARCA 4 Cylinder championship went to Ray McClure, who notched his first-ever crown at the track, edging runner-up Jeff Wells by 20 points. Chris Metdepenningen, David Katafiasz, Brad Turner, David Price, Katie Coseo, Billy Cronce III, Megan Osenbaugh and Chris Pauwels were next in line in the final point tally for the class.
The first time-champion theme continued in the Flat Rock Speedway Enduro class as Matt Ringger was victorious in claiming his initial Enduro win and his first championship. Derrick Sheppard took second in the points for the second season in a row, while Rick McColl was third again this season in the final point standings. Kyle Metdepenningen tied Rick for third, Rayce Metdepenningen was fifth, with Ed Case, Rick Bennett, Danny Bennett, Troy Brehmer and Bobby Hugo the top ten finishers for the 4-race Series at the quarter-mile paved oval.
The Toledo awards began with the Allegiant Glass City Gold Cup for the ARCA Late Models. The traditional championship Gold Cup for the six-race series went to Cedar Springs, MI driver Dakota Carlson, taking his first ARCA championship. Dakota was extremely consistent throughout the season. Two-time defending champ Mike Root was second, Harold Fair Jr. third, three-time Gold Cup champ Dennis Strickland fourth and Craig Everage fifth.
The top three drivers all received a pair of round-trip airline tickets, courtesy of Allegiant Travel. Carlson also has the opportunity to test an ARCA Racing Series car at Daytona in December by virtue of his title. Steve Cronenwett Jr., Ron Allen, Chad Guinn, Jack Varney Jr. and Mike Luberda Jr. rounded out the top ten point men. Carlson ($300) and Root ($200) collected the Penske Shocks product certificates.
Dennis “The Rebel” Whisman capped off a great year as he took the Toledo ARCA Parts Galore Figure 8 title, giving him 10 ARCA championships in his career. Dennis also was presented an ARCA ring in honor of his 10th ARCA title. Greg Studt took second, 25 points behind the champ. Gary Cronenwett, Archie Padgett, Robbie Loving, Ian Jezylo, Sam Hall, Scott Apperson, Nick Bradley and Jerry Lee Jr. trailed in the final points for the division.
The Toledo ARCA ACME Dismantling Sportsman division saw Ron Allen capture his seventh ARCA title in the ½ mile division at Toledo, making it back-back championships. 2008 and 2010 champ Jim Froling finished second, 2003 king Howard Kelley Jr. was third, Mike Young took fourth and Kenny McKay Jr. was fifth, followed by Andy Harding, Kent McCloskey, David Frantz, Jeff Myers Jr. and Dave Arnold Jr. Allen also received a $500 product certificate from AR Bodies for his title. Myers Jr. collected the Rookie of the Year and the Special Achievement Award by becoming the first 15 year old to compete in weekly ARCA racing on the ½ mile at Toledo.
The Toledo ARCA R & M Recycling Street Stock division crown went to Kyle Huston. Kyle’s dad, Eric, won the 2011 championship, but raced sparingly as he watched his son grab the championship, the first for the 16 year-old Erie MI resident. Rick Cousino Sr., John Rabideau, Randy Padgett Jr., Pat Fields, Cory McCaughey, Kris King, James Good, Matt Bunting and Don Cox followed in the final points. King was named Rookie of the Year.
The ARCA 4 Cylinders at Toledo saw Perry Marlow capture his first-ever title. Megan Osenbaugh took second, 2011 champ Mike Marlow, Perry’s son, was third, with fourth to Jeff Wells and David Katafiacsz fifth.
Mike Young, Jeff Myers Jr. and Steve Chartrand took home $500 product certificates in a random draw for Street Stock and Sportsman drivers, courtesy of 5 Star RaceCar Bodies, while Tim Moore won the random draw $500 product certificate from AR Bodies.
A bonus program posted by Corrigan Race Fuels at Flat Rock and Bazell Race Fuels at Toledo awarded cash bonuses to the top Sunoco Race fuel purchasers for the season. Brad Turner, Stan Yee Jr., Dennis Whisman, Stephanie Bradley, Frank Jiovani and Rob Moore were the Flat Rock recipients, while Robbie Loving, Whisman, Kent McCloskey, Dave Arnold Jr., Kyle Huston and Cory McCaughey collected the Toledo bonus money.
Point fund and contingency award sponsors for 2012 include Moran Chevrolet, Parts Galore, ACME Dismantling, ARCA, AR Bodies, Allegiant Travel, B & H Race Parts, DTS Drive Train Specialists, Five Star RaceCar Bodies, Hoosier Tire, Penske Shocks, R & M Recycling, Bazell Race Fuels, Corrigan Race Fuels and Sunoco Race Fuels.