DUNDEE, N.Y. – For the first time in the Dean Hoag Era of Black Rock Speedway, the annual Awards Banquet was held not in January of the following year, but in December of the same season.
Only three weeks after the final checkered flag of the season fell on the Dundee oval, hundreds of racing enthusiasts from attending the 2012 Black Rock Speedway Awards Banquet last Saturday at the Watkins Glen Community Center, where positive energy was flowing with a great outlook for what is ahead.
Nearly 70 individuals were presented with awards throughout the pleasant evening, including all of the youth competitors and any adult competitor that attended more than 60% of the point races in 2010. In addition, 20 special awards were distributed for exemplary efforts in the past years.
Among the prestigious awards on the night were the Dutch Hoag Award for Excellence and Doris Hoag Leading Lady, which were presented to Norm and Donna Patrick of the Gater Racing Photo News. Gary Montgomery, an award recipient in 2011, made the presentation this year while legend Dutch Hoag was on hand once again to congratulate Norm.
There was a standing ovation when track scorer and handicapper Mary Hoose was announced as this year’s Charles Hill Memorial Award recipient. Mary was emotional upon accepting this award, stating that since the creation of this award, it was one that she always wanted to win. This was her 48th season working at Black Rock.
Track photographer Jeff Schneeberger was honored as the Jack Christensen Media Award Winner while Technical Inspector Mark Wallenbeck received the Service Award.
This season featured seven weekly divisions at Black Rock. For the second time in the six years of sportsman competition at the 4/10-mile oval, Brady Fultz, of Dundee, was crowned the track champion. Fultz won five races on the year, including three of the final four regular season events.
John Waters, of Whitesville, claimed his first BRS Track Championshipin the Late Model Division. Waters dominated the division this year, winning 7 of the 10 points-paying races.
For the third time in a row, and fourth time in the last five years, Chris Fisher, of Bluff Point, claimed the street stock championship. Once again this season, Fisher had to hold off Bob Buono from start to finish. Fisher won four features this season, which will be his last in the division as he, like Buono, will be moving on to the sportsman division for 2013.
For the second time in as many season of IMCA Modified competition, Mike Smith, of Arkport, scored the track championship. This year’s crown was hard-fought for Smith, who won three of the final five events to score the championship by just five points over Phil Yaw.
Rich Sharpsteen II scored Signs Plus of Kanona 4-Cylinder Division Championship presented by Watkins Glen Napa on the strength of nine wins, while Steven Rogers was crowned the FWD 4-Cylinder championship in the first year that class ran weekly. Youngster Lance Irwin claimed the Black Rock Bandit Championship.