NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario — The New Humberstone Speedway celebrated the 2018 season with the annual Night of Champions Awards Banquet at the Americana Resort on Saturday with longtime track statistician and co-announcer Fran Bushardt, along with Track President Dave Bitner Jr and wife Jennifer MC’ed the festivities.
Cody McPherson from St. Catharines, Ontario was crowned the track champion for the Harvey’s/Swiss Chalet DIRTcar Sportsman for the second time in his career. McPherson visited Epic Racewear Victory Lane five times in route to the title.
Adam Leslie was second in points with Jordan Cosco, Brad Rouse and Jay Mallory rounding out the top five. Rouse, James Michael Friesen, Greg Panunte, and Chad Chevalier also picked up victories this season. Greg Panunte had the Best Appearing Sportsman.
The Hard Charger Award went to Brad Rouse and Cody McPherson. Adam Leslie was named the Most Sportsmanlike driver. The Hard Luck recipient was Dylan Davidson. Jordan Cosco was the Most Improved Driver.
Chad Homan was the track champion in the Pro Fabrication RUSH Late Models for the second straight season. Six wins propelled the driver from Central New York to the track championship. Sam Pennacchio finished second in points and collected one victory. Jeff Dayman was third in points and also scored a single race win. Colton Ledingham, and Jay Liverance completed the top five in points.
Charlie Sandercock, Rob Pietz and third-generation driver David Pangrazio also scored victories. Veteran Adam Ferri was the recipient of a brand new body skins and skirting for the Late Models. Rob Pietz had the Best Appearing Late Model. The Hard Charger Award went to Chad Homan. The Most Sportsmanlike Award went to Ken Winfield. The Hard Luck recipient was Sam Pennacchio. Jay Liverance received the Most Improved Award.
For the fifth time, “The Fonz” Jason Fontaine from Port Colborne, Ontario was the track JC Auto Thunder Stocks. Fontaine used one victory and consistent finishes to win the title by 12 points over Dave Bailey. Bailey scored six feature wins throughout the season.
Pete Reid finished third in points with three wins. Completing the top five in points were Jim Lampman and Barry Beck Jr. Justin Ramsay was the only other Thunder Stock driver to see victory lane this season. Humberstone had a strong representation in the Insta Panels Duel on the Dirt, which was won by Wade Purchase, a regular at the Brighton Speedway. Jason Fontaine had the Best Appearing Thunder Stock.
The Hard Charger Award went to Pete Reid. Barry Beck Jr was named Most Sportsmanlike. The Hard Luck recipient was Pete Reid. Barry Blanchard was the Most Improved Driver.
Cole Hardy was crowned the track champion in the Cosco Haulage Mini Stocks for the second consecutive season. Consistent finishes propelled Hardy to the title. Leroy Buscumb, Evan Curtis, Mike Sarantakos, and Olivier Larocque completed the top five in points. Larocque led the division with five feature wins.
Others that visited victory lane included Kyle Rothwell, Leroy Buscumb, Evan Curtis, Jay Moulton, and Craig Vlasic. Best Appearing Mini Stock was Rob Sauder. The Hard Charger Award went to Olivier Larocque. The Most Sportsmanlike Driver was Cole Hardy. Clinton Nicholls was the Hard Luck recipient. The Most Improved Driver in the division was Mike Sarantakos.
Mitch Dumont from Welland, Ontario dominated the season in the Mike Knapp Ford Pro 4 Trucks division and was awarded the track championship. Dumont’s nine victories was a track high in 2018. Dylan Llord had two wins. Go Fast Teeple was the only other driver besides Dumont and Llord to see victory lane. Danny Wurster, Justin Towers, Jay Dupuis, and Dylan Llord were the top five in track points at season’s end. Best Appearing Truck award went to Dylan Llord. Mitch Dumont was the Hard Charger award recipient. The Most Sportsmanlike driver was Craig Vlasic. Stephanie Ayers was the Hard Luck recipient. Jay Dupuis was the Most Improved Driver.
The coveted Trevor Wilkens Driver of the Year Award went to Thunder Stock campaigner Dave Bailey. The Jim Simpson Crew Chief of the Year Award went to Guy McPherson and his entire team as son Cody won the Sportsman track championship. The Pete Cosco Dedication to Racing Award went to longtime Pit Steward Louie Caetano.
The top 10 in each divisional points were entered into a drawing for a brand new custom race suit from Epic Racewear and it was won by Mini Stock competitor Leroy Buscumb. Chippawa Dirty provided entertainment well into the evening after the awards were handed out.
Under the promotorship of Dave Bitner Jr and his family, the New Humberstone Speedway had a season to remember in 2018. The mighty Modifieds returned to New Humberstone for the annual Pete Cosco Memorial event and after a thrilling 75-lap feature, Mat Williamson scored the win. In a pair of visits by the Race of Champions Dirt 602 Sportsman Series, 2018 RoC Champion Brad Rouse and James Michael Friesen scored tour wins. Cody McPherson was the winner of the BEI Lightning Series event in August. The Action Sprint Tour made a trio of visits this season with Aaron Turkey, Shone Evans, and Matt Farnham scoring the feature wins.