WATERFORD, Conn. - Wednesday evening was special at Waterford Speedbowl as track management hosted the annual awards ceremony for its Wild n Wacky Wednesday racing program, celebrating the popular series 13th consecutive season of motorsports. The banquet recognized several drivers for their achievements on and off the race track during the year.
Approximately 200 guests attended the function, held on speedway grounds under the tracks hospitality tent. The top-five drivers from each of the four Wednesday divisions – Legend Cars, X-Cars, Super X-Cars and Bandoleros were awarded trophies. In addition, special awards were presented to the top rookie drivers, most improved drivers, pit crews of the year plus a sportsmanship award winner for each division.
Middletown’s Joey Ternullo took home the championship trophies in the INEX Legend Cars division and became the youngest champion in the divisions track history. Ternullo is two months shy of his 15th birthday. The division mixes young and veteran racing talent in a very tough and competitive class of car. Ternullo won three feature races during the season on his way to the title.
Brad Voglesong, another Middletown native, captured his third career X-Car division championship in a tight battle that endured all season. Voglesong is the first driver to achieve three titles in the X-Cars in the 13-year history of Wild n Wacky Wednesday, coming in his final season racing. He announced his retirement earlier in the year. Voglesong led the division in wins during the year with four.
Bill Reiman of Southington took home top honors in the Super X-Car division after a breakout performance saw him earn his first victory at the track, improve his consistency and end up the champion in 2013.
Colchesters Anthony Marvin was king of the INEX Bandoleros in his first full season racing in the youth class. Marvin joined the division halfway through the 2012 season after turning the minimum age to compete, which is eight years old. Marvin overcame missing one race, earning six victories on the year to claim the title.
The Wacky Race champions for 2013 were named as Chuck McDonald of Groton and Peter Pollard of Old Lyme. The two regularly participated in the zany and often unpredictable weekly wacky races the track holds, a fan favorite.
Rookie of the Year honors recognizing the top first-year drivers in their respective divisions were given to Mike Christopher Jr. of Wolcott in the Legend Cars, Zach Thomas of New London in the X-Cars, Marc Shafer of Groton in the Super X-Car class plus Jonathon Puleo of Branford for the Bandoleros.
The Most Improved Driver awards acknowledged competitors who showed the greatest progression of skills over the past season behind the wheel. Legend Cars accolades went to Stephen Kopcik of Newtown – runner-up to Ternullo in the standings, while Melissa Clavette of Bozrah took the X-Car honors, Matt Carlson of Griswold won the Super X-Car award and Corey Comeroski took the honor in the Bandoleros after finishing just three points shy of the championship.
Sportsmanship Awards were given out to Dennis Pantani of Branford in Legend Cars, Larry Loomis Jr. of Moosup for X-Cars, Kevin Moon from Exeter, R.I., in Super X-Cars and Puleo for the Bandoleros. Each driver was recognized for their support of the Wild n Wacky Wednesday program through a level of professionalism representing their division and Speedbowl on and off the track.
Pit Crew of the Year awards honored the men and women behind the scenes that kept their cars on the track competing at a high level throughout the season. Mike Christopher Jr.’s Legend Cars team as well as the Bowes Racing X-Car team (driver John Bowes), Maskell Racing Super X-Car team (driver Mike Maskell) and Morin Brothers Racing in the Bandoleros (drivers Anthony Morin and Ken Morin Jr.) were the recipients.
All specialty awards were voted on by a panel made up of track management and race department staff members. A buffet dinner plus an evening of music and entertainment capped the event.