MEREDITH, N.H. – Chris Donnelly was presented with the Sprint Cars of New England championship trophy at the annual SCoNE Banquet at the iconic Hart’s Turkey Farm Restaurant on Lake Winnipesaukee Saturday night.
It was Donnelly’s second SCoNE championship – he also won in 2010 – and his 14th career track or series championship. In the 12 races that awarded points this season, Donnelly had two wins, seven podiums and 10 top-five finishes.
“It was all about consistency this year,” Donnelly explained. “We slowed down a little in the middle of the season, but then we picked it back up again at the end and started running towards the front again, that made all the difference in the world.”
Enroute to his championship, Donnelly wheeled a XXX chassis sponsored by Tuck’s Repair, Gary’s Property Maintenance, Forwards Garage, Vision Signworks, Winslow Mountain Lawncare, Mike’s Trucking, Dowd’s Inn and Fahey Electric.
After a racing career that included mini sprints and modifieds on dirt and supermodifieds on asphalt, Chris Downs made his sprint-car debut and earned SCoNE’s Rookie of the Year honors. He finished tenth in points, scoring one podium and two top-fives in addition to two heat race victories.
In a SCoNE first, both Donnelly and Downs were also presented with the Sportsman Award for their willingness to help their fellow competitors. For the second consecutive year, Si Allen was presented with the Statesman Award.
Appreciation Awards were presented to Si Allen, Dennis Douville, Darrell Lawler, Shawn Lawler, Don MacIntosh, Mark McKeon and Marty Tetu.
The banquet marked the end of an era for SCoNE as Mike Kondrat, who has guided the organization to sustained success, is stepping down to return to the driver’s seat of a SCoNE Sprint Car. Kondrat received a prolonged standing ovation in appreciation of his selfless efforts.