Well another season has come and gone. Although the car count may not have been as robust as we would have liked we definitely had some fantastic wheel to wheel racing. The competition level was high with many winners in the 600 division. The 500 division did not have as many different winners but the racing from 2nd back was fierce. So as we crown our champions and rookies of the year we look forward already to next year.
So, with the season at an end it is time to crown our new champions. One champion won eight races while the other was consistent in finishes coming close to a victory but never getting in victory lane. Join me in congratulating Matt Hoyt and Tony Shaw who won the championships of the 500's and the 600 divisions respectively.
Tony Shaw was the epitome of consistency. He did not win a race but was constantly in the top 4 or 5 throughout the year. He saw the division grow from 2 cars up to our largest show of 12 cars but, every week he was there racing hard and finishing the races. He saw competition from Kyle Belliveau early on then Tim Beard made a run at him and finished off with the veteran Rich Crooker taking a shot at Tony. They may have won the races but Tony took the years' crown for himself. Great job Tony, can't wait to see defend your crown next year.
Matthew Hoyt showed the 500 division what domination was all about. He dominated from the first green flag until the last checkered flag winning 8 of 14 races. As the year went on and the competition grew tougher and so did Matt. His first competition for wins was Thomas Chaffee, who won 3 races, but Tom could not hold up to the pressure as he blew motor after motor. Tom finally ran out of motors ending his season prematurely and preparing his son Riley for next year. Incidentally, Riley looks to be fast once he gets used to the car. Then Bob Griffin attempted to take some of Matt's glory winning 3 races as well. Bob finished the season strong finishing in the top three the last 6 races.
Other competition for Matt throughout the year was Shawn King in the 4 car. You knew every week he would be vying for a top 5 finish. Then of course there was the young up and coming superstar in Tanner Seimons. Tanner in the 5 car got faster and faster as the season progressed. Tanner is the type of driver that would study you and then take advantage of your weakness. He should be a strong competitor for the championship next year.
As the competition of the championship wore on I would be remised if I did not mention our two rookies of the year. These two guys are polar opposites. One is an older gentleman racing his 500 cc car to fifth place in the overall championship. While the other, was a young man taking to the 600 like a fish to water. Both Eddie Puffinburger and Ben Bachand did a phenomenal job with their respective cars with Eddie winning the 500 division and with Ben winning the 600 rookie of the year.
Ben came close to winning in the 600 division multiple times finishing second many times over. From the first time he got in the 600 until the last lap of the last race, Ben was showing some of the veterans how to navigate that dirt monster. He showed us that these kids really have no fear. He was flat footing it as much as he could racing the veterans like Rich Crooker, Kyle Belliveau and Tim Beard giving them everything he had and making it very difficult for them to pass him.
Meanwhile is the 500 division Eddie Puffinburger showed us you are only as old as you feel. He took his 500 and finished well every race. He would make his car as wide as he could making it very difficult to pass. Eddie looked like he was having a blast out there. He always had a smile and couldn't wait until the next race. Glad to have you Eddie, hope to see you next year.
Like I stated previously the season has all but ended. We have the end of year banquet and annual meeting slated for October 24th at the Fireside Inn. The Meeting is at 3. Everyone should attend to vote for new officers. I guess this is the time that I have to say I reluctantly will be stepping away from the presidency. I would like to thank everyone for their support and thank you to all the drivers/car owners for coming to race with the Granite State Mini Sprints.
We accomplished some firsts for the club this year. We have electronic lineups, needs some work, but really it really helped. The club now owns all the tools to tech cars. Armand Boisvert, a special thank you to you, who donated some of the tools and actually made a tool for tech of the 500 motors. We started a new annual event this year with the Lenny West Memorial race weekend. It was a big hit with the specialized trophies, hopefully; the new regime will keep it going listing the winners at each track on the respective trophies for years to come. We also, had for the first time a race coordinator who runs the line ups and takes care of other race day needs.
I would to thank everyone on the board for being available to help the club. Being a volunteer only situation you need people who are dedicated to the craft. Thank you to Dennis McLeod, for running our website this year. Thank you to O'Reilly Auto Parts for being our title sponsor for the second year. Hope to have you on board for next year.
Also, to Nadine Coates THANK YOU for coordinating all the races this year. Nadine was only supposed to coordinate races at Legion Speedway only, but she ended up helping out at Bear Ridge as well. Without you Nadine I fear the season would have been disaster. THANK YOU NADINE SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP! Again, thank you to everyone who made the 2015 season such a success.
I hope to see you all on October 24th starting at 3 at the fireside Inn with the banquet to follow at 6. Remember that membership pricing for that day will be reduced from $50.00 to $40.00 one day only. So come out and renew your memberships.
Thank you for all your help and a great season