THOROLD, ONTARIO (December 6, 2019) … The Merrittville Speedway celebrated the 2019 season with the annual Awards Banquet at the John Michaels Banquet Centre Friday night. Track announcers Steven Petty and Jonathon Howe served as Masters of Ceremonies.
All track champions received the traditional jacket and championship ring. Special Awards included Mat Williamson being named Driver of the Year. The Begolo-Little Most Improved Driver Award went to V6 driver Colton Lane. Steve Cox was the recipient of “The Gordie” Dedication to Racing Award. The Billy Matthews Crew Chief of the Year went to Ray Sliter. The Pete Cosco Car Owner of the Year went to Tony Kelly. The Performer of the Year was Rob Murray. Tracy Palleschi was the recipient of the Woman in Racing Award and Chuck Hardy was the recipient of the Staff Dedication to Racing Award.
Ridgeway, Ontario’s Gary Lindberg celebrated his first S&W Service Centre Modified track championship. Lindberg celebrated in victory lane three times throughout the season. 2018 track titlist Mat Williamson won seven times in 2019. Mike Bowman won three races. Ryan Susice and Erick Rudolph celebrated victories as well. Dalton Slack was the division’s Rookie of the Year. Rob Knapp had the Best Appearing Modified.
Brad Rouse from St. Catharines, Ontario celebrated his David Chevrolet DIRTcar Sportsman championship. Rouse won four times in route to the title. Chad Chevalier, Dylan Davidson, James Michael Friesen, and Paul Gaboury each won twice. Dave DiPietro, Adam Leslie, and Justin Sharp also visited victory lane. Noah Mamo was the division’s Rookie of the Year. Dylan Davidson had the Best Appearing Sportsman.
St. Catharines’s Rob Murray celebrated his second straight Hoosier Stock track title. Murray scored seven wins to capture the title. Dave Bailey won three times. Brad Sheehan, Kyle Pelrine, Jason Fontaine, and Steve Shaw all celebrated in victory lane during the season. Go Fast Teeple was the Rookie of the Year. Zach Bleich had the Best Appearing Car.
Ridgeway, Ontario’s Josh Sliter celebrated his Doidge Building Centres Modified Lites championship. With six visits to victory lane, Sliter would hold off defending track champion and teammate Brent Begolo in the final point standings. Begolo captured four victories during 2019. Jeffery May and Tyler Winger also collected checkered flags. Cheeseburger Iftody was the division’s Rookie of the Year. Randy Giroux had the Best Appearing Car.
Welland’s Tyler Lafantaisie celebrated his Central Fabricating 4 Cylinder championship. With four victories, Lafantaisie held off two-time race winner Jay Moulton in the final point standings. Anthony Kelly, Kyle Rothwell, Tony Kelly, Cole Hardy, Jeremy Cooper, and Austyn Werstroh all collected checkered flags. Jeremy Cooper had the Best Appearing Car.
Kevin Conley held off John Couture by two points to win the Dave’s Auto and Speed Centre V6 track title. Conley had three wins, while Couture had six. JJ MacDonald, Colton Lane, and Josh Dymtrow also scored wins. Kyle Irving was the division’s Rookie of the Year. John Couture and the Batmobile was the Best appearing car.
The Merrittville Speedway Reunion Committee had another successful season. They honored 2019 Inductees and CAA Niagara Dedication to Racing Award recipients Bob Webster, Bruce Bonham, Colleen Curvin, and the Semenuk Family. The Kelly-Winger Sportsmanship Award went to Fred Carleton. It was “Fast Freddie’s” second Kelly-Winger Sportsmanship Award. The Reunion Committee would like to congratulate member and Merrittville Wall of Famer Ted Renshaw on his upcoming induction into the Friends of Auto Racing (FOAR SCORE) Fan Club Hall of Fame.
Track Owners Don & Lorraine Spiece spoke to those in attendance about upcoming plans for the 2020 season at Merrittville, Canada’s longest weekly-running dirt track. They thanked several sponsors who stepped up and covered over half the cost of a drivers pass for all drivers during the 2020 season. Special thanks to Rob & Kelly Murray, Wendy & Dave Hahl from Exclusive Imprint came about to help sponsor the full-fendered Hoosier Stocks. Currently, over 20 drivers have signed up to run in the division next season. Richard Matthie from Champion Racing Oil did the same with our DIRTcar Sportsman and had all 20 passes taken. Heidi Parnell from Glo & Go Tanning did the same with the 4 Cylinder division. Some passes for the 4 cylinders are still available.
The 2020 rules meeting is expected to take place in early February. Dates of the 69th Spring Sizzler and Season Opener will be released in the coming weeks.
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