When Eden’s Mike Woodring traveled to the annual Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints season awards banquet in Vernon on Nov. 17, he had no idea that he was about to be inducted into the ESS Hall of Fame. That’s mainly because before that evening the ESS didn’t have a hall of fame.
Over the last several weeks, a select few ESS officials conceived, planned and created the ESS Hall of Fame. Woodring joins fellow inductees Gordy Button and Mal Lane as the Hall’s first inductees.
The ESS, which is about to enter its 30th anniversary season, is a traveling series for winged, open-cockpit, open-wheel Sprint Cars. Woodring joined the ESS ranks in June of 1990 and raced with them through the 2003 campaign. He racked up 59 A-Main wins and 8 ESS season point championships, in 1993 and 1996 through 2002. His victories came at many area dirt tracks.
“That was pretty cool to be inducted into the ESS Hall of Fame,” said Woodring. “I had no idea that there would even be an ESS Hall of Fame until about midway through the awards banquet that night when they unveiled the ESS Hall of Fame logo. Then they announced the new hall of fame and a few minutes later I learned that I was an inductee into the first class. It really surprised me.”
Since leaving active driving, Woodring has worked for various Sprint Car teams and currently owns a car that Brooke Tatnell campaigns on a limited basis with the World of Outlaws.
Two years ago, Humberstone Speedway management, in an effort to turn the Port Colborne, Ont. dirt track’s financial ledger from red to black ink, changed its race night from Sundays to Fridays. The hope was that the Friday night slot would be more appealing to area race fans and teams. It turned out not to be.
Two years later and without much positive change to the dirt track’s financial picture, the management has reversed its decision. Humberstone will again be a Sunday night race place in 2013.
“We just felt that the crowds were not very good for our Friday night shows and the car counts went up when we had a few Sunday specials this past season,” said Humberstone official Fran Bushardt of the reason for the latest change.
“We had good Friday Sportsman fields with about 20 cars a night but our Street Stocks only averaged about 15 a night on Fridays, but during our four Sunday specials the Street Stock field eventually grew to 30 cars for the last special.”
Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex General Manager Tim Bennett has been busy putting together the NASCAR sanctioned high-banked facility’s 2013 season schedule.
Bennett has named May 26 as Holland’s 54th season opening night for the NASCAR sanctioned stock car program. Holland’s season championship night will be Aug. 31 and the track’s popular Crash-A-Rama events will be June 8 and Sept. 14.
All activity begins with Holland’s preseason registration party, to be held March 3 at the Holland Willows on Savage Road in Holland.
Holland’s 2012 NASCAR Pro Modified season points champion Andy Jankowiak has purchased the Modified racing equipment of retired Modified driver Tom McGrath and will race in that class in 2013.
Dunn Tire Raceway Park has lost some key stock car officials since the end of the season. Tim Packman, DTRP’s president of stock car operations, resigned last week as did stock car race director Todd Hannon. Packman left to pursue other opportunities and Hannon for family reasons.
Head starter Larry Woodruff resigned in September to expanded his duties with DIRT.car Northeast. Pit Steward Jeff Whalen has been released from his duties at DTRP due to what was termed a difference of opinion with promoter Ralph Galluzzi.
DTRP’s director of stock car events, Lori Overdorf, is planning DTRP’s 2013 stock car season with Galluzzi and expects to have the new schedule out by the end of December.
DTRP drag racing officials have announced that they have retained Uncle Bob’s Self Storage as a divisional sponsor next season for the track’s top drag racing class, the Uncle Bob’s Self Storage Quick 16 class.
Also, Top Fuel Dragster competitors Bobby Lagana Jr., and Bruce Litton will headline DTRP’s Night of Fire event, which will also feature wheel standers, jet cars and Pro Modifieds on a yet to be determined date.
The Friends of Auto Racing FOAR Score Fan Club will host its annual Hall of Fame and Awards Night Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Elks Club in Lancaster. Local racing standouts Vern Bliss, Buck Catalano, Joe Plazek and Lenny Lorber will be inducted into the club’s hall of fame. Outstanding Family in Racing Awards will be given to the Hoctor and LaLomia families.
Raceway 5 promoter Jim Mazur has announced that the 600 Mini Sprint class will be dropped from the Batavia-based dirt oval’s weekly lineup and is being replaced by an entry level six cylinder stock class in 2013. Those with questions on the new six cylinder class can call Mazur at 585-472-1031.
In a little less than a month, Ransomville Speedway will kick off the on-track activity for Western New York and Southern Ontario region for 2013 with the running of its annual New Year’s Day Hangover 150, an Enduro type event for 4-, 6- and 8-cylinder cars. Racing begins at noon.
Several individuals received special honors at the recent Ransomville Speedway awards banquet. Ransomville Driver of The Year went to 358 Modified champion Pete Bicknell. Sportsman driver Jesse Cotriss earned the Trevor Wilkins Memorial Hard Charger Award. Charlie Rudolph was named the Pat Spina Mechanic of the Year. The Ray MacIver Memorial Sportsmanship Award was presented to 358 Modified driver Steve Schmacher.
Most Improved Driver awards went to Rich Vinson, 358 Modifieds; Mike Williams, Sportsman; and Jesse Johnston, Street Stocks.
Those earning Hard Luck Awards were Todd Burley, 358 Modifieds; Jipp Ortiz, Sportsman; and Pat Dell, Street Stocks. Rookie of The Year honors went to Justin Wright, 358 Modifieds; Don Barnes, Sportsman; and Neil Pafk, Street Stocks.