Stewart Crowned Lucas Oil Sprint Car Champion!
Lonnie Wheatley, TUCSON, Ariz. (November 22, 2009) – A Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters record $250,000 point fund plus contingencies and other prizes were distributed at the 18th Annual ASCS Awards Banquet presented by Brodix on Sunday afternoon at Old Tucson Studios.
Bixby, OK, native Shane Stewart and California car owner Paul Silva reeled in the lion's share of the awards, collecting $60,000 for his first Lucas Oil Sprint Car title, becoming the first Oklahoma native to capture the ASCS National crown since Zach Chappell accomplished the feat in 2001.
In addition to the 16 Lucas Oil Sprint Car honorees, the top ten from both the winged ASCS Southwest Region and wingless Discount Tire Co. ASCS Canyon Region were honored during Sunday's ceremonies, with Rick Ziehl (Southwest) and Charles Davis, Jr. (Canyon) taking top honors.
Picking off three Lucas Oil Sprint Car feature wins over the course of the season and finishing outside the top ten just once aboard Silva's Wesmar-powered ProBilt Construction/Palmero Properties No. 57 A.R.T., Stewart took the title by a slim 25-point margin over 2008 series champion Jason Johnson.
"This is amazing, there's so many people to thank it's unreal," Stewart commented from the podium. "My wife, Kimberly, she's my backbone, Paul (Silva) is a best friend…" Stewart continued on while overwhelmed with emotion.
Joining Stewart as Lucas Oil Sprint Car honorees were runner-up Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA), Gary Wright (Hooks, TX), fourth-ranked Travis Rilat (Forney, TX), fifth-ranked Paul McMahan (Hendersonville, TN), sixth-ranked Tim Crawley (Benton, AR), seventh-ranked Danny Wood (Norman, OK), eighth-ranked Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS), ninth-ranked Jack Dover (Springfield, NE), tenth-ranked Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO), 11th-ranked Sean McClelland (Tulsa, OK), 12th-ranked Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK), 13th-ranked Darren Long (Elida, OH), 14th-ranked Chad Corken (Highlands Ranch, CO), 15th-ranked Gary Taylor (Snohomish, WA) and 16th-ranked Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA).
Thirteen drivers received awards for Perfect Attendance including Stewart, Johnson, Wright, Rilat, McMahan, Crawley, Wood, Bruce, Dover, Hockett, McClelland, Walker and Corken.
Stewart's car owner and crew chief, Paul Silva, picked up the Brodix Lee Maier Crew Chief of the Year award.
Stewart also earned the Ronald Laney Hard Charger Award by accumulating the most passing points during the 2009 season.
Paul McMahan got the nod in the Brodix Rookie of the Year battle, worth a set of Brodix heads, by besting fellow rookie contenders Dover, Long, Corken, Bergman, Brady Bacon and Ricky Logan.
Tony Bruce, Jr., who promoted events at the Jetmore Motorplex and Riverside Speedway, was presented with the Sportsmanship Award for his efforts in furthering the sport of Sprint Car racing and the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series.
Nineteen-year-old Jack Dover was presented with the Horizon Award, which is annually awarded to a driver who displays promise of glory in future seasons with ASCS.
Twenty-year-old Colorado shoe Chad Corken was presented the 2009 Young Lion award, which is annually presented to a promising driver under 21 years of age for their support of the American Sprint Car Series.
Ohio's Darren Long picked up the Hard Luck Award, worth a set of Brodix cylinder heads.
Danny Wood was presented with the Lowest Average Draw award, with Kenneth Walker at the other end of the spectrum with the Highest Average Draw award.
While the top 15 in driver and owner points all received cash prices totaling $250,000, 16th-ranked Seth Bergman was presented with a complete set of Brodix cylinder heads and other prizes worth approximately $3,500.
After recently celebrating his 20th birthday, Glenpool, OK, shoe Matt Covington was presented with the Newcomer of the Year award, worth $1,000 in cash.
Rick Ziehl picked up ASCS Southwest championship honors for the second year in a row, with other Southwest honorees including Ben Gregg, Joshua Hodges, John Gaston, Ronnie Clark, Charles Davis, Jr., John Van Horn, Mike Martin, Jessica Van Dyke and Joshua Williams.
Charles Davis, Jr., captured the Discount Tire Co. ASCS Canyon Region championship, delivering car owner Jim Massey his first series title. Joining Davis and Massey among Canyon Region honorees were R.J. Johnson, Nathan High, Stevie Sussex, Johnathon Henry, Ronnie Clark, Andrew Reinbold, Mike Martin, Jeremy Sherman and Bruce St. James.
Fourteen-year-old Joshua Hodges of Tijeras, NM, who earlier in the season became the youngest feature winner in ASCS history by posting a Rocky Mountain Region triumph, picked up Rookie of the Year honors with a ranking of third in ASCS Southwest points, while Johnathon Henry made the most of the frequent 12-hour one-way trek from his Stockton, CA, home to Arizona by collecting Rookie of the Year honors with the ASCS Canyon Region.
Stevie Sussex collected Most Improved honors with the ASCS Canyon Region, with Ronnie Clark earning Most Improved with the ASCS Southwest Region.
A number of dignitaries were on hand for the day's festivities at Old Tucson Studios including representatives from Lucas Oil, Brodix Cylinder Heads and Hoosier Tires.
Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.
Submitted By: Lonnie Wheatley