Kankakee County Speedway Awards Banquet Recap

Discussion in 'Kankakee County Speedway' started by jdearing, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. jdearing

    jdearing Administrator Staff Member

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    Better than 400 attendees were on hand Saturday night, as Kankakee County Speedway honored its 2010 Track Champions and recognized the accomplishments of many more at it's annual awards banquet held at the Kankakee County Fairgrounds' Hall of Industry.

    Promoter Tom Smith, fresh off having completed his first full year at the helm of KCS, handed out over $26,000 in cash and prizes to the Top 15 in each division, as well as, other award winners like Rookies of the Year and Most Improved Drivers in each of the five competing divisions at the 1/3-mile dirt oval.

    Smith blushed when Master of Ceremonies and public address announcer Bill Yohnka boasted that over the course of the 2010 campaign, Smith and his staff dished out over $450,000 at the pay window for the year. Much of that can be attributed to the title sponsorships in each division as well as all of the associate sponsors including Indy Pic-A-Part, Lane Automotive, and All Star Performance. In addition, Smith was proud to announce that the track donated $5,000 to local charities during the course of the year, and also awarded one lucky fan a sum of $12,000.

    It was also announced that all five of the title sponsors have renewed their commitments for the upcoming 2011 campaign which kicks off Friday night, May 6th. Also, MPH Trucking and owner Mike Heckenast have pledged their support to the I-Mod division for 2011, despite Heckenast making a personal move up to the UMP Modified division.<br><br>
    Among the award recipients Saturday night were Matt McCarty, Adam Williams, Don Hilleary, Jim Farris, and Ted Loomis as divisional track titlist. Fourteen-year-old Joe Tsilis became the youngest ever to finish in the Top 10 in points in any division in the history of the speedway and was also recognized as UMP Sport Compact Rookie of the Year. Jim Barkus was also awarded ROTY honors in the I-Mods, as was Axle Wicker in the UMP Stock Cars. Steven Brooks made a successful jump from asphalt to dirt and earned recognition as ROTY in the UMP Modified division, while Kyle Madison grabbed that honor in the UMP Late Model division. Madison made a brief appearance at the banquet until he went to a local hospital with a dental emergency.

    Madison of Lowell, IN, was also the winner of the 2011 Bob Pierce Late Model Chassis valued at $3,200, while Kankakee's Chad Osterhoff was the winner of a 2011 Wilson Race Car Modified chassis valued at $1,800. Madison, who also produces MadFab pit carts, donated a pit cart that was raffled off valued at $1,300. Manteno's AJ Dixon was the lucky recipient of that awesome prize. Other big winners on the night included Joe Kranker of a $200 Losi mini-Late Model RC car, and Jason Klopp, winner of four Chicago Bulls vs. Dallas Mavericks tickets, donated by Court Street Ford valued at over $450.

    Klopp of Crescent City, who owns and operates Radiators Unlimited in Kankakee, was also bestowed the track's highest honor in receiving the Sportsmanship Award for 2010. Klopp epitomized the phrase "one for all, and all for one", as he battled all year with adversity, both on and off the race track. He was able to always see the light at the end of the tunnel and always kept a positive attitude. While not yet a consistent feature front-runner, Klopp focused much of his attention to tending to the needs of others, particularly one Dustin Hubert, who after suffering severe damage to his machine after a violent impact with the backstretch wall and subsequent rollover, was back out on the track to record a thrilling first ever UMP Stock Car feature win, in large part due to the help of this year's recipient of the Sportsmanship Award.

    On behalf of Promoter Tom Smith and his ever present hard working staff, congratulations to all of this year's winners, and thank you to all of you for supporting Kankakee County Speedway this season. The new season is not much more than a few thaws away, and will be back out racing again each and every Friday night... God willing.

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