LANCASTER NATIONAL SPEEDWAY & DRAGWAY SALUTES CHAMPS AT SEASON AWARDS BANQUET
Story & Photos By: Dave Buchanon/Lancaster Speedway
LANCASTER, N.Y. (November 12, 2017) – Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway celebrated the 2017 season for both the Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing program and X-Press Signs Stock Car Series this past weekend during the annual Season Awards Banquets, held at the Variety Club Banquet Hall in Lancaster.
Lancaster National Dragway’s track champions were honored on Friday evening. Leading the list of Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing track champs was Dale Eckert in Mallare Enterprises Top ET. It was Eckert’s first Top title after winning ten championships in Mod ET.
The McGard Mod ET championship went to Reid Ricketson this year for his first Lancaster title. Mike Peters repeated as Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds track champion thanks to four wins in 2017. Mason Fix won the Tread City Tire Street track title for a second year in a row as well. The Junior Dragster champion was also honored as Zac Vitez won the title as part of the Advance Auto Parts Tuesday Night Drag Racing program.
Bill Balser, Jr. was given the Sportsman of the Year Award. The Balser family also won the Alex Friesen Spirit of Racing Award, which goes to individuals that not only compete hard on the track, but also have a good time with their fellow competitors after the races end.
Sandy Boczar was honored with the “Team Libby” Award for her efforts in raising funds for Lancaster’s drag racers that attended the IHRA Team Finals. Boczar heads up the weekly 50/50 ticket sales at the track and also collects bottles and cans to help earn money for Team Lancaster. The “Team Libby” Award is named in honor of Libby Gaymon, who recently passed away after battling cancer. She was the wife of racer Zell Gaymon.
The champions of Lancaster National Speedway’s X-Press Signs Stock Car Series were honored during Stock Car Awards Banquet on Saturday evening. Shawn Nye was crowned champion of the Sunoco Sportsman division. Nye captured his first two Sportsman feature wins the season while en route to the title.
Rich Sharpe collected his second career Advance Auto Parts Street Stock championship following a dominating season that saw him win ten features. Sharpe had the title locked up with two races remaining in the 2017 season.
The Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder track champion was Bobby Woch. Woch posted three wins and a top five finish in all 13 regular season races this season to win his second career track championship.
Super Stock racer and former track official “Jazzy” Jeff Whalen was honored with the Tommy Druar Contribution to Racing Award. Whalen started a campaign to help raise funds for Lancaster’s Safety Crew to purchase two state-of-the-art fire extinguishing systems. Former racer Rich Warden was given the Alex Friesen Spirit of Racing Award. Warden was forced to retire from racing in 1990s after he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but that has not has diminished his dedication and love for the sports of racing. Warden continues to attend the races on a weekly basis as a fan and is involved with the Friends of Auto Racing (FOAR Score) Fan Club. Lancaster’s ADA seating deck is named “Rich’s Roost” in his honor.
Preparations for the 2018 racing season have already begun. Drag Racing and Stock Car teams have already met with track officials to discuss rules for next season, and the schedules for both programs are close to being finalized. Opening day for the Stock Cars will be Saturday, April 21. The complete schedules are expected to be announced sometime in December. The Race of Champions Modified Series will have once again have four races at Lancaster next season. The ISMA Supermodifieds will return on Saturday, June 2.
About Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway: Founded in 1959, Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway, WNY’s Premier Motorsports and Event Facility, is a multi-use facility located on 77 acres just outside of metropolitan Buffalo, N.Y. The facility features a 1/8-mile drag strip, a 1/2-mile oval track and hosts several non-motorsports events such as car shows and concerts. For the latest information on Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway check out our website www.lancasternationals