Lancaster, Pa. (November 21, 2009) - Manheim's Heath Hehnly and Richie Hartman, Shoemakersville, shared the spotlight with Steve Drevicki and Bret Habecker on Saturday night, as Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway honored its 2009 point champions.
Lanco's annual awards gala was held once again at the beautiful Host Resort & Conference Center in Lancaster, Pa.
While Hehnly picked up the big trophy and check for winning his first 600cc Micro-Sprint point title, Hartman grabbed some attention for himself by capturing not one, but two track championships in '09. This is the second straight season of double championships for the RTS Chassis driver, as he duplicated his 2008 point crowns in the 270cc and 250cc Four-Stroke divisions.
Drevicki, from Reading, collected the cash and hardware for his first Micro-Sprint championship in the Sportsman class, and Habecker - a Leesport, Pa. resident - notched the first track title of his career in the 125cc Micro-Sprints.
All four of the newly crowned champions thanked their families, crews, and car owners. Hehnly expressed deep gratitude to his wife, Erika, for "putting up with this racing thing", and to his car owner, Sonny Cooke. "I had the perfect combination this year," noted Hehnly. "Sonny Cooke as car owner, a Hyper racecar, and a Spar Engine. All three of those components, working together, produced this championship."
Hartman thanked his parents for all of their support, and revealed that he was relieved that his girlfriend, Breann, "is still here with me at the end of a long season. She put up with all of the typical ups-and-downs that racers go through during a season, and we got through it together."
Drevicki, now in his freshman year of college, stated his appreciation for all of the hard work put in by his car owner, crew chief, and father, Dave. "And I especially have to thank my mom...I wouldn't have achieved any of this without her support and direction. And I know she endures a lot of stress (because of me) during the racing season."
Habecker surprised his mother, Mae, by announcing her as his car owner. "I never told her about it, but she's listed as the car owner, and I want to share this championship with her."
Numerous special awards were presented during Saturday's banquet festivities, and the winners are listed below.
Rookie of the Year: 600cc-Paul Graham; 270cc-Devin Harron; 250cc Four-Stroke-Peter Michael; 125cc-Bradley Brown; Sportsman-Paul May III.
Most Improved Driver: 600cc-Mike Caropolo; 270cc-Jason Swavely; 250cc Four-Stroke-Kim Enck; 125cc-Cody Drace; Sportsman-Brett Wanner.
Sportsman of the Year: 600cc-Brent Ely; 270cc-Christi Sweigart; 250cc Four-Stroke-Lewis Kepple Jr.; 125cc-Mark Yoder; Sportsman-Jeff Hughes.
Best Appearing Car: 600cc-Ryan Wilson; 270cc-Brandon Bucher; 250cc Four-Stroke-Chris Lee; 125cc-Chrissy Ochs; Sportsman-Jenna Keppley.
Happy Hounds Daycare Heat Race Challenge: 600cc-Tim Buckwalter; 270cc-Mike Rutherford; 250cc Four-Stroke-Richie Hartman; 125cc-Nathan Weidman; Sportsman-Jason Hehnly.
Hard Luck Award: 600cc-Shaun Brandel; 270cc-Greg Miller; 250cc Four-Stroke-Jason Johnson; 125cc-Derek Ecenrode; Sportsman-Kelby Stauffer.
Club President Tim Bortz presented the President's Award to the Swift family. Headed up by Frank and Jolynn, the Swifts worked tirelessly behind the scenes during the '09 season, performing a multitude of tasks that contributed greatly to the successful year enjoyed by the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway and the Lanco club.
A total of 48 drivers were inducted into the 2009 Upside-Down Club. All of the inductees received a t-shirt in recognition of the fact that they flipped during racing action at some point in the recently completed season.
More than 300 banquet attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner, a fun-filled awards ceremony, then danced the night away to rockin' tunes provided by D.J. Joel.
Lanco's 2010 racing schedule was also released at the banquet, with the season opener slated for Saturday, April 17. Next year's racing calendar is filled with 22 events, including traditional specials such as the Memorial Day Open Show, the Clyde Martin Memorial Race, MicroMania, and the two-day Labor Day Shootout.
Get out to the Clyde in 2010, and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!