By Charlie Brown, Delmar, DE – A crowd of over 500 converged on the Dower Downs Hotel & Casino on Saturday night to recognize the top drivers of the 2011 season at the Delaware International Speedway. More than $50,000 in cash and awards were distributed to the top ten in the five weekly divisions. Division champions were crowned which included; Matt Jester of Lincoln, Del. in the NAPA Big Block Modifieds; Donald Lingo, Jr. of Millsboro, Del. in the Super Late Models; Joe Warren of Georgetown, Del. in the Crate Models; John Curtis of Harrington, Del. in the AC Delco TSS Modifieds and Brandon Dennis of Harrington in the Mod Lites.
Taking home the lion’s share of the point fund was “The Joker” Matt Jester in the Clearview Farms NAPA Big Block Modified. Jester recorded a season high eight feature wins in route to his first division title. Jester accumulated 2229 points and earned $6250 from the point fund. Chasing Jester to the very end in the chase was H.J. Bunting of Milford, Del. who finished in second with 2193 points worth $3350. Sophomore driver, Brad Trice of Parsonsburg, Md. got his first career win in 2011 and finished third overall with 2011 points earning $2600. Rounding out the top five were second generation driver, Beau Wilkins of Milford in fourth with 1813 ($2050) and Robert Dutton of Milford fifth with 1761 ($1600).
Rounding out the top ten were: Kenny Brightbill of Sinking Springs, Pa. with 1699 ($1300); Eric Kormann of Vineland, N.J. with 1675 ($1100); Dale Hawkins of Dover, Del. with 1380 ($1000); Joseph Watson of Milford with 1377 ($950) and Michael White of Laurel, Del. with 1284 ($900). Receiving the “Rookie of the Year” award was Eric Kormann who made the three hour tow each way from South Jersey to compete in his first year of racing in the big block modifieds. Trophies were presented by NAPA Auto Parts of Delmarva.
Defending Super Late Model point champion, Donald Lingo, Jr. successfully defended his title in 2011. Lingo got off to a slow start but came on strong in the later part of the season to post four wins and earn his fourth overall championship in the Lingo Marine/Ford. Lingo equaled Jester in his point total with 2229 and earned $4250 from the point fund. Leading the points for most of the season until engine woes dropped him to second was former two time champion, Richard Jarvis, Jr. of Powellville, Md. with four wins and earning 1869 points ($2250). Female sensation, Staci Warrington of Milton continued to climb the standings finishing third overall with 1846 ($1500). Rounding out the top five were Andrew Mullins of Seaford, Del. who drove to his first win during the season and earning 1769 ($1100) and Mark Pettyjohn of Milton with 1692 points (($1000).
Finishing in sixth through tenth in order were: Herb Tunis of Georgetown with 1643 ($800); Kerry King of Delmar with 1543 ($700); David Hill of Trappe, Md. with 1539 ($675); Mark Byram of Georgetown with 1466 ($650) and David Pettyjohn of Millsboro with 1454 ($600). Andrew Mullins received special recognition as he was presented with the Kyle Dixon Youth Achievement Award by Kyle’s father, Joe Dixon, for being the youngest driver to finish highest in points in all five division. Trophies were presented by Sysco of Eastern Maryland.
Earning his fourth point championship in the Crate Model division was Joe Warren. Warren regained his title by winning seven times during the year totaling 1955 points and earning $1700. Michael Wharton of Laurel got a late start but his four wins landed him second in points with 1795 ($775). Third went to Clint Chalabala whose consistency earned him 1656 points ($575). Fourth was a person best for John Imler of Tracys Landing, Md. with 1625 ($475) and fifth went to rookie Dylan Evans of Millsboro with 1384 ($375).
Finishing in sixth through tenth in order were: Chris Hitchens of Milton with 1346 ($300). Sparky White of Delmar with 1240 ($250); John Emory of Milton with 1179 ($225); Robbie Emory of Milton with 1077 ($200) and Roy Hassler of Laurel with 971 ($175). Trophies were presented by Snookie’s Speed Parts of Milton.
The AC Delco TSS Modified division produced a first time winner in 2011. John Curtis led the points for most of the season in 2010 before dropping to third after late season problems. This season Curtis was consistent throughout recording two win in his Taylor & Messick sponsored mount and earning 1800 points and $1700 from the point fund. Defending champion Joseph Tracy of Dagsboro, Del. chased Curtis down to the wire earning six wins and 1775 ($775). Third went to Scott Baker of Seaford whose consistency paid off with 1670 points ($575). Fourth went to Westley Smith of Delmar who posted his first win and totaled 1580 ($475) and Justin Griffith of Georgetown with two wins and 1410 points ($375).
Sixth through tenth in order were Scott Hitchens of Gumboro with 1370 ($300); Danny Smack of Willards, Md. with 1355 ($250); Tyler Reed of Laurel with 1265 ($225); Trent Willey of Milton with 1180 ($200) and Brandon Blades of Dagsboro with 1010 ($175). Trophies were presented by R.C. Holloway of Salisbury, Md.
Brandon Dennis has earned the title of “Mr. Consistency” in the Mod Lite division. Dennis drove his Simpson Construction/Pro Chassis to his fourth consecutive championship in 2011 collecting seven wins and earning 1875 points worth $1300. Landis Musser of Laurel had his best career season finishing second in points with 1665 ($550) and Curt Miles, Jr. of Saxis, Va. also earned his personal best with 1630 points in third ($525). Fourth went to Ray Gulliver of Magnolia, Del. who got his first career win in 2011 and earned 1565 points ($425) and fifth went to Kerry King, Jr. of Delmar with 1498 ($375).
Sixth through tenth in order in the standings were: Jason Musser of Vines Creek, Del. with 1455 ($325); Jimmy Wills of Felton, Del. with 1325 ($300); Kirk Miles of Saxis, Va. with 1265 ($275); Alan Passwaters of Seaford with 1090 ($250) and James Hill of Laurel with 960 ($200). Trophies were presented by Pepsi Bottling Ventures of Salisbury, Md.
Special recognition went to Tom Jerman and Calvin Musser for their part in organizing the highly successful “Blast from the Past Reunion.” Thirty years of service awards were present to Norris Bryan and Charlie Brown.
All champions received championship jackets, gold cards for admission in 2011, necklaces and for the first time, championship window boxes designed specifically for each of the champions. In order of points the champions also got to draw for awards such as a night in the VIP suit, season parking spots and season passes.
The sponsors on the 2011 Delaware International Speedway Money Trail were individually recognized for their support and contributions. They included: R.C. Holloway Co., Scott’s Furniture; Snookie’s Speed Parts; Taylor & Messick; Lias Tire; Sysco Eastern Maryland; Clark’s Swimming Pools, Inc.; Sussex Scrap Metal; Bradley Distribution, Inc.; NAPA; Pepsi; Nucar Connection and Pro Race Cars.