Behind the Wheel
Kings Without Wings
RYAN HIGGS, TIM VANHORN JR., RICHIE HITZLER, ABBEY PRICE AND KAILEE DIMORIER RECIEVE TOP HONORS AT XCEL CHASSIS BANQUET
How things change from one year to the next with the Xcel Chassis 600 Modified Series officially closing the 2012 season December 1st on a high note. By far Doug Borger put together one of the best and richest banquets to date giving out over $10,000 in cash and $7,000 in prizes along with making series history with announcements made after the awards were handed out.
First on the agenda was to honor Tim Vanhorn Jr. as the 2012 Borgers Speedway Champion. Tim enjoyed a season running asphalt for the year. "When I decided to run Borgers full time I knew it would be a change of pace. I didn't expect to win the championship or gain the confidence I have this year. I can't wait for the 2013 season. I'm going back to running the tour and hope I can have a repeat season." stated Tim after receiving his hardware.
Richie Hitzler not only had a breakout season on the track but off the track as well. Earning the title Kutztown Fair Speedway Champion and finishing third in tour points and second at Lindas Speedway this season had the Myerstown Beverage #9 busy week in and week out. On November 5th, Richie welcomed his son Richie Francis Hitzler III into the world bringing a new chapter into the racers life and a third generation of Hitzler racing family tradition.
The top ten of the tour division were then presented with a one of a kind trophy designed by Borger himself. "You never know what Doug is going to design. Every year it's something different and every year we bring the truck cause you never know how big it's gonna be.",Sean Weiss pointed out after receiving his 5th place prize. Ninth place driver Cody Coons was impressed with the design to look like a Hoosier tire along with the car number and name with the center lighting up like the color of the car. Butch Getz finished out the year in second place points but finished in the top spot with the most heat race wins for the season with 11. After a rough start to the season. 2011 champion Nick Mady would bring home a third place trophy and looks forward to the changes that were announced later in the evening.
6th place finisher and highly respected Joe " GEEZER" Fanelli not only received his trophy but was able to enjoy the rest of the banquet in "rockin" style. Brian of Beltzville Furniture graciously donated a wooden rocking chair and promised Joe that cup holders were on order. Joe gave a heartfelt speech highlighting two moments that truly represented what this series has become known for. No matter what happens on the track when your off the track the support thru and thru can compare to no other. Brian Mady's first win at Trailways after beating cancer and coming back and Lester Dise pacing the field at the Bill Hess Memorial after a horrific fire two years ago. Emotions ran higher as Lester took to the stage and thanked everyone for the support thru out the two years he was sidelined and looks forward to climbing back in the car.
Ryan Higgs, newly crowned 2012 Xcel Chassis Tour Champion, reflected on his season and couldn't have been any prouder as his team enjoyed the nights festivities at the head table. "This is a team effort and without everyone at this table giving something, I wouldn't be sitting here. Tonight we celebrate as a team." exclaimed Ryan as he held his trophy up for the cameras.
History would be made as Rookie of the Year honors were handed to Abbey Price, the first female to earn such an honor. She received a new racing suit along with a trophy that as Abbey stated," I can't believe how heavy this is and I can't wait to see my suit. Most of the Rookie of the year winners have gone on to win a championship in this division. I think that would be a great goal to achieve in the next few years."
Kailee Dimorier, who runs the northern and tour divisions has made great strides in only her second year piloting the Upstate Autocenter Inc. sponsored popular #14. Kailee finished the 2011 season in 21st place and would finish the 2012 campaign in 12th place earning her Most Improved Driver for 2012 and being the first female to earn the coveted title. Kailee was able to bring home her best finish of the year on the last night of racing with a third place finish and her first trip to tech after a race.
Next on tap would be the highly anticipated give aways. A frame & body kit provided by Xcel Chassis totaling $3000 is raffled off along with 3 full sets of wheels and 2 Kirkey seat certificates worth $250.00 to some lucky winners. The seat winners were Ryan Suchon and Will Eastman. Eric Whitby, Justin Dimorier and Aaron Bowes would be rolling out of the banquet with a new set of wheels. Brian "BIG DADDY" Mady was the big winner of the night taking home a new frame and body. Brian explained, with such emotion, how this became a huge turning event for the Mady brothers. " I can't even tell you how much this means to me and my brother Nick. I had to cut my season short and sell my race car after coming back to the series when I beat my cancer. It's been a tough two years for all of us and Nick has been working night and day to get me back into a car. I know this makes it easier on him which makes it easier on me."
Ending the awards portion of the night were 2 big announcements coming out of the Xcel Chassis series. The first one being Chad Mullen of Factor X Graffics donating $2000 for the tour division. The payout for the top ten in points will now double in size with the champion now taking home a $2000 payday along with a Frame & Body Kit giving the winner a total of over $5000 in cash and prizes. The second place finisher will see an increase to $1600 along with a free motor going to them that night and 3rd thru 10th place payouts double also. The second announcement gave the drivers something they have asked for the past season. The first ever 100 lap race will be held at Shippensburg Speedway along with the highest payout to the winner of $1500. " I really feel that the 2013 season will be the breakout year for the tour division. I heard nothing but positive feedback talking to the guys and girls after the news was released. It's just as important to give back to the racers for as much as they give week in and week out. " explained Borger, "I want to thank Chad for coming on board in the tour division. I will be working out the final details on the 100 lapper in the coming months and will release the details has they are available.. I'm finishing up the schedule and will release it in the near future. Next on tap will be the AARN Motorsports Show Jan 18th thru the 20th and Motorama following up in February."
The Xcel Chassis 600 modified Series closed out the season with attendees hitting the dance floor and of course the ever popular sharing of racing stories, laughs, congratulations and everybody looking forward to the 2013 season.
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