The 2011 OSCAAR Super Late Model Racing season was brought to a close at the Best Western Hotel and Conference Centre in Milton, Ontario on Saturday, December 3, 2011. The banquet was the official end to the season nearly two months after the final race at Peterborough Speedway.
The night kicked off with the specialty awards as voted by the OSCAAR drivers in a closed ballot prior to the banquet.
Tyler Hawn won the most improved award sponsored by Matco Tools. Racing in his first full season with OSCAAR after a limited schedule in 2010, Hawn finished eighth in the points championship. Hawn was recognized for his hard work both at the track and away from the track, which he hopes will lead to his first OSCAAR feature race in 2012.
Lloyd Ritchie, driver of the ‘Orange Blossom Special’, won the Sportsman of the Year award presented by Knightworks Design. Ritchie, a previous winner of the award, finished third in the overall points standings in 2011 and won his first ever feature at Peterborough Speedway on September 3. Ritchie has always been one of the most respected drivers in the pit area and is a well-deserved recipient of the award.
Chris Burrows, also a rookie in 2011, won the hard-luck driver award. After having mechanical failures on multiple occasions, Burrows always made sure his car was prepared for the next event. With the award, Burrows won a new Outlaw body for his car from FLF race bodies who sponsored the award.
The best appearing car award was presented by Ontario Oval and Image Factor.com and was awarded to Shane Gowan and those in attendance were all in compliance. As stated by OSCAAR president Dave Gainforth, Gowan took the appearance of his #39 Lucas Oil Chevrolet to a whole new level. Gowan’s car is one of the best appearing cars anywhere in the province.
The Inside Track Motorsport News Rookie-of-the-Year award and was given to #07 Todd Campbell. Campbell led the rookie points standings for the entire season. Campbell, however, is no rookie to racing after having won a track championship in a late model at Flamboro Speedway. Campbell finished fourth in the overall standings and finished in the top-ten in nine events.
The final specialty award was the OSCAAR appreciation award to Bill Passer, car owner of Gary, Roy, and Kyle Passer’s cars. Bill’s commitment to the series is demonstrated through bringing three cars to most races and as a sponsor of the series. Bill Passer is one of the most competitive people in all of racing and was very humble in receiving his award.
Six of OSCAAR’s primary sponsors were on hand to receive a special die-cast Outlaw Late Model to thank them for their support.
Bill Drinkwater was the first to receive an award on behalf of Matco Tools. Matco Tools was the sponsor of the Matco Tools Outlaw Shootout encompassing two 75-lap events at Kawartha and Delaware Speedways this past August.
Bill Passer also accepted a sponsor’s award on behalf of his company Jenco Equipment, one of OSCAAR’s longest standing sponsors and supporters.
Don and Kim Edwards, owners and founders of Knightworks Design, were on hand to receive their awards. Knightworks Design is one of the biggest supporters of OSCAAR racing as it designs and delivers all of the official OSCAAR racewear and is a contingency sponsor. Knightworks also provided the vehicle wraps for the OSCAAR Pacetruck and Souvenir Trailer in 2011, and for Brandon Watson’s #9.
Hoosier Racing Tire Canada’s Ron McKay was present to accept the award on behalf of the company. Hoosier is an official race tire of OSCAAR and provides superior customer service to each driver on a weekly basis.
Dave Franks of Dave Franks Photography accepted a sponsorship award for his commitment to the series by ensuring a photographer was present at each event in 2011.
Other sponsors receiving awards that were unable to attend were Dickson Printing, Finishline Fabricating, JBM Auto Leasing, Grisdale Racing Products and Inside Track Motorsport News.
Finally, each of the drivers to finish in the top-ten in the championship points standings was recognized for their finish. Glenn Watson was presented with his championship ring for the fourth consecutive season as well as a special plaque courtesy of Dave Franks’ photography commemorating the 2011 season.
In addition, OSCAAR officials were awarded jackets recognizing their efforts throughout the 2011 season, a fantastic gesture by president Dave Gainforth.
With the close of the 2011 season, the focus shifts to 2012 which will begin with Annual General Meeting, also at the Best Western Milton, on January 8, 2012.
Stay tuned to www.oscaar.ca for the release of the 2012 tentative racing schedule in the coming days.
By Clayton Johns