A Fun Night with a Great Surprise
Saturday night was the 20th Annual Rockett Brand Racing Fuel E.T. Bracket Awards Ceremony. Scott Paddock led off evening with his opening remarks and a discussion with a founder of Route 66, Jim Bingham.
It was great to hear how the original partners came together and created the Raceway!
Before the driver awards were handed out there was one award that will be discussed later. The first driver awards began with the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League Sportsman Division. The season Champion was Cooper Hamelen with five wins. Cooper dominated the division, however Ruby Zolper, Ryan Brockman, Molly Lane and Madalyn Highland will be gunning for him in 2018.
Next up was the Junior Modified Division led by the season Champion Nate Kelly, followed by Tori Trench, Elizabeth Manaseri, Ryan Elberts and for a fifth place tie Jake Lucky and Brandon Loeschen.
Next up was the High School Class. Julie Nettles was the High School Champion with three wins followed by Connor Lawson (not present), Nate Kelly, Julia Hooten, and Kyle Smith.
The Sportsman Class was next up to receive their awards with Steve Flounders Jr. taking the Championship. This is Steve's first Track Championship at Route 66 with two wins and a runner-up. Steve literally grew up at the track as his Dad is a long time driver and track official.
The two-wheelers were up next, Pro Bike. The 2017 Champion was Tom Ewig. Tom had a great season with three wins and a runner up. He also won at the Indy Finals earning a trip to Pomona for the Summit ET Finals. (Not present was Bruce Damewood)
The Pro ET Class was next up for their awards. John Haut, with a round win over two time track champion Troy Bogner at the final race of the season, took the championship. John and Hermans Zehnder were not present tonight.
The Super Pro Class was the last class announced. It was Kenny King taking the championship with a two point advantage with one win and two runner-up finishes. (Nick Cryer and Justin Ford not present)
In addition to the track champions, there were several other individual awards. At the Rt. 66 Classic, it was Tom Raider taking the Run Tuff Eliminator race.
Dan Condon was the 2017 Route 66 Raceway Rookie of the Year.
The Moment of the Year was awarded to Troy Bogner when he had a perfect reaction time in the final of the King of the Track race.
Family of the year went to the Murray Family.
The last award of the day was presented by Jack Day of Rockett Brand Racing Fuel to Tom Ewig as Racer of the Year. Tom won the Route 66 Pro Bike Track Championship, the NHRA Division 3 ET Bracket Championship which earned him a trip to Pomona for the ET Summit Finals.
Now back to the award and surprise that I alluded to earlier. Brandon Brown was brought to the podium to present the 2017 Spirit Award. As he was speaking, I really wasn't listening to the presentation focusing on where Brandon would make the presentation, lighting, etc. Then at the end I heard the award was to be presented to Terry and Janet McGraw. To say I was a little stunned was to say the least. Janet and I can't thank the staff of Route 66 enough for this honor. I am still in a state of shock.
After all the awards, there was a lot of comraderie, Practice Tree racing, and a little dancing. A good time was had by all!