Track champs, Korich honored at speedway banquet
By: By Jerry O’Brien, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
The long awaited AMSOIL Speedway Awards Banquet was held on Saturday with a good crowd of racers, crews and fans congregated at the Elks Club in Superior to honor the 2011 track champions. Papa Don’s Restaurant catered a wonderful buffet featuring meat balls, turkey and ham along with mashed and Au Gratin potatoes, corn and a green salad.
The awards ceremony began with remarks from track officials Jerry “Crash” Carlson and “Como” Joe Stariha. Carlson asserted that despite rampant rumors floating around the social media, AMSOIL Speedway is “still here and getting ready for a great 2012 season.” He also mentioned the possibility of a joint awards banquet between AMSOIL Speedway and Proctor Speedway since both are operated by the same group.
Stariha went through the tentative 2012 schedule, hitting some of the high points. The season is slated to kick off on Friday, May 18 with a weekly five-class program. The track will continue under the WISSOTA AMSOIL dirt Track Series banner. New to the schedule is a visit by the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) Modifieds on Wednesday, June 13.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is scheduled to return on Friday, July 6, after a year’s absence. Friday, July 20 will mark a visit by the WISSOTA Dart Late Model Series and the Hall of Fame race and Induction ceremony on Friday, July 27 will be the speedway’s 50th consecutive year of operation.
In an unprecedented move, the annual Twin Ports Twin 25’s WISSOTA Late Model special will be moved from the Proctor Speedway to the AMSOIL Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 5. Extra races are scheduled for the Head of the Lakes Fair which will be held Aug. 14-19. The season championships will be on Aug. 24 and action will wind up at the speedway with the annual Northern Nationals set for Sept. 7-8.
It was also mentioned that specials are set for each division which will be run with scheduled races. Each division could be featured that night.
A number of volunteers that help out at the speedway over the season were recognized with George Korich of Superior being named the outstanding volunteer. Korich was awarded with the Russ Laursen traveling trophy for “going above and beyond the call of duty to see that everything was done at the track throughout the season.”
The awards ceremony began with trophies and point fund checks for the top 10 in the Pure Stock division. The Pure Stock Champion for 2011 was Dustin Follett of Cloquet, who won out over Ashley Smith after a hard-fought season-long battle.
The first of the WISSOTA divisions to receive trophies and point checks was the Midwest Modified division. The top five received trophies and the champion was Skeeter Estey of Kelly Lake, Minn., who won out over Silver Bay’s Deven Van House. Hibbing’s Jeff Tardy was the WISSOTA Super Stock champion over Kevin Burdick; Joey Jensen of Forest Lake, Minn., won the WISSOTA Modified championship over local favorite Al Uotinen and Superior’s Darin Meierotto won the WISSOTA Late Model championship over Eveleth’s Harry Hanson.
The 2012 AMSOIL Speedway opens of Friday, May 18 with a five-division program. The speedway runs four WISSOTA AMSOIL Dirt Track Series divisions: Late Model, Modified, Super Stock, Midwest modified and the local Pure Stocks.