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   The Chrome Horn - News




Keith Rocco and Stewart Friesen took it down to the wire. Literally.
Both drivers did their best to claim supremacy in the Northeast overall feature win category, as maintained by Area Auto Racing News, as each entered two events in last month’s Turkey Derby XXXVII at Wall Stadium, but both fell short of winning. Therefore, both will be honored at Motorsports 2011 presented by SEF Race Car and Trade Show on January 22 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

Rocco and Friesen have confirmed their plans to attend the event along with Josh Richards (dirt Late Models), Gene Knaub (dirt Late Models), Tim Shaffer (open cockpit) and Sean McAndrew (Micro Sprint Cars). Asphalt Late Model category winner Wayne Helliwell Jr. will be unable to attend.

“It is quite an honor to win something this big,” said Friesen, who also won the dirt Modified category. “This has been a dream season for me and I am so fortunate to have great car owners. This title is just as much about them as it is about me.”

Rocco, who also won the asphalt Modified category, had similar thoughts about this respective honor. “You get so caught up during the season with racing, preparing cars, etc. and you tend to forget about what it all means,” Rocco said. “Winning that many features is incredible and it’s quite a statistic, when you sit back and think about it.”

Rocco’s superb season in the asphalt Modified circuit included 24 victories, five more than Ted Christopher. The Meriden, Conn., driver added another win to his season with an asphalt Late Model win, which came on July 9 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Rocco, who won the SK-Modified track titles at Stafford Motor Speedway and Waterford Speedway, earned pivotal SK-Modified wins at New Smyrna Speedway in February and Concord Motorsports Park in November. In between those victories, Rocco grabbed checkered flags at and 10 wins each at Stafford Motor Speedway and Waterford Speedbowl, and another two at Thompson International Speedway. He is the NASCAR Whelen All American Series National champion.

Friesen of Niagara-on-the-Lakes, Canada, captured his first career 360 Sprint Car main in ’10 with an ASCS Patriot Sprint victory at Ransomville Speedway. However, it was his Outlaw-type Modified schedule that made him a fan favorite this past racing season. He won 24 dirt Modified mains, two more than Matt Sheppard. Friesen didn’t commit to any series, opting for an all-out assault to the season, which included track titles at the Utica-Rome Speedway and Five Mile Point Speedway.

Friesen opened ’10 with a Super DIRTcar Series win at Volusia Speedway Park. His other SDS wins came at Cayuga County Fair Speedway and the prestigious SEF 200 at the New York State Fairgrounds. He dominated at Five Mile Point Speedway by claiming 10 feature events, with five coming at Utica-Rome Speedway, two at Ransomville Speedway, two at Fonda Speedway and one each at Penn Can Speedway and Grandview Speedway.

Shaffer of Aliquippa, Pa., is returning to the Motorsports show for the second consecutive year. After a successful ’09 season, Shaffer had a career-making season with his 21-win season, two more than Pat Cannon.

Shaffer’s banner win season started with an ASCS 360 Sprint Car win at East Bay Raceway Park in February and it concluded in October with an All Star Circuit of Champions win at Lawrenceburg. Shaffer won his second consecutive ASCoC title. Shaffer’s season was highlighted with the $150,000 Knoxville Nationals, which he captured in mid-August. His 21 wins came in 10 different states and Canada, He also won with the ASCoC, WoO, ASCS and two unsanctioned events.

Knaub of Dover, Pa., and Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., tied with 15 countable dirt Late Model victories.

Knaub dominated the 358 Late Model scene with track titles coming at Williams Grove Speedway, Lincoln Speedway and Trail-Way Speedway. He captured main events at Williams Grove Speedway (seven), Trail-Way Speedway (three), Susquehanna Speedway Park (three) Central Pennsylvania Speedway (one) and Lincoln Speedway (one).

Richards became the first driver in the modern history of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series to win back-to-back titles. Richards kicked off the season with a January victory at Golden Isles Speedway. His other wins came at Winchester Speedway (four), Hagerstown Speedway (two), Delaware International Speedway, the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Eriez Speedway, Fayetteville Motor Speedway, Mohawk International Raceway, Ohsweken Speedway, Pennsylvania Motor Speedway and Volusia Speedway Park.

Helliwell of Dover, N.H., narrowly won the asphalt Late Model win category with his 10 win season. Austin Kochenash finished with nine victories, while Woody Pitkat was third with eight. Nine of Helliwell’s 10 victories came at Lee USA Speedway with another coming at Canaan Fair Speedway.

In ’11, Helliwell will drive a small-block Supermodified at Lee USA Speedway. The small-block Supermodifieds are the headline division at the track.

In the Micro Sprint Car category, McAndrew of Apollo, Pa., had a banner season with 22 feature wins, four more than runner-up Phil Durham. McAndrew piloted his No. 15 to 15 wins at Path Valley Speedway, three at Blanket Hill Speedway, two at Deerfield Speedway and one each at Clinton County Raceway and Sportsman’s Speedway.

The awards presentations are part of the huge three day (January 21-23) Motorsports 2011 Presented by SEF Race Car and Trade Show. The show fills all available floor space at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA and offers just about everything imaginable in motorsports.

Complete information on the show may be had at www.aarn.com or telephone 609.888.3618.

Source: Jerry Reigle/Motorsports 2011
Posted: December 9, 2010

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