CONCORD, NC – Feb. 2, 2010 – DIRTcar Racing Western Region Late Model drivers shared over $22,000 in points-fund awards for the 2009 season, providing another milestone in the growth of the organization’s fledgling full-fender activities in the Pacific Time Zone.
The 2009 DIRTcar Western Region points-fund figure more than tripled the total cash distributed to drivers following the 2008 season, which served as DIRTcar’s debut campaign on the West Coast Late Model scene through sanctioning of the DIRTcar Western Allstars Late Model Series and the Southwest Dirt Racing Association (SWDRA) tour. DIRTcar increased its presence in 2009 with the addition of the DIRTcar Northwest I-5 Late Model Tour and the creation of Pacific and Southwest Regions under the DIRTcar UMP Late Model points program.
“The 2009 season was a great step forward for DIRTcar Late Model racing on the West Coast,” said DIRTcar Racing Western Region director Chris Morgan. “Teams had more opportunities to be rewarded and recognized for their performances and a solid foundation for the future was put in place. Now we’re looking forward to bringing more special events to fans throughout California, Oregon and the rest of the West Coast in 2010.”
The biggest DIRTcar Western Region prize went to Bobby Hogge IV of Salinas, Calif., who collected a $3,000 check for winning the 2009 DIRTcar Western Allstars Late Model Series championship during the tour’s awards dinner on Jan. 23 in Bakersfield, Calif. It was his first title on the California-based series.
A total of $10,000 was distributed to the top 15 finishers in the 2009 Western Allstars points standings. Chris Shannon received $1,500 for placing second, followed by Rob Sanders ($1,000), Nick Bartels ($700), Matt Micheli ($600), Ron Bartels ($500), Mike Johnson ($400), Andy Obertello ($300), Ken Micheli ($250), Johnny Malcolm ($200), Jeff Decker ($150), Clay Daly ($150), Richard Papenhausen ($150), John Lowery ($150) and Bill Bartels ($150).
Also during the Western Allstars awards ceremony, a new Victory Circle Chassis was presented to Micheli Racing. The Micheli operation emerged as the winner of a drawing featuring all teams that had perfect attendance on the 2009 series.
Earlier in the month, during an awards gathering for the 2009 DIRTcar Northwest I-5 Late Model Tour held in Albany, Ore., Jeremy Shank of Salem, Ore., pocketed a $1,000 check for capturing his first series crown.
The top 10 drivers in the 2009 Northwest I-5 Tour points standings shared a $3,100 points fund. John Duty earned $500 for finishing second, followed by Mike Miller ($400), Rob Mayea ($300), Billy Workman Jr. ($250), Mark Carrell ($200), Jim Whisler ($150), Steve Moore ($100), Joey Tanner ($100) and Jimmy Schram ($100).
In addition, Workman received a new body from Victory Lane Chassis for being named the 2009 Northwest I’5 Tour’s Most Improved Driver.
More than two-dozen drivers were also eligible to received points-fund cash for their finishes in two DIRTcar UMP Late Model regions — the Pacific Region that included Western Allstars and Northwest I-5 events, and the Southwest Region that encompassed SWDRA races and other DIRTcar-sanctioned shows in Arizona, New Mexico and East Texas.
Young Nick Bartels of El Segundo, Calif., won the Pacific Region championship, earning $2,000 from the $6,300 points fund. He traveled to the DIRTcar Racing UMP ‘Night of Champions’ Awards Banquet on Jan. 9 in Springfield, Ill., to accept his check and trophy and was also recognized during the recent Western Allstars awards ceremonies.
Hogge earned $1,000 for finishing second in the Pacific Region, followed by Shannon ($750), Matt Micheli ($500), Shank ($400), Mayea ($300), Duty ($250), Sanders ($200), Daly ($150), Papenhausen ($100), Mike Johnson ($100), Obertello ($100), Ron Bartels($100), Whisler ($100) and Carrell ($100).
Lonnie Parker Jr. of El Mirage, Calif., emerged as the champion of the Southwest Region points battle, collecting a $1,000 check from the $3,100 points fund. His regional crown was earned on the strength of his sixth consecutive championship on the DIRTcar-sanctioned SWDRA tour.
Parker was unable to attend the DIRTcar UMP awards banquet because he was competing in the ‘Wild West Shootout’ at USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz., so he was recognized for his regional title by Morgan during the SWDRA s membership meeting on Jan. 27 in Casa Grande, Ariz.
Anthony Madrid picked up $500 for placing second in the Southwest Region points standings, followed by Brad Williams ($400), Jeremy Thornton ($300), Joey Moriarty ($200), Keith Noyes ($150), Jamie Throckmorton ($125), R.C. Whitwell ($115), John Romero ($110) and Art Lacey ($100).
Additional info on all of the series, sanctioning and member tracks of DIRTcar Racing is available at www.DIRTcar.com