Story by Kenny Shupp Jr.
(Woodhull, NY) Second year Woodhull Raceway owners/promoters, Terry and Niki Brewer recently held the 2021 Awards Banquet on Saturday afternoon, October 2. The Woodhull Raceway was the site of the event under cover of huge party tents provided by Rent a Tent of Mansfield, Pa. a Woodhull Raceway sponsor. A scrumptious buffet meal was served up by the staff of the Nikk L Brew Restaurant in Canisteo, NY which not only is a marketing partner of the track, but also owned by Terry and Niki Brewer as well.
As was documented in previous press releases and after a successful 2020 banquet that was also held at the track, the 2021 awards banquet was well received by those in attendance.
“Like last season we again had fears of not having an indoor facility that could host a gathering of this size. With rumors running rampant of mandatory vaccinations, potential social distancing at indoor functions or other state protocol that could once again put a damper on any late fall or winter indoor events, we decided to go in the direction of an early October Awards Banquet outdoors once again at the track where we can comfortably handle hundreds of our supporters with plenty of parking, restroom and kitchen facilities.” That according to the Brewer’s.
The top ten- point finishers in each of Woodhull’s Adult Classes received hardware and point fund money and several additional special awards were presented to several worthy recipients.
The event heard a welcome and Invocation from long time Woodhull Raceway employee and current track announcer, Jerry Symonds.
Rob Symonds, track announcer and computer guru for the facility then stepped to the podium and gave his opening remarks including a recapping of the 2021 season
Track Public Relations Director, Kenny Shupp Jr. was also on hand to help handout awards and address the crowd of drivers, crew members, fans, sponsors and employees that assembled as Woodhull pulled the curtain on the 2021 season which saw the return of fans into the grandstand seating area after being turned away in 2020 due to Covid 19 restrictions laid down by then NYS Governor Cuomo.
Seven full rainouts as well as major flooding in the greater Woodhull area in mid-August put a damper on what was an aggressive season of race action. With an abnormally wet spring and summer many events were lost of Mother Nature including the ULMS Super Late Model Reunion in July along with what was to have been an August appearance of the Patriot Sprint Tour.
With all the wet weather it was difficult for the track to gain any momentum, however fifteen of the originally scheduled twenty-three events were put into the books with numerous different feature winners finding their way to victory lane.
One key event did go forward and that was the Short Track Super Series Event on Tuesday, August 10 which saw Matt Sheppard win in an exciting 50 lap A Main event. Local favorite, Dale Welty was the winner of the STSS Crate Sportsman portion of the show while Jeredd Dennis came away victorious in the Hobby Stock feature. The event was shown live on Flo Racing and with thousands viewing at home and a capacity crowd in attendance it gave the Woodhull Raceway a needed boost.
Two weeks prior to the STSS event at Woodhull, several hundred tons or new clay was laid down, compacted and the track totally regroomed making the surface the best that it has been in years. Off season plans call for more of the red stuff to be laid down completing the re-claying process.
2021 Woodhull Raceway Track Champions and Rookie of the Year recipients included the following:
Billy VanPelt, Insinger Performance Modifieds. Rookie. Brayden Bills
Josh Keesey, NAPA Crate Sportsman. Rookie. Josh Makatura
Brian Knowles, Cummings Trucking RUSH Crate Late Models Rookie. Austin Allen
Brett Crawford, Joe Willcox Performance Street Stocks. Rookie. Lance Baker
Jeredd Dennis, Woodhull Auto Supply Hobby Stocks. Rookie. Brandon Conklin
Brody Amidon, Big Jim’s Wicked Tee’s Mini Stocks. Rookie. Jacob Tubbs
Codie Baker, Johnson Auto Supply FWD Rookie. Jeff Lafler
Levi Riley, Big Jim’s Wicked Tee’s Warriors.
Sportsmanship Awards were presented to Brian Doolittle (Mods), Darin Horton (LM), Cayden Lawson (CS), Mick Seeley (SS), Mike Spencer (HS), Dylon Morseman (MS), Wes Houghtaling (FWD), Marshall O’Brian (Warrior).
A complete list of not only the top ten in points, but every competitor that raced during 2021 season in all eight weekly divisions of competition can be found by logging on at www.woodhullraceway.com.
Several special awards were dished out at the banquet including the Dust to Glory Award presented to second generation pilot, Dayton Brewer. The prestigious award was presented by twenty-three- time Woodhull Raceway Modified Track Champion and the facilities winningest driver, Billy VanPelt. Because of Brewer’s ongoing battle with Crones Disease, his determination to become one of the top Modified drivers in the region continues to overshadow the ailment which has followed him since his early years. The award is given annually in memory of the late Jim Snyder who began the traditional award decades ago.
The Dedication to Motorsports Award went to Rob Symonds for his many years of service to the Woodhull Raceway and Race Pro Weekly. Symonds, who comes from a racing family that has spent well over 40 years at the track in numerous capacities, represents the next generation of employee at the speedway. His computer savvy, broadcasting talent, writing and photography skills earned him the distinguished honor.
Media Award was presented to Kenny Shupp Jr. who takes care of all the Woodhull Raceway pre-event press releases, quick results and full race story each week is also a contributing writer for Area Auto Racing News and writes a weekly column in the Woodhull Raceway Track Program.
Perseverance Award went to The Williams Family, Burgess Family Racing and Greg Young after their recovery from the August Woodhull, NY flooding which destroyed their race shop and three race cars along with other collectibles including an antique farm tractor and classic car along with all shop tools.
The Employee of the Year Award was presented to Bobby Willis, who is not only a full -time chef at the Nikk L Brew Restaurant, but also heads up the main food and beverage concession staff on a weekly basis. His determination and hard work behind the grill are a real inspiration for the kitchen staff at the track during a year that was plagued with a shortage of employees.
With 2021 now just a memory, the track ownership is actively working on the 2022 schedule of events beginning with the Annual Arnot Mall Car Show in the Spring prior to the tracks official opening for practice as well as the 2022 season opener in April.
As more details become available throughout the remainder of this fall and winter leading up to the 2022 season information will be posted on both the tracks Facebook and web sites at www.facebook.com/WoodhullRaceway/ or www.woodhullraceway.com.