Tony Dunker warned me earlier in the week that Justin Reed’s acceptance speech at the Quincy Raceways awards banquet Saturday night might be of filibuster proportion.
He was right.
Reed was honored as the 2009 modified track champion, driving Dunker’s No. 4st car. And Reed may have taken longer to deliver his thank-you’s than he did winning some of those features last summer.
By the time Reed had concluded there were about a dozen fellow drivers and friends standing pointing to their watches.
All kidding aside, Reed did have a lot of good things to say.
“This (championship) is something for Tony’s guys,” Reed said. “I can’t thank guys like Tony, Brandon Brown and Dave Sapp enough for giving me the chance to drive one of their cars.”
Other champions honored included Lonnie Bailey in the late models, Abe Huls in stock cars and Steve Carlin in hobby stocks.
NOTES FROM BULLRING NATION:
— Abe Huls assured he will be back to defend that stock car title.
— Joe Bliven informed he is returning to racing Friday nights at Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, running a sport mod. He’ll also be running on selected weekends at Scotland County Speedway in Memphis, Mo. And, yes, he’ll still be a tech on Sunday nights in Quincy.
— Lonnie Bailey, in his 30th year of racing, poked fun at himself whan talking about the two track titles he won last summer. “I won two track championships without winning a feature,” he said. “I’m not sure what that’s telling me.” (Bailey also won the latge model title at 34 Raceway in West Burlingtn, Iowa.)
— Retiring Steve Blickhan and Don Hummel were honored for their service at the track. Blickhan had been flagging at the Bullring since the early 1980s. Hummel has spent most of his time as a wrecker driver and was around at the very beginning of the track’s history in 1975. He told me he remembered standing in a cornfield when the late Albert Scott and son Bob began marking off the distances and parameters for what is now the cathedral of commotion at 8000 Broadway.
— Rookies of the year honored were Jake Powers (hobby stocks), Aaron Brocksieck (stock cars) and Trent Grotz (mods). There was no official rookie of the year in late models so Steve Blickhan was acknowledged for wanting to be a late model driver.
— People’s Choice awards were earned by Tanner Klingele (hobby stocks), Aaron Brocksieck (stock cars), Steven DeLonjay (mods) and Mark Burgtorf (late models).
— Claiming most improved driver acknowledgements were Mike Wiuley (hobby stocks), Andrew Griffin (stock cars), Shawn Deering (mods) and Justin Reed (late models).
— Hard charger awards went to Jim Powell (hobby stocks), KevinTomlinson (stock cars), Steven DeLonjay (mods) and Justin Reed (late models).
— Best track packers were Jim Powell (hobby stocks), Michael Larsen (stock cars), Shawn Deering (mods) and Dave Sapp Jr. (late models).
— Best appearing awards went to Adam Scott (hobby stocks), Chris Wibbell (Stock cars), Tony Dunker (mods) and Matt Bailey (late models).
— Sportsmanship awards went to Tanner Klingele (hobby stocks), Andrew Griffin (stockc ars), Donovan Lodge (mods) and Jerry Weisenberger (late models).
— Some of the more interesting attendance awards went to Mark Burgtorf for 20 years, Lonnie Bailey 15, Bill Genenbacher 11, Dave Wietholder 10 and Tony Dunker for 10. Those are cumulative awards, not consecutive.