Rush, NY — (December 8, 2012) — In the 10th season of Patriot Sprint competition, the year-end awards banquet was a highly-anticipated date from the start of the year, due in large part to the fact that a record point fund of over $32,000 in cash would be paid out. For the two drivers that took home the largest slices of the pie, they understandably had some of the largest smiles of the night.
Scott Kreutter, of Alden, NY, and Justin Barger, of Montrose, NY, shared the high honors at the 10th Annual Patriot Sprint Tour Awards Banquet at the Wildwood Country Club in Rush, NY, as they claimed the PST America and PST Canada Championships, respectively. For the first time in series history, separate points were tabulated for the events in each country and produced champions that took very different paths to their respective crowns.
Kreutter’s rise to the PST America Title, and the subsequent $10,000 cash point fund, became available when a rare opportunity presented itself at the final race of the year. Kreutter came on strong late in the year, as he won two feature events in the final month of the season to be in position to claim the championship by just nine points.
“This was an amazing season,” stated Kreutter upon accepting his championship accolades. “It was really great racing with everyone that we did this year.”
Kreutter, 25, was the only PST driver to make every full-point event in both series, as he also finished third in the PST Canada series, which was a major reason when he claimed the prestigious “Patriot of the Year” Award. Scott’s father Fred, along with Karl Hehr, were named the Mechanics of the Year for their work on the Hoddick Motorsports No. 49 and 52, the two cars that “The Straight Shooter” used in his drive to the title.
Justin Barger’s Championship was unique in the fact that while he did not commit to the full PST America tour, the Downstate New York driver made all of the events in Canada, and finished no worse than 7th in any of them to claim the $5,000 check. Barger’s two wins North of the Border, along with his victory at Woodhull in July, gave him a series-high total in feature wins in full-point races.
“We really had a great year,” noted Barger, 28, who finished in the top 5 all but once this year. “We are really excited about next year and hope for some great things.”
Along with Kreutter, former champions Bryan Howland and Jared Zimbardi were the only other drivers to finish in the top 10 of both standings. Howland, of Auburn, NY, was the runner-up in the PST America Series and Zimbardi was sixth despite their only wins this year coming in Canada at Cornwall and Ohsweken, respectively.
Jamie Collard, of Burford, Ontario, was the runner-up in the PST Canada Series after winning at Brockville in July finishing ahead of Kreutter, Quebec’s Alain Bergeron and Michigan’s Dain Naida in the first year of this series exclusive to Canadian events.
Tim Kelly, of Rock Stream, NY, was in the PST America Championship battle under the very end, placing in third in the final standings. Tim encountered hard luck throughout the year and was recognized for such tribulations.
Tommy Wickham, of Constantia, NY, ran the full PST America Tour for the first time, placing fourth in points after winning his first series race at Stateline in May. George Suprick, the 2004 Patriot Champion from Clarks Summit, PA, rounded out the top five in his return to the tour full time which included a win at Black Rock in June.
Defending Rookie of the Year was seventh in the standings and also was declared as having the worst luck of the draw this season. Brandan Warner’s eighth place finish included having the best appearing car. Steven Hutchinson Jr. was named the 2012 Insinger Race Fuels Patriot Sprint Tour Rookie of the Year for his ninth place finish in the points. Clint Ide rounded out the top 10 in PST America points and scored outstanding newcomer along the way.
Don Adamczyk had some unfortunate luck throughout the year, which placed him 11th in the point standing, however the “Williamsville Warrior” easily captured the Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash for Cash Series Championship. The other special point standing champion was Bryan Howland, who was named the Gater Racing News Hard Charger of the Season.
A good time was had by all that filled the Wildwood Country Club Banquet Hall on Saturday. PST Jerry Farrell was noted for his Dedication to Motorsports early in the Awards Presentation, but was also part of a lighter moment with fellow official Greg Hixson at the end of the evening with an exchange including silly string. Also at the end of the Awards Banquet, PST Technical Inspector Mike Bozzuto took to the microphone to announce his unfortunate but necessary resignation from his position. His touching speech was followed by a standing ovation by the supportive crowd.
To conclude the night, PST President Mike Emhof to give some insight into 2013. Exact details are not yet solidified but Emhof made it clear that the PST will once again have two separate point funds in America and Canada. In addition, most, if not all, of the tracks on the 2012 schedule will return with the addition of 2 or 3 others to make the schedule, “Similar, with improvements”.