The stars came out in force Friday night as the best and brightest drivers and crews in Ohio were honored at the 2016 Columbus Motor Speedway awards banquet. The posh Berwick Manor restaurant was the location for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series extravaganza as nearly 300 revelers convened to celebrate their accomplishments. Titlists in each of the four racing divisions found themselves nervously thanking their car owners, crews and sponsors while clinging to an armful of hardware attesting to their achievements.
Kyle Purvis received the late model track championship awards from the speedway along with a huge plaque from NASCAR Fresh off his 2015 Columbus modified title and a NASCAR National crown, Purvis outdistanced Donnie Hill by just ten points for the final ever late model championship. Hill, however, was recognized as the NASCAR Ohio State Division I championship. Both drivers will be further recognized at the NASCAR Whelen All American Series banquet in Charlotte, NC next month.
Shane Shirk was honored for his championship season in the Columbus modified division. The Springfield, OH entrepreneur accepted awards for a very impressive season. Piloting a car wrenched by Dick Ater, Shirk paid homage to his family, crew for all of their hard work. By season's end Shirk's nine feature wins were just too much for the rest of the modified field.
George Lindsay collected championship hardware in the sport stock division. The Groveport, OH driver secured four feature wins along with a stream of consistent finishes to claim the crown. In accepting his just rewards Lindsay thanked a host of people including his car owners, family and crew.
Devin Stansbury claimed top honors in the crazy compact division for his first career title in the ultra competitive class. Stansbury's six main event victories earned him enough points to narrowly edge runner-up Michael Robison for the crown.
Several others special awards were announced during the gala affair. Logan Runyon's fourth place result in the late model standings earned him that division's Most Improved Driver award. Meantime, the same designations were heaped on Jeremy Menninger (Columbus Modified), Chris Meier (sport stock) and Shawn Vansickle (crazy compact) in each of their classes. In addition to the aforementioned, Rookie of the Year winners Kevin Mingus (late model), Ryan Tamburro (modified) , Tyler Parsons (sport stock) and Maddie Wolfe (crazy compact), the Nuckles' family honored Michelle McCoy as the Team Player Award. Last but certainly not least, third generation driver Jordan St.Amant took home the UNOH Youth Achievement Award.