Jonathan McKennedy of East Chelmsford, MA, was crowned series champion for the second year in a row Saturday night, November 20, as the Modified Racing Series, sponsored by Bob Valenti AutoMall.Com, held it's 7th annual awards banquet at the Clarion Hotel, W.Springfield, MA. McKennedy also claimed top honors in the car owner's category. The 23-year-old driver was a four-time winner this season claiming wins at Lee, N.H., Waterford, CT., Seekonk, MA., and Claremont, N.H.
The evening was highlighted by the crowning of McKennedy, the presentation of specialty awards, the 2011 schedule being disclosed, and a major announcement for Ricky's Race For Kids, in honor of the late Ricky Miller, an annual event that benefits David's House, Lebanon, N.H.
Following opening remarks by host Peter Newsham, series president and founder Jack Bateman gave his annual State of the Series presentation speaking of another successful season and what competitors can expect looking ahead to 2011.
Bateman announced that the signing of a three-year deal with Bob Valenti Auto Mall as the title sponsor for the series. Beginning in 2011, the touring division will be known as the Valenti Modified Racing Series.
In a joint announcement, Bateman and retired racing legend Donnie Miller Sr disclosed the 4th annual Ricky's Race For Kids will carry $36,350 purse paying $12,000 to win the 112 lap race. The event will be held July 16, at Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, NH.
In addition to McKennedy, the top 15 drivers were recognized and presented awards with Dwight Jarvis, Les Hinckley, Stephen Masse, and Kenny Barry making of the top five in the standings. Rowan Pennink, Todd Annarummo, Max Zachem, Rob Goodenough, and Jacob Dore finished sixth through tenth with Joey Jarvis, Jack Bateman, Norm Wrenn, Eddie Spiers, and Chris Pasteryak, rounding out the top 15 positions.
The top 15 car owners were presented awards with Gary Casella, Chuck Montville, Bonnie Jarvis,and Art Barry making up the top five positions behind McKennedy.
Sixth through tenth were Steven Masse, Vinnie Annarummo, Max Zachem, Rob Goodenough, and Robert Worrell. Bateman, Wally Albro, CCP Inc, Advance Gas Distributors, and M&D Racing rounded out the top 15 positions.
Specialty Awards were presented in eleven categories, six of which are selected by series officials. Eddy Spiers was voted the SPAFCO Most Improved Driver Award while the Tough Luck Award was given to Jimmy Dolan. The Sportsmanship Award was presented to CCP INC race teams, the Pasteryak family, with the 2010 Mechanic Of The Year Award going to Mark Tilton, of Jack Bateman Racing.
The Koszela Speed Rookie Of The Year award was presented to Todd Annarummo, who won his first series race at Seekonk, MA.
The Dedication To Racing Award was given to long-time racer, Dale Holdridge, whose career spanned three decades. A very successful and popular driver, Holdridge oversees his son Mike's career.
Dart Steel Head Engine Award recipient was rookie Max Zachem.
The Hoosier Tire East Award went to Jon McKennedy while Rowan Pennink was the recipient of the Sunoco Race Fuels Hard Charger Award.
The second annual Above and Beyond Award was presented to Peter Frappier. Frappier, who is the series technical director, was recognized for his dedication to the series. The former driver is considered one of the top tech men in New England racing.
The sixth annual “7-11” Award, named in honor of New England Hall of Fame driver Bob Polverari, was presented to Rob Goodenough. Former winners Jack Bateman, Dwight Jarvis, Ed Dachenhausen, Vinnie Annarummo, and Jimmy Dolan, made the selection while Rusty Grant and Rick Czarnecki, on behalf of Polverari, made the presentation.