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Crate Racin’ USA Banquet to Honor Top Drivers

Crate Racin’ USA Banquet to Honor Top Drivers

EASTABOGA, Ala. — Jimmy Thomas of Phenix City, Ala., and Mark Whitener of Middleburg, Fla., will headline the festivities, and both competitors will receive their accolades and rewards for their 2021 national championship seasons on Jan. 29, 2022, as the annual Crate Racin’ USA awards banquet is scheduled to take place at the famed International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Lincoln, Ala.

Thomas was the overall series champion on the Newsome Raceway Parts-sponsored Crate Racin’ USA Dirt Late Model Series, and Whitener took the crown on the first-year E-Z-GO Challenge Series, which was a “series within a series” that consisted of 10 scheduled events paying at least $10,000 each to the winner. Rainouts reduced that schedule to seven races.

The top 10 drivers across four different Weekly Racing Series divisions sanctioned by the Adam Stewart-managed organization will be honored at the facility that’s located just down the street from Talladega Short Track, and within easy walking distance of the famed Talladega Superspeedway. Other special awards that are handed out each year at the annual festivities will also be given.

"Unfortunately our banquet last year was canceled by Covid-19 concerns, but we all look forward to honoring our dedicated racers and teams who make this organization what it has grown to be," said Stewart. "We're certainly proud of all of our competitors who put forth the effort to race with us each weekend, and we know that we couldn't do what we do without them. It makes us feel especially happy to see them recognized for their efforts each year at our annual awards banquet."

Thomas, who defeated Jason Welshan in a final-weekend battle for the crown on the regular touring series, will receive $10,000 for his title, and the top 10 finishers in points will also receive monetary rewards. The E-Z-GO $100,000+ Challenge, which offered a $5,000 prize for a title, will pay money to the top five in the year-end points standings.

Also honored will be Crate Racin’ USA Dirt Late Model Series Rookie of the Year Tanner Collins of Franklin, Ga., who was in contention for the championship most of the season en route to a fourth-place finish in the points standings. Collins was participating in just his third season of full-bodied stock car racing.

Championship-winning Weekly Racing Series drivers who will take to the stage are Oakley Johns [604 Late Model], Morgen Lambert [602 Late Model Sportsman], Lee Ray [Street Stock] and Rusty Duncan [Modified Sportsman].

VP Racing Fuels Young Guns titlist Chase Williams will receive his accolades for claiming that crown, which honors the top 604 Late Model driver who is under the age of 18 when the season starts each year.

Tickets are $40 per person. Children aged 10 and under are admitted free of charge. Invited honorees will receive two free passes.

Tickets can be ordered by sending a check or money order made payable to Crate Racin’ USA. The mailing address is P.O. Box 195, Lincoln, Ala., 35096. A link will be released soon that will allow banquet attendees to purchase tickets online. Check back with our social media channels for information.

Banquet doors open at 3 p.m., with a Happy Hour slated to last for one hour starting at 4 p.m. Awards ceremonies begin at 6 p.m., and there will be entertainment to follow provided by a Birmingham, Ala-based, four-piece country band known as Deputy 5.

For more information between now and the banquet, check the organization’s social media channels, or go to www.crateracinusa.com for additional updates.

2021 Season (Banquet Honorees):

Crate Racin’ USA Dirt Late Model Series
CHAMPION: Jimmy Thomas
Starts: 20
Wins: 5
Top-5 Finishes: 11
Top-10 Finishes: 17

Rest of the top 10 (points): Jason Welshan, Jake Knowles, Tanner Collins, Mike Combs, Troy Dixon, Matt Henderson, Colton Leyendecker, Mark Whitener, Jadon Frame.

E-Z-GO $100,000+ Challenge
CHAMPION: Mark Whitener
Starts: 7
Wins: 2
Top-5 Finishes: 4
Top-10 Finishes: 6

Rest of the top five (points): Jason Welshan, Jake Knowles, Jimmy Thomas, Wil Herrington.

604 Weekly Late Model
CHAMPION: Oakley Johns
Starts: 48
Wins: 21
Top-5 Finishes: 43
Top-10 Finishes: 45

Rest of the top 10 (points): Shannon Lee, Jeremy Idom, Rob Litton, Seth McCormack, Tyler Wood, Matthew Brocato, Sid Scarbrough, Jason Markewitz, Greg Wilhite.

VP Fuels Young Guns (604 Late Model)
CHAMPION: Chase Williams
Starts: 19
Wins: 1
Top-5 Finishes: 12
Top-10 Finishes: 18

Rest of the top five: Logan McClanahan, Caden Mullinax, Jake Rainey, Clayton Stuckey.

602 Late Model Sportsman
CHAMPION: Morgen Lambert
Starts: 44
Wins: 16
Top-5 Finishes: 35
Top-10 Finishes: 39

Rest of the top 10 (points): Ryan King, Caleb Coan, Dale Lucas, Cruz Wallace, Dusty Quillen, Brandon Crosby, Sherman Everett, Bailey Callahan, Brent Cartwright.

Street Stock
Starts: 24
Wins: 9
Top-5 Finishes: 23
Top-10 Finishes: 24

Rest of the top 10 (points): Caiden Jackson, Landon Jackson, Kaleb Vandygriff, Matt Spigner, Chad Winkles, Tony Atwood, Hunter Runions, Dillard Hatchett, Richie Zeller.

Modified Sportsman
CHAMPION: Rusty Duncan
Starts: 39
Wins: 18
Top-5 Finishes: 36
Top-10 Finishes: 37

Rest of the top 10 (points): Scottie Hiett, Chuckie Gipson, Jammie Gowers, Chris Yarbrough, Jordan Phillips, Logan Hickerson, Eric Hickerson, Luke Riddle, Cody Howard.

Article Credit: Brian McLeod

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