The 2013 NED Champs celebrate with NHRA’s Graham Light (left) and Division Director Bob Lang (right)
Story by Phil Hutchison and courtesy NHRA Division One. Photo by Phil Hutchison and Diane Kubicke..
More photos, go to http://division1photos.smugmug.com/Other-5
The 2013 Season Northeast Division Awards Banquet, a celebration recognizing the winners from Junior Dragster and Summit High School champs including Top Fuel Harley, Top Sportsman and Dragster, plus all the NHRA Sportsman eliminators was held in Hershey PA on one cold weekend but the temperature didn’t faze the crowd as the weekend was full of bench racing and partying at the PA facility.
The Northeast Division racers and fans have been lucky and blessed that Bob Frey grew up in New Jersey, smack dab in the middle of NED racing. Bob, who got his start at Atco Dragway, has been the man behind the mike at major NHRA events for more than 30 years and recently retired from the tour but lucky for us, Bob was our emcee again for the evening . Bob’s wit as and knowledge of drag racing, as usual, was right on and kept the crowd laughing thought the night.
Bob Frey emcee’d the banquet
NHRA Senior Vice President of Racing Operations, Graham Light, was on hand to join in the awards ceremony.
- NHRA Vice President Graham Light
In 2013, the NED had numerous racers in the Lucas Oil National point chase with Duncannon PA racer Byron Worner taking the 2013 Lucas Super Stock title in his Chevy Camaro. New Jersey Top Alcohol racer, Frank Manzo, also won the Lucas title driving the Al Anabi Monte Carlo in what would be has last year behind the wheel after years of domination.
On the strength of wins like the Cecil County LODRS, Worner took the 2013 Lucas Super Stock title
Mr Worner was the man in Super Stock in 2013
Eliot Maine second generation racer Kyle Cultrera, had a “Double Double” winning both the NED Competition Eliminator title and the Super Comp in 2013. Kyle also placed in the top five in the Lucas national points in both classes.
After the invocation by RFC’s Dan Laterza, the party got started with Bob Frey’s opening comments followed by a birds eye (or track eye view) of the 2013 season shot from the perspective of the on track cameras at Maple Grove, Atco Dragway and other tracks courtesy of NED Assistant Director Dave Mohn.
In keeping with the video theme and a jab at NHRA’s Graham Light, Bob Frey showed a short piece from the “B” drag racing movie, “Fast Track” featuring a cameo from Graham that had the crowd guessing what the heck was going on until they saw the NHRA Vice President in his first and probably only Hollywood appearance.
Next up were the Special Recognitions for 2013.
NHRA Cert Team, NHRA Member Track Operators and the following were recognized for the work they do for the NHRA and in particular, the North East Division.
NHRA Northeast Division Sponsors – Lucas Oil (Jeff Kundratic), Summit, JEG’s, Sony & PC Richard (Pat Dehner), MXI Industrial, Select Performance (Ed Alessi, Sr.), Glick Fire Equipment (Amy Sweitzer, Jodi Mohn), VP Race Fuels, Classic Auto Body & Royal Pet Cremation (Earl Nichols), Hoopes Fire Protection, R Champlin Crane & Excavating, Havis(Ron Moore) (Please Stand), Micro Strategies (Anthony Bongiovanni), Kris Schoonover (Harley Davidson)
NED Certification member Jim Pursglove, a former racer and winner in his own right, passed away in October. His children were on hand to receive the 13th Annual Northeast Division Distinguished Service Award. Not a dry in the house. We all will miss Santa Claus.
In addition to Jim’s passing, Ron “Moose” Wentzel another member of the NED family, passed away recently after fought a courageous 2-year battle with brain cancer.
Northeast Division Honorary Service Award – Dan & Claire Laterza called 2013 their final season as Racer’s for Christ Representatives.
In a bittersweet farewell, Dan and Clair say goodbye to the NED
- Manzo’s team accepted his award from NED Director Bob Lang (right)
Multi time NED and NHRA champ Frank Manzo was awarded the NED Appreciation award for all Northeast Division Appreciation Award for all of their support and dedication to racing in the Northeast Division over the years. John Glade, Fred Bauer, Ed Hofmann, Mike Gaffino were on hand to receive the awards as Frank was in the Middle East with the Al Anabi team. After the award, a Frank Manzo video was shown with shots from his early days in Alcohol Funny Car up to his last race in 2013 which had some great old video back when Manzo ran the Kendall car.
Shelby DiIorio Image of Youth Winner
The “Image of Youth Award” went to Shelby Di Iorio from Atco Dragway. JDRL Track Champion and Eastern Conference Champion in 2013. Father Tim and brother Timmy are fellow racers at the New Jersey track.
2013 50th Year Anniversary Award – 2013 marked the 50th anniversary for Cecil County Dragway and US 13 Dragway. Congratulations on 50 years of success!
Dana Hayes won the National Dragster Contributor Award
Atco Dragway took the 2013 National Dragster Contributor Award along with the National Dragster’s “Be a Winner/Be a Member” award.
NHRA JDRL Eastern Conference Finals
The Northeast was represented in the Winner’s circle at the annual Conference Finals held at Bristol Dragway with 2 winners in 2013.
John Croce 13 Year Old Winner
|13 Year Old
|16-17 Year Old
||Shelby Di Iorio
NED assistant Director Dave Mohn awards Shelby one of two awards in Jr Dragster
2013 Northeast Division JR. Dragster Championships
This year’s event was held at Mason-Dixon Dragway in Boonsboro, MD and had a great turnout of racers and family. The success of the race was due to a lot of hard work that Elmer and Cathy Wachter, the staff at Mason-Dixon Dragway do during the event. Micro Strategies was also instrumental for their support of the BBQ.
||8-9 Year Old Age Group
||10-11 Year Old Age Group
||Maple Grove Raceway
||12-13 Year Old Age Group
||Maple Grove Raceway
||14-15 Year Old Age Group
||16-17 Year Old Age Group
|Virginia Motorsports Park
|US 13 Dragway
Northeast Division Summit ET Finals
2013 was the 39th year for this event. Without the help from Summit Racing Products, and Luzerne County Community College, this race would not have the prestige it carries. This year the 14 participating tracks sent 46 entries plus a High School Competitor to Numidia Dragway to determine the champions.
Race of Champions
The Race of Champions is a highlight of the Summit Racing Series ET Finals and pits the top point’s earners from each track against one another to find out who is the best of the best.
||US 13 Dragway
Summit ET Finals Eliminator Champions
The four champions all went to the AAA of Southern California Finals to crown a National Champion in their respective class. While the competitors didn’t fare as well as they had hoped, they all enjoyed the trip and are anxious to try again.
||Maple Grove Raceway
||Cecil County Dragway
||Maple Grove Raceway
||Team Spirit Award
||Cecil County Dragway
Dale Hamilton, no stranger to winning in the Summit Brackets, won for the second time and made the trip to Pomona. Elmer Wachter (right) from Mason Dixon Dragway has the pleasure of awarding Dale his Wally
MX Industrial/Magnaflux Top Dragster Challenge presented by Select Performance – 2013 MX Industrial/Magnaflux and Select Performance returned as sponsors of the class.
Michael Daniele Top Sportsman champ and family.
Top Dragster Champ Mike Galofaro and NED’s Jim Bowen
Ultimax Belts Pro Stock Snowmobile –Ultimax Belts came on board as the series Sponsor in 2013. Ultimax Belts is a Division of Carlisle Transportation Products. This series features 1000 cc snowmobiles racing heads-up on a pro tree. The series was contested at several events throughout the division.
Pro Stock Snowmobile winner Frank Berard Jr and Ryck Campbell (right) .
In 2013, PC Richard & Son along with help from Sony, returned to Sponsor the Sony/PC Richard.com National Open Series crowning Champions in Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, And Super Street.
||Bob Moran Jr
||John Bruzzo/Nick Willard
||Paul Laino/Peter Quintin
||Mario Gourgue/David Miller/Ron Riegel
Bill Nycz PC Richard Super Street Champ (left) with PC Richard and Son’s Pat Dehner
Northeast Division Person of the Year – Penny Bender
Penny was big time surprised, duh?
Wrench of the Year – Frank Kalinowski/Billy Wruble
Co wrenches of the year
ET Driver of the Year Ray Whitehead with Dave Mohn (right)
LODRS Driver of the Year – Kyle Cultrera
Kyle and his favorite fan, his niece , and big Jim
Best Supporting Sponsor – Lucas Oil
Joe Lombardo’s (left) New England Dragway won Drag Strip of the year. Joe accepts the award from NHRA’s Graham Light
The Northeast Division Hall of Fame is open to racers, officials, promoters, and all persons involved in the sport of NHRA Drag Racing in the Northeast Division. Exemplary accomplishments and longevity are some of the qualifications needed to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. A permanent plaque is on display in the Northeast Division Office of all current members of the Hall of Fame
Joe Sway has been a great ambassador to NHRA Sportsman Drag Racing. From his early years racing Pro Stock to his current function as a dedicated Track Manager, Joe has spent his entire life involved with the sport he loves.
Atco’s Joe Sway and Bob Lang
JEG’s All Stars
2013 NED Super Street champ Casey Grubb won in Chicago at the Jeg’s race to add to his great season
NHRA Harley Davidson Drag Racing Series
In 2013 NHRA and Harley Davidson teamed up to bring Top Fuel Harleys and several Sportsman Motorcyle Classes into the fold. the NED hosted 2 events featuring these powerful and exciting machines.
Doug Horne won the first ever NED Top Fuel Harley title. Doug (left) is congratulated by Harley Davidson’s Kris Schoonover
Former Lucas champ and multi time NED winner, Ray Sawyer from Acton MA took the 2013 Super Gas title
Kyle took two back to Maine
Chuck Anderika stood in for brother John as the team won the East Regional in Top Alcohol Funny Car
The Cultrera extended family celebrate a triple win night as Kyle took home NED Driver of the Year, Super Comp, and Comp titles
More photos go to http://www.division1photos.com/
See everyone at Richmond in April
Phil and Diane