The Borderland Racing Association hosted its 2011 awards banquet on Saturday at the Emo Legion, with about 140 people on hand.
It was a fitting way to officially close the books on the racing season, which saw several new Emo Speedway feature winners, including Carlee Bosma, Cody Ossachuk, Christopher Leek, and Lindsay Bourre.
The packed house enjoyed a magnificent meal provided by the Emo Legion, and there were plenty of door prizes to give away during the evening.
Starting off the top, the go-karts handed out their hardware. Presented by organizer Kim Williamson and flagman Dave Allen, the Karting Association enjoyed a stellar year, having a record number of drivers and dozens of fans on a weekly basis.
Tanner Williamson won the Advanced division title over Aric Supinski and Delbert Collett, with Jyllian Westover claiming the Novice division title over Raice Westover and AJ Kellar.
Congratulations to all the organizers and drivers for an excellent season.
The Street Stocks then came up to collect their awards for the top 10. Don Bowman claimed the top title in 2011, with three wins and finishing in the top five every week.
However, both Bourre and Bosma finished second and third, as well as having a combined three wins, to show that Bowman was not the only superstar.
In the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, Christopher Leek, with two wins, held off veteran Tylar Wilson and sophomore Cody Ossachuk to claim his first career championship.
And in the WISSOTA Modifieds, Gavin Paull dominated the season with 10 wins in thirteen tries en route to his third championship.
Coming off last year’s crown, Glen Strachan was runner up while Tyler Brown rounded out the top three.
Meanwhile, the specialty awards are always exciting and this year was no exception. Rookie-of-the-year in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds went to Ethan Firth while Matt Mutz took the honours for the WISSOTA Modifieds.
The Best-Appearing Car, which was voted on by the fans, went to Libby Wilson (Streets), Chuck Lambert (WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds), and Denny Trimble and Glen Strachan (WISSOTA Modifieds).
The Keith McNally Memorial Award goes to the driver who works hard at racing, shows up as often as possible, but continues to finish towards the back of the pack.
The award is about passion and dedication to the sport of racing, and was presented by Tasha McNally to Tyler Wickstrom for 2011.
The Sportsmanship Awards went to Lindsay Bourre (Street Stocks), Tylar Wilson (WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds), and Glen Strachan (WISSOTA Modifieds).
The fans also had the chance to vote for their favourite driver in each class.
In the end, Ron Westover shared the honours with Lindsay Bourre (Streets), with Chuck Lambert (WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds) and champion Gavin Paull (WISSOTA Modifieds) taking the honours in their respective divisions.
Sponsors, fans, drivers, and volunteers in attendance celebrated our great past when it comes to racing in Rainy River District. There were three inductees into the Borderland Racing Association’s Hall of Fame.
Gerald Gamie, driver of the #37 throughout the 1960s and ’70s, was a member of the organizing side of things, as well, during his involvement. He continues to come on a weekly basis to watch in the stands.
Second was Mike Andrusco, who drove for organizer Ed Rea during the ’60s and ’70s, as well. Their efforts garnered them a track championship in 1969.
Mike was very honoured to receive such an award, stating that it was amazing for him to see guys that he raced with years ago still going around the track today.
He then spoke on behalf of Robert “Bob” Lindgren, who passed away several years ago.
Lindgren was from International Falls, Mn. and was a solid competitor throughout his years of racing in Emo.
A big congratulations to all the winners and to the Hall-of-Fame inductees.
Thank you to everyone for their support, and we hope to see you at the annual general meeting on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 2 p.m. at the Back Alley Bar in Emo.