Three Entering DIRTcar Modified HoF
WEEDSPORT, N.Y. – The DIRTcar Modified Hall of Fame and Classic Car Museum selection committee has announced their class of 2014.
This will be the 23rd year that the Hall of Fame has been in operation.
“Three modified drivers will be inducted this year,” stated selection chairman Gary Spaid. Included this year are Lloyd Hold, Charlie Rudolph and Mike Colsten.
Holt was among the many Canadian drivers to invade central and western New York. In the 1960’s Holt became a regular at the now defunct Waterloo Maple Grove Speedway. As the 60’s ended he added Rolling Wheels Raceway Park to his resume, where he was crowned the track champion in 1970, the first full season of weekly racing at the speedway.
Rudolph was also a track champion at Rolling Wheels, with his championship coming in 1986. In that same year he was crowned the overall Mr. DIRT Modified champion. Between 1980 and 1988 he accumulated a total of 49 feature wins on dirt and sits 31st on the all-time big-block feature winners list. Rudolph then ventured off to NASCAR, sponsored by Sunoco Race Fuels, running in the then Winston Cup division.
Colsten might best be remembers by Central New Yorkers as a late-model racer, running with Ford power. But in the Southern Tier, Colsten transferred his skills and talents to the modified division, winning the Five Mile Point track championship numerous times. He also became a regular modified competitor at Penn Can Speedway in Pennsylvania.
In addition to 2014 Hall of Fame class, Howie Commander will be honored with the Lenny H. Sammons Outstanding Service Award.
“We started the Lenny H. Sammons Outstanding Service Award back in 1993,” commented Spaid. “It was the first award we added to our inductions. Over the years we have been able to honor car owners, drivers, writers, webmasters, promoters and photographers with this award.”
Commander is best known for what he has accomplished at Lebanon Valley Speedway. He also has a hand in Albany-Saratoga and Orange County Fair speedways promotions. His resume includes drag racing promotions as well as being a major player in UMP racing. He is one of the most respected people in short track auto racing in general.
The Gene DeWitt Owner’s Award will go to Cliff Barcomb. Barcomb was one of the first to hire a Canadian driver, Davey Moore. This team came extremely close to winning the overall Mr. DIRT title in 1981. Cliff then teamed with C.D. Coville, winning some 30 races. He also had fielded a car for Sammy Swindell, who powered it to the pole during Super DIRT Week 1995.
The Mechanic Award goes to Bobby Hearn, who founded and created the TEO Chassis. Hearn, the brother of Brett Hearn, has been a dominate player in the modified chassis business for years.
This year there will be two Gater Racing Photo News Women in Racing Awards presented, with Robin Yasinsac Gillespie and Erica Bicknell-Jones taking the awards. Robin has been a media member covering Eastern New York racing, primarily at Lebanon Valley and Albany-Saratoga speedways. Bicknell-Jones is the general manager at the highly successful Merrittville Speedway.
This year’s induction ceremonies are scheduled to take place on Aug. 6, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are not needed for this event, although seating is very limited.
The following night, Aug. 7, will be the Hall of Fame night at the newly revamped Weedsport Speedway. Featured on the program will be the return of the Super DIRTcar Series big block division. This will be the first time since July 17, 2011 that big blocks will have been racing at Weedsport. The track was closed and remained silent except for small block races during Super DIRT Week. The speedway is currently under the rebuilding process, as all of the grandstands, judges tower and club house have been knocked down.