KALWASINSKI: Chicago Chips
CHICAGO – A review of 2013 track and association champions in and around the Chicagoland area includes…
– Teenager Paul Shafer Jr. captured late model track championship honors at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Ind., becoming the youngest driver to ever win a Late Model crown at the northwest Indiana half-mile paved speed plant. The 16-year-old high school student garnered three straight feature race victories during the summer to propel him to the championship. Shafer is the son of former Midwest dirt track stock car star Paul Shafer.
– John Senerchia took home the Turbo Stox title at Illiana, winning five feature races during the year, including the season-ending North Grand Auto Parts Challenge. Senerchia enjoyed a great season as he also won the Street Stock track championship at the Grundy County Speedway in Morris, winning 14 times at the one-third mile paved oval.
– Chris King was the most dominating driver at Illiana in 2013 as he won a total of 12 feature races in Legends division action. Racking up the wins, King took home another Illiana Legends title, giving him a total of three during his career.
– Ricky Baker was the late model titlist at Grundy, scoring four feature victories including the end-of-the-season Lee Schuler Memorial 61 lapper. It was Baker’s first career track championship. Tom Knippenberg was the Mid American Sportsman champ at Grundy with Dan Schmeissing winning the four-cylinder division title.
– Jay Morris grabbed DIRTcar United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) late model track championship honors at the Kankakee County Speedway. Morris won one featrure race at the quarter-mile dirt track. Nick Allen was the UMP Modified champion at Kankakee for the 2013 season, winning six features, giving him a total of 19 victories in Midwest UMP Modified competition. Jeremy McLaughlin was the UMP Pro Late Model champ with Ryen Johnson winning the track’s UMP Pro Modifieds (I-Mods) title. For the third time in his career, Don Hilleary claimed the UMP Stock Cars title with Jake Momper winning the UMP Sport Compacts crown.
– Alex Papini enjoyed a stellar season at the Rockford Speedway, claiming nine feature wins in NASCAR late model action at the high-banked quarter-mile paved oval. Doug Bennett posted his second consecutive All American Sportsman championship at Rockford with Nick Cina Jr. being named the American Short Tracker division champ. Arlyn Roush was the track’s Roadrunner class titlist.