Lee USA Speedway Banquet of Champions 11/5/16 Photos by Rich Hayes

More Photos – https://plus.google.com/+Neracer/posts/5ZRqTozKptD

Manchester, NH – Race teams, track officials, fans, and sponsors gathered at the Executive Court Inn and Conference Center to celebrate the 2016 Lee USA Speedway “Banquet of Champions” on Saturday night, November 5, closing out the 30th year under the leadership of track owners Red and Judy MacDonald.

Heading up the list of honorees at this year’s banquet was freshman competitor Dave “Hollywood” Helliwell of Pelham, who not only captured Rookie of the Year honors in the EKeys4Cars-sponsored NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Supermodified division, but also rode an impressive 4-win season to the track championship as well.

Helliwell nabbed 14 top five finishes in 17 races on his way to the title, beating out two-time main event winner Moe Lattime of Kingston by 25 points to secure the title. Rochester’s Mike Spurling grabbed three feature wins on his way to a third place finish, just four points further back in the final standings.

Mike Keddy of Raymond, Lance Barthelemy of Fremont, Kyle Sawyer of Kingston, Jim Barker of Meredith, Jim Lowrey, Jr. of Tilton, Leslie Keyser of Northfield, and Mike Murphy of Groveland, MA were the rest of the top ten finishers who earned trophies for their efforts.

Helliwell, Lattime, and Spurling all received special NASCAR plaques in addition to their Lee USA hardware, and custom awards went to Mike Keddy for Most Improved Driver, Jim Barker for Sportsmanship, Leslie Keyser got the dreaded Hard Luck award, and Helliwell’s crew grabbed Best Team Performance.

Exeter’s Jimmy Russell brought home the big trophy for the R & R Public Wholesale Late Model Sportsman championship, and he also got a big check from Steve Paquette of Seacoast Wholesale, who added $2,500 in bonus money to the champ’s bank account.

Nate Leavitt of Buxton, ME, George Helliwell of Pelham, Bedford’s Kris Miller, Ray Dinsmore of Waterboro, ME, Jesse Bousquet of Pittsfield, Frankie Eldredge of Stratham, Steve Paquette of Hampton, Trevor Randlett of Holderness, and Bryan Kruczek of Newmarket were the rest of the top ten finishers in the LMS.

Kris Miller picked up Rookie of the Year honors in the LMS ranks, with Most Improved Driver going to Ray Dinsmore, Sportsmanship to Nate Leavitt, Hard Luck to Steve Paquette, and Best Team Performance to the title-winning Russell team.

The David’s Race Cars and Components Hobby Stock championship went to Dylan Bilodeau of Fremont, and it was no surprise that he also collected the coveted Rookie of the Year honors. Pelham’s Paul Palen ended his season just a single point behind Bilodeau, taking home second place honors for the 2016 season.

Former two-time champ Pat Tanguay, Zac Fraser, Jim Piaseczny, Jake Michaud, Eric Hoffman, Boe Green, Jay Avery, and Ryan Green collected hardware for finishing third through tenth.

Michaud was recognized as Most Improved Driver, Piaseczny received the Sportsmanship Award, Avery picked up the Hard Luck Award, and Fraser went home with Best Team Performance as well as the NASCAR UNOH Youth Achievement Award.

Mark Kustra of Tri-City Line-X was on stage to help present some Ironman hardware, where Ryan Pitkin scored the championship and Best Team Performance, and two-time feature winner Adam Knowles took home runner-up honors for the year.

Former Pure Stock champ Jesse Tellier grabbed third for the season and Rookie of the Year for his efforts, with Jamie Holland of Somersworth and Travis Hollins of Milford getting the fourth and fifth place hardware.

James Witkum collected the sixth place trophy and the Hard Luck award, Ryan Washburn got seventh, Most Improved Driver Kaycie Kustra finished the season in eighth, Zach Washburn was ninth, and Luke Grammont picked up tenth for the year and the Sportsmanship award.

In the Pure Stocks, Tyler Mailhot became the third Rookie of the Year winner who was also crowned as track champ for 2016. Sportsmanship winner Danielle Evans collected second place hardware, John Boomhower was third, Hard Luck winner Rob Carleton collected fourth and Scott Farrington was fifth.

During the night, Track Manager Bill Callen took to the podium to address the crowd and “officially” announce his retirement, moving on after countless years of service to the track and the extended Lee USA Speedway.

Red and Judy are pleased to announce the return of Joe Bassett to the staff for the 2017 campaign. In preparation for next year, Bassett will be assuming the role of General Manager. Joe is no stranger to Lee USA’s racers and fans, Joe is looking forward to the opportunity to continue to grow the highly-successful speedway operation in the coming years.

Many big announcements are in store over the winter months regarding the 2017 season at “New Hampshire’s Center of Speed”. To make sure you don’t miss any of the news, log on to www.leeusaspeedway.com, or follow us on Facebook.

Red and Judy MacDonald and the entire staff at Lee USA want to take this opportunity to wish a happy and healthy holiday season to all of our fans, racers, and crew members. See you in the spring!