WOLLABER CROWNED NYPA CHAMPION AFTER A DOMINATING SEASON
A Look Back, 2016 Year in Review
Lancaster, NY, October 20, 2016 – Results and consistency are the quintessential components required in winning championships. In 2016, Dave Wollaber proved to be master of both while en route to securing the 2016 NYPA Midget Association Championship. Undefeated heading into the 4th race it became clear to everyone he was going to be the driver to be beat.
His performance may be better realized with just one simple statistic, 50% of the regular season races were won by Wollaber. These kind of results are what earned him the championship by 290 points over Erik Musto, a testament to the domination of Wollaber and his Englewood Collision team. These results speak nothing to the consistency Wollaber and his team have become known for.
These statistics are even more impressive, 7 Wins, 14 Top 5’s, 14 Top 10’s the epitome of consistency. Wollaber & his Englewood Collision team displayed a dominating tour-de-force that is truly underscored by the fact that his closest brush with a finish outside the top 5 came on June 30th at the Ol Boy Cup with a paltry fourth place finish. The Englewood Collision team’s consistency in performance may best be underscored with the fact Wollaber’s average finish over the course of 14 races was an astonishing 1.7 and they placed 2 other cars in the top 10 of the final point standings with his teammates finishing 3rd and 10th respectively.
In a season dominated by one driver one might think we have little else to talk about but that could not be further from the truth. One only has to look at the top ten in final point standings to find more than a few hard-fought battles for position. Look at positions 2 through 4 with Eric Musto in 2nd, and Vincent Christiano Jr in 3rd being separated by less than 75 points. Things got even tighter between Andy Nye in 6th, Chad Haywood in 7th and Charlie DiRosa in 8th with exactly 15 points separating those three positions.
The NYPA Midget Association would open their 2016 season with the launch of a new website, and a completely redesigned logo to compliment the new site. In support of the website & branding initiatives NYPA leadership partnered with Double Clutch to launch a marketing campaign that focused on improving the driver and fan experience. The plans that have been made will enable fan engagement across the entire digital platform while creating a more robust and profitable series for the teams and drivers who choose to compete in the NYPA Midget Association. The campaign would close the season with a significant uptick in fan engagement, improved activation for existing sponsors with the launch of the NYPA Midgets Jerry Gradl Showroom, as well as the acquisition of several new associate sponsors, Bubbly Sponge, Abbott Rd Pizza, and X-Press Signs respectively.
The racing season would kick off with the Queen City Clash at Lancaster Speedway and go on to hold a total of 15 races at 3 speedways in the region. Lake Erie Speedway, Lancaster National Speedway & their de facto home track Holland International Speedway. The June 18th Summerslam at Lancaster National Speedway would prove to be most popular with the competitors as 26 of the region’s best TQ midgets drivers signed in at the back gate.
Both fans and drivers alike seemed to appreciate the ongoing efforts made by NYPA leadership to improve the fan experience in a series that is more fun and rewarding to watch and race in. With 5 rookie drivers making starts this season, that is one trend the NYPA leadership is hopeful to see continue. Welcome aboard, Vinnie Christiano III, Jamie Pew, Kevin Wilson, Tony Patrea and Tommy Catalano join us for the banquet as we plan on celebrating your efforts and accomplishments this season.
The May 21, 2016 Queen City Clash would mark the first of 5 regular season appearances at Lancaster National Speedway. The series would race before the RoC headliner event in a 20 lap feature where Wollaber ended up the Victor.
June 5th, would mark the first of 8 appearances at Holland International Speedway for the 2016 season. Those famous high banks are almost a Super Speedway for the TQ’s and they would provide some of this season’s most exciting racing. Wollaber would take the win backing up his season opening victory at Lancaster 2 weeks prior.
June 11th, the third race of the season brought the NYPA Midgets to the beautiful Lake Erie Speedway for another supporting endeavor of the RoC Modifieds. Many drivers found the “green” track and progressive banking to be a tricky combination. In the end it was Wollaber taking home the victory for his third consecutive race in a row.
June 18, AJ Hessler would prevent Wollabor from continuing his win streak with the series 2nd visit to Lancaster Speedway. AJ would capture his first win of the season by holding off an onslaught of the usual suspects with the addition of one familiar face, TQ Veteran Andy Jankowiak.
June 25th, Wollaber takes his fourth win of the season & 2nd at the Holland International Speedway. A caution with six laps to go resulted in a duel between Wollaber and Kyle Hutchinson.
June 30th, Lancaster National Speedway on a Thursday night. The NYPA Midget Association raced again as a support event for RoC Modified series in the 2nd Annual Ol’ Boy Cup 60. The final lap saw Tommy Catalano make contact with Kyle Hutchinson for the win.
July 9th- Wollaber once again out-dueled with Kyle Hutchinson. The race ran with few incidents aside from a spectacular flip from Andy Nye in his heat race.
July 16th- Holland Speedway, Shawn Nye wins his first feature of the season after a DNF in the previous race. Nye had to hold off a hard-charging Wollaber to seal the deal.
July 23rd, at Lancaster recovering from a flip at Holland and engine problems during previous races, Andy Nye scored his first win of the season. Nye faced tough competition from Bobby Holmes and Wollaber, but was able to take the lead from Holmes and find victory lane.
July 30th- The 2nd Annual Jerry Gradl Memorial Mini Indy 50 went to Tommy Catalano after race leader Wollaber cuts a tire prior to the halfway break. As a result, Wollaber had to head to the pits to replace the tire, forfeiting his lead. Wollaber could not catch Catalano in time and would come home 2nd, while Catalano went on to win his second race of the year.
August 6th- Wollaber drove from the back for a spectacular win. Rookie Vinnie Christiano III led laps for the first time in his career while Wollaber closed on his 6th win of the season in a caution-free race at Holland Speedway.
August 20th- Kyle Hutchinson was the driver to beat when the NYPA Midgets returned to Lancaster National Speedway. Taking his first win of the season, Hutchinson carefully navigated lapped traffic and held off Wollaber during the 20 lap feature.
August 28th- Holland Speedway, Wollaber wins lucky number seven! Jim Fleischman returned to the helm of the #41 car, and local stock car standout Troy Williams pilots the #44 to top ten finish.
September 3rd- Kyle Hutchinson wins at Holland by managing to defend against Dave Wollaber after a late race caution. Wollaber secures the Holland Speedway TQ Midget Championship.
The 2016 NYPA Season Championship was slated for September 10, due to an uncooperative mother nature the final race of the season would be cancelled and not rescheduled. The season would officially come to a close with the 28th Annual US Open. The NYPA Midgets regulars made up the bulk of the TQ Midget field with the addition of several notable invaders like former series winner Andy Jankowiak, Jim “Timex” Morgan, and Brandon Zavarella. These drivers came to do battle, and battle they did. In the end it was Andy Nye scoring his first ever US Open feature win.
Join us for the Holland Speedway 2016 banquet and awards dinner on November 11, from 6 – 10pm at the Millennium Hotel. We will be recognizing the Holland Speedway Champion as well as our overall champion. The top 5 drivers will receive a ticket while additional tickets will be $40 each. Please reserve your ticket through Holland Speedway prior to November 1, 2016. Don’t miss the fun and excitement. 6pm cocktails, 7pm awards and 8pm dinner. Let’s clean up and have a good time, please no jeans or hats. We have some very special awards we will be announcing later this week stay tuned.
About The NYPA Midget Association: The NYPA Midget Association sanctions three-quarter midget racing in western New York and Pennsylvania. TQ midgets are known for high stakes, wheel to wheel, short track racing action and have thrilled crowds across the country for over fifty years. The NYPA Midget Association carries on that tradition of excitement at tracks like Holland Speedway, Lake Erie Speedway and Lancaster National Speedway. Check the NYPA Midget Association website www.NYPAMidgets.com for the schedule, points, and news. Find us on Facebook for up to date event information, photos, and more. Be sure to like and share with your friends.