Friday November 11th, 2016 saw the members of a racing community gather to honor the efforts put forth over an overwhelmingly successful season for the NYPA Midget Association. Many awards were given at this event, for some a celebration of triumph in the case of Dave Wollaber, this season’s Champion. Some for a hard year. We wanted to take this opportunity to recognize these individuals, congratulate and thank them for a great season and to show off just how awesome this little series is. Awesome because of the sum of it’s parts, the promoters, the officials, the announcers & PR staff, and the Drivers & Teams. They are the one’s that make this series, The NYPA Midget Association a great show no matter where they race.
Champion: Dave Wollaber
Dave 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. Some of Dave’s impressive stats from 2016, he won 50% of the regular season races including 7 Wins, 14 Top 5’s, 14 Top 10’s giving him an almost unheard of average finish of 1.7
2nd Place: Eric Musto
Eric Musto brought home 2nd place in The NYPA Championship final points standings with just one finish outside the top 10 all season. A string of 9 consecutive top 10 finishes helped Eric overcome a top 15 late in the season. With Vinnie Christiano Jr in 3rd place finishing just 30 points behind Eric there was everything to lose, and not a lot to gain given Wollabers lead through most of the season. Some of Eric’s stats include, 8 top 5’s and 13 top 10’s for an average finish of just 5.8 for 2016.
3rd Place: Vinnie Christiano Jr.
After posting a 14th place final point standings in the 2015 season Vinnie Christiano Jr did not only finish in 3rd in the 2016 NYPA Midget Association final point standings he is also our most improved driver. Week in and week out Vinnie saw more consistent runs with back to back top 5’s and several strings of top 10’s. Vinnie’s 2016 stats include 7 top 5’s, 12 top 10’s, and a strong average finish of 6.5.
Rookie of the year: Vinnie Christiano III When you drive for a team with as much historical achievement as the Christiano Englewood Racing team it goes without saying there are going to be some expectations from the fans, and from your team when it comes to performance. The young man receiving the Rookie of the year award not only bookend the top 10 with his teammate he did so with more maturity than drivers with twice the experience. It was quality decisions on the track week in and week out that solidified a top 10 in the final point standings along with Rookie of the Year honors for Vinnie Christiano III.
Hard Luck Award: Greg Richardson If it wasn’t for bad luck Greg may not of had any luck at all. Multiple incidents not of his doing would eventually unravel his season resulting in missing 8 weeks of racing.
Mechanical Achievement Award this year went to Jim Fleischman The racing roots run deep in the Fleischman family. Jims dad won 900 of the 1200 races he entered during a 7 year period, and while this award is about Jim’s accomplishments I think it’s appropriate to mention the little known fact that BGF racing is actually an acronym for Burt G Fleischman-Jim’s father. BGF racing has had a banner year with winning motors & chassis all over the north east. With Jim and BGF though it’s not just about the guys winning races, much of Jims time is spent helping teams who lack experience and knowledge. Jim is a great asset to the NYPA organization as so many of the cars out there are there because of the help he provides them.
Sportsmanship Award: Patrick Smith Our top 5 finisher in the NYPA Midget Association final point standings was the biggest benefactor from Patricks sportsmanship! AJ Hessler would not finish outside the top 10 all season long and would also score his only win of the season in the borrowed racer of Patrick Smith.
Ambassador Award JP Windschitl When you look at the true qualities of an Ambassador, you look for a genuine passion, and a person’s true ability to build real relationships while sharing or promoting the sport, the series or the track. JP Windschitl is one very passionate race fan, and his true ability to connect with others and develop real relationships while promoting the NYPA Midget Association is 2nd to none. He has been a great addition to our staff this season.
Dave Wollaber: 7 Wins.
Tommy Catalano: 2 Wins.
Andy Nye: 2 Wins.
Kyle Hutchinson: 2 Wins.
A.J. Hessler: 1 Win.
Shawn Nye: 1 Win.