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Big announcements, driver awards and a tribute highlight 34 Raceway awards banquet
Story and Photos By Dana Royer/34 Raceway

BURLINGTON, IA (Jan. 10, 2009) ­ 34 Raceway, Burlington, Iowa, hosted its 2008 season awards banquet on Saturday, January 10 at the Comfort Suites in Burlington. The evening, with over 350 in attendance, included awards to the top ten drivers in each of the six divisions, special recognition to sponsors and employees, a special emotional tribute to Brian Hetrick and the announcement of not one, but two World of Outlaw events coming to the track in 2009.

Following the meal Amy Laue took the podium thanking their sponsors for their tremendous support the past year including J & J Steel/Ideal Ready Mix for the Late Models, Byron & Alice Sebastian and the Sebastian Sandblasting for 305 Sprints, Fleck Sales for the Miller Lite Modifieds, Mike & Gerri Massick for Mikeıs Auto Parts Stock Cars, Pepsi for the Pepsi Hobby Stocks and Ideal Ready Mix/Louisa Communications & I-Wireless for the
4 cylinders.

In 2008, 34 Raceway paid out almost a half a million dollars in purse monies, with only 3 events lost due to weather conditions. During the banquet over $12,000 dollars were awarded in point fund money to the drivers..

What specials are in line for the 2009 season? Race fans will be pleased and surprised to see whatıs in store with something for every fan. The season begins with the Westland Mall Car Show to be held March 21 and 22.
Last year a record 60 cars packed the mall. March 28 will be the annual Test-n-Tune day as they prepare for the first race of the season, the first annual ³Frost Buster. The Deery Brothers Summer Series will be back again with a race in the spring and fall. The spring race entails a tribute to the late 34 Raceway track champion, Brent Slocum, offering special purse money to drivers and a special challenge race. Brent, who competed in the late model division, was killed in a pit accident at 34 Raceway in the summer of 2005. The fall Deery show will host the 18th annual Late Model Nationals with over $60,000 being paid out in purse money.

The sprints will be in action on April 17 and 18 with the first ever 305 and 360 Sebastian Sandblasting Sprint Car Nationals. The growth of the sprint car class at 34 Raceway is impressive. After averaging 11 cars in their first season at the local track and 15 cars in 2008, an expected 26 plus cars are being built for 2009.

Then the big announcement came of the return of the World of Outlaw Sprints and for the first time ever at 34 Raceway, the World of Outlaw Late Models.
In 2008 the WoO Sprints made its first ever appearance at 34 Raceway with 5000 packing the raceway. WoO officials were impressed with their first race at 34 and opted to return with a July 8 show in 2009. The WoO Late Models will make their first appearance for a show race fans wonıt want to miss on May 23. Expect to see late model drivers, Darrell Lanniga, Brian Birkhofer, Jimmy Mars, Josh Richards, Billy Moyer and many more as they take on the 3/8 mile dirt. The ground will be shaking!!!

The remaining season, along with regular point races on Saturday nights will include four Sprint Invaders events including their season championship on September 26. Also new this year will be a Labor Day Weekend Modified Shootout and a Frost Buster in October to cap off the year.

There will plenty of racing action each and every week with the late models, modifieds, stock cars 305 sprints and hobby stocks. The 4 cylinders will return again this year for their five night series .

Although not able to attend the banquet due to illness, competition director Bud Wollum received special recognition for his many years of service to 34 Raceway. Bud has been involved with this racing community and many others for countless number of years and 34 Raceway has been blessed with his dedicated and loyal efforts. Bud will not return as competition director at
34 Raceway for the 2009 season but will be presented with a season pass and will received a special granite plaque in appreciation for his dedication.

Also recognized with special awards were Larry Beckman of Beckman Towing.
Larry has been involved with the racing community since itıs beginning in
1966 and was honored for providing his services to 34 Raceway. Also recognized was Marc Zaiser of Zaiser Fabrication. Marc has been a dedicated race fan, sponsor and friend to the entire racing community. He also was presented with a black granite plaque. Two ladies were honored by 34 Raceway. They donıt have any family member that races but have many, many friends who they have enjoyed watching year after year. They attend every single race event that is held at 34 Raceway. Most drivers and crew probably have seen them in the pits year after year and wondered who they are? Penny Loper and Linda Spurgeon were honored as ³Number 1 Race fans in the stands² for the 2008 racing season.

The awards and point money were then presented to the top 10 finishers in each division. The final awards were given to the 305 sprint class with a special tribute to their friend and fellow competitor, Brian Hetrick.
Brianıs family presented special awards to Brianıs crew followed by a poem read by Brianıs mother, Joyce Hetrick. The tribute was capped off by an emotional video shown by Tony Anderson of Dirt, Dust and Speed featuring Brian. Brian died last summer following a motorcycle accident. With Brian leading the points at the time of his death, fellow drivers agreed to allow Brian to keep his point lead and the title of 305 Sprint Track Champion.

A surprise for the evening for the Cook family was the appearance of Ryan Cook. Ryan Cook raced at 34 Raceway last summer till he was called to duty in Iraq in May. Jason Cook, 34 Racewayıs Stock Car track champion picked up his brother Ryan on Friday, Jan. 9 in St. Louis. With no one knowing of his return to the states for a two week leave except Jason, Ryan showed up at the banquet Saturday night to surprise his family, fans and friends. A special evening for the Cook family and his racing family, Ryan was given a standing ovation for his service to our country. Be safe Ryan when you return to Iraq!

Congratulations to the track champions for 2008: J & J Steel/ideal Ready Mix IMCA Late Models- Jason Frankel, Quincy, Il., Miller Lite IMCA Modifieds-Andy Krieger, Burlington; Mikeıs Auto Parts IMCA Stock Cars- Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant; Ideal Ready Mix, Louisa Communications , I-Wireless 4 cylinders-Tyler Shulte, Montrose and Brian Hetrick in the Sebastian Sandblasting 305 Sprint division.

Remembering Brian

I had a great time with all of you,
But please now everyone donıt be blue.

Racing in the class with a 305,
Was the sport that really made me thrive.

I had the points set in my sight,
I did my homework every night.

I got to be there most of the season,
Only God knows I left with a reason.

The absence of points the last night was vital, To allow me the championship title.

I loved racing at 34 Raceway,
Those certainly were the good old days.

The 35 wonıt be at mall center court,
Since my life was cut so very short.

This summer, as itıs not really that far, Remember me in my black and teal car.

When geese fly over the pits think of me, As that was my favorite scene you see.

Now that I am set free in Heaven,
I must leave the rest to brother Kevin.

Iım racing the with angels at 29
And to you all good luck in 2009.

Written by Joyce Hetrick in memory of son Brian.

2008 Track Champions
Front row, left to right: Sebastian Sandblasting 305 Sprint Champion: Brian Hetrick (represented by his father Jim Hetrick); Miller Lite IMCA Modified
Champion: Andy Krieger, Burlington; Mikeıs Auto Parts IMCA Stock Car
Champion: Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant; Ideal Ready Mix/Louisa Communications/I-Wireless 4 Cylinder Champion: Tyler Schulte, Montrose. Back
row: J & J Steel/Ideal Ready Mix IMCA Late Model Champion: Jason Frankel, Quincy, Il.; Pepsi Hobby Stocks Champion: Matt Gavin, Kirkwood, Il..

Ryan Cook surprises family
Ryan Cook, Mt. Pleasant, with the help of his brother Jason surprised his family at the 34 Raceway Awards Banquet held Saturday, January 10 in Burlington. Ryan left for Iraq in May last summer during the racing season.
On Friday, Jan. 9, Jason picked up his brother Ryan in St. Louis not telling the rest of the family that he was coming home for a 2 week leave and arrived at the banquet Saturday night surprising his family, and the racing family. Ryan is pictured above with his mother Deb Jacobsmeier.


34 Raceway Awards Banquet

Mikeıs Auto Parts IMCA Stock Cars 2008 Top Ten Front row, left to right, 1. Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, 3. Jeff Mueller, New London, (Zach Webb joining his dad Chris), 4. Chris Webb, Biggsville, Il., 5. Kirk Kinsley, Wapello. Back row, 6. Rod Staats, Columbus Jct., 7. Cale Samberg, Burlington, 8. Greg Johnson, Burlington,, 9. Bo Hunter, Burlington, 10. Brett Timmerman, Wapello.

34 Raceway Awards Banquet
Miller Lite IMCA Modifieds 2008 Top Ten

Front row, 1. Andy Krieger, Burlington, 2. Bill Roberts, Jr., Burlington, 3.

Dean McGee (represented by Mike Horton), 4. Dennis LaVeine, Burlington,, 6.

David Goble, Burlington. Back row, 7. Bill Parks, Colchester, Il., 8.

Brandon Rothzen, Media, Il., 9. Jeremy Harris, Burlington.

34 Raceway Awards Banquet

J & J Steel/Ideal Ready Mix IMCA Late Models 2008 Top Ten Front row, left to right. 1. Jason Frankel, Quincy, Il., 2. Tom Bowling, Jr., Danville, 3. Lonnie Bailey, Quincy, Il. Back row, 10. Matt Bailey, Quincy, Il.., 9. Sam Halstead, New London.

34 Raceway  Awards Banquet
Pepsi Hobby Stocks 2008 Stop Ten

Front row, left to right:  1. Matt Gavin, Kirkwood, Il., 2. Doug Fenton, Burlington, 3. Tanner Thomann, West Burlington, 4. Blaine Dopler, Wapello.

Back row, 6. Randy Wachter, Burlington, 8. Sky Griffith, Wapello,  9. Brodie Dopler, Wapello, 10. Chad Krogmeier, Burlington.

34 Raceway  Awards Banquet

Ideal Ready Mix/Louisa Communications/I-Wireless 4 cylinder 2008 Top Ten.

Front row, left to right: 1. Tyler Schulte, Montrose, 2. Geoffrey Theobald, Wapello, 4. Bill Whalen, Jr., Riverside, 7. Devon Timmerman, Wapello.

34 Raceway  Awards Banquet

Sebastian Sandblasting 305 Sprints 2008  Top Ten Front row, left to right: 1. Brian Hetrick, Stronghurst, Il. (represented by his father Jim Hetrick), 2. Donnie Steward, West Burlington, 3. Jayson Ditsworth, Gladstone, Il., 4. Justin Newberry, Burlington. Back row, 5.

Kevin Hetrick, Gladstone, Il., 6. Seth Wilke, Burlington.