Following a successful season that finished with a historic accomplishment, the Hoosier OSCAAR Modified drivers celebrated their accomplishments on Saturday night at the year-end banquet.
With plenty of drivers in attendance, awards were handed out to some drivers, as well as a plaque for each of the drivers in the top-10.
Gary McLean proved once again this past season why he is one of the best modified drivers in the province of Ontario, picking up his fourth championship with seven victories and 10 top-10s.
“First off, I got to thank the crew,” McLean said. “They put up with me and I’m not the easiest guy to put up with each race weekend. They do an awesome job and it obviously works well. Hard working crew chief Greg (Gibson) can’t be here – he’s in terrible sunny Florida working. But I want to thank OSCAAR, all the sponsors that help OSCAAR out. Without them, we couldn’t do what we do. Most importantly, I want to thank my sponsors – they help get us to the track each week. I want to congratulate Jody (Bound) and Kevin (Cornelius); awesome job on what you guys did this year. Thanks everybody.”
Beyond taking home the championship, McLean also picked up the inaugural Inside Track Hard Charger Award, which is given to the driver who advanced the most positions during the course of each feature race throughout the season.
“I’d like to say I’m sorry to everybody that I passed, but I’m not,” he commented upon accepting.
Dan Price picked up the Hard Luck Award after experiencing a heavy crash at Delaware Speedway, as well as suffering a blown motor through the season. Despite that, he still finished eighth in points with four top-10s, highlighted by a fourth at Sunset Speedway on August 22.
“Thank you, first, to Erin and the rest of my family for supporting this and helping out,” Price said. “I’d like to thank the sponsors – couldn’t have done without the sponsors after the season that I had in knocking the clip off, losing an engine….to get the hard luck trophy. I’d also like to thank OSCAAR for everything they do and making it possible.”
Terry Baker would pick up the best appearing award after sporting a white, black and red paint scheme throughout the year that caught the attention of everybody. Running a partial schedule, Baker posted two top-fives and four top-10s during the season.
John Harper picked up the Most Improved Driver Award after having a great season, highlighted by his first career victory at Flamboro Speedway en route to finishing 10th in points.
Cory Horner picked up the Rookie of the Year Award after finishing second in points with six top-fives and nine top-10s.
“I’d just like to say thanks to my friends and family for the support this season,” Horner said. “I couldn’t have done it without them, the sponsors as well. Thanks to OSCAAR for an awesome 2015.”
Gary Elliott was named the Most Sportsman Driver by his peers as the veteran respected his competitors throughout the year, while doing things to promote the series in the form of a new award and car show appearances. Elliott had a solid season en route to finishing fourth in points.
“Congrats to all the champions – Kevin (Cornelius), Jody (Bound) and Gary (McLean),” Elliott said. “I want to say thank my sponsor Quaker State and Lincoln Welders – I have quite a few sponsors, but I want to thank those two mainly right now. Lloyd’s first year back in racing for almost 15 years and he supported me unbelievably; thank you so much sir. I want to thank my sponsors and my crew, and OSCAAR for being a great series to race in. Looking forward to 2016.”
Lastly, Brian McLean picked up the inaugural Ironman Award, which is given to the driver who made all of the races throughout the season, despite facing some difficult diversity along the way.
“The Ironman Award was for two things – one for making every race, and the guy who did something spectacular during the year that was a cut above everybody else,” Elliott, the award’s creator, said. “It is for example, if you wrecked your car in the warm-ups and didn’t put it in the trailer and go home, or if you blew your motor in the warm-ups and didn’t give up on the night. That was to me something to me that showed someone who never gave up to the last second.”
Despite having some bad luck over the course of the season, McLean and the Plow Boys Racing crew worked hard to make sure that he was at each of the events through the year. It paid off en route to a fifth place finish in points with three top-fives on the year.
“I’d like to thank my crew and everyone that helped, my girlfriend Tracy for all that crap that goes on during the race season, and Trevor, Kevin and my father,” he said. “I’d like to say congrats to Gary and his team on their year.”
With a successful season behind them, all of the Modified drivers are looking towards the new season ahead, making plans already and putting together their cars. Despite the dynamics for OSCAAR changing in the year ahead, the commitment by OSCAAR’s officials and drivers remains the same.
“We’ve been around for 25 years, and we’ll be around for another 25 years,” series president Dave Gainforth said at the banquet. “There will be racing in 2016, in 2017 and the years after that.”
To see more photos from the banquet, check them out at https://www.facebook.com/ashleymccubbin.media/.