By Paul Harkenrider (Vernon, NY) | Bradford, Pennsylvania driver Jared Zimbardi and Scotland, Ontario’s Dylan Westbrook took home top honors at the Patriot Sprint Tour and CRSA Awards banquet at the Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel in Vernon, NY winning their respective championships.
Zimbardi took home $5,555 in championship point fund money by winning his fifth PST American Series Championship, which is now the most all time in tour history. He also pocketed an additional $2,000 by finishing second in the Canadian Point Standings.
Steve Collins went back to Belfast, NY with $3,500 for finishing second on the season, followed by Kyle Drum ($2850), who finished third. Jordan Thomas, who was also named the PST Outstanding Newcomer finished fourth in the standings, followed by Derek Jonathan, and Josh Azzi, which were thanked for their full support of the American tour in 2017.
Among those in attendance who also accepted their point fund awards were Joe Trenca, who finished seventh in points, Dan Bennett finished ninth, and David Just, who finished tenth. Steven Hutchinson Jr “just missed the points” and finished 11th
18-Year-Old driver Dylan Westbrook accepted his first career Patriot Sprint Tour Canadian championship earning $3,650 for the six-race tour. Jared Zimbardi finished just behind Westbrook and took home $2,000. Cory Turner also had a solid year running the Patriots Canadian swing and he finished third in 2017 earning $1,000. The Brown brothers of Mitch and Jake took home fourth and Fifth place awards, respectively.
Jared Zimbardi also took home honors for clinching the Evingham Site Excavation Four Laps of Fame Dash for Cash Championship, as well as the Danny Willmes Enterprises Lap Leader award. His team earned Patriots of the Year for their continued support of both tours traveling many miles all over the Northeast. His crew chief, Tony DiFonzo also won the Mechanic of the year award for the second season in a row.
Steve Collins had a banner year with multiple wins and podium finishes and came just shy of taking home his first ever PST Points Championship, but mother nature in the final races of the season took away some opportunities to chip away at the points battle. This earned him the 2017 “Tough Luck Award.” Collins was also recognized for winning the Bonnell’s Collision Centers Western Weekend finishing on the podium at both events.
Kyle Drum took home the Patriot Tank Lines Hard Charger award, with 64 positions advanced from all A-Mains, he also took home the best appearing car award, which is voted on the PST Staff.
Jordan Thomas came on board with the Patriots full time in 2017 where he also picked up his first win in 360 Competition. He was named the 2017 PST Outstanding Newcomer, but it was not easy at the beginning of each night. Thomas had an average qualifying draw of 35.10 which also gave him the “Worst Draw” award.
Derek Jonathan came back on tour with the Patriots in 2017 and his positive efforts earned him the sportsmanship award despite the unfortunate results. Josh Azzi continued to make strides with his 360 Racing Program racing full time with PST in 2017, which earned him the most improved driver.
The Dedication to Motorsports award is voted on by the PST Staff to someone who is extremely dedicated to their work that makes the PST organization what it is. The Dedication to Motorsports award was given to Bob Clement for his continued efforts working in the Mike Emhof Motorsports INC. parts trailer at all PST-American events making sure all drivers received the parts they needed to get on the race track.
The awards presentation was closed out by comments from PST President, Mike Emhof, thanking all the marketing partners, drivers, staff, and families for their awesome support on an awesome 15th season, and to look out for off season announcements in the upcoming months.
Fans are encouraged to do the same by visiting www.patriotsprinttour.com and to follow @PatriotSprints on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for up to date news and info.
The Patriot Sprint Tour recognizes the following marketing partners for the 2017 season: A-Verdi Storage Containers, Hoosier Racing Tires, Prestige Pool & Spa, Einstein Construction Group, Bonnell’s Auto Group, Evingham Site Excavation, Fine Touch Collision, Mike Emhof Motorsports Inc., Super Gen Products with Champion Power Equipment, Patriot Tank Lines, Danny Willmes Enterprises, Casey’s Truck Salvage, Just Signs & Designs, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Sunoco Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, Shuttleworth Asphalt Sealing, ASI Racewear, Curtis Berleue Photography.
Final Patriot Sprint Tour American Series Standings: 1) 35-Jared Zimbardi ($5,555) 2) 67-Steve Collins ($3,500) 3) 47-Kyle Drum ($2,850) 4) 79-Jordan Thomas ($2,250) 5) 81-Derek Jonathan ($1,600) 6) 17z-Josh Azzi ($1,350) 7) 98-Joe Trenca ($1, 250) 8) 48jr-Darryl Ruggles ($1,150) 9) X-Dan Bennett ($1,100) 10) 54J-David Just ($1,000)
Evingham Site Excavation Dash Champion: 35-Jared Zimbardi
Patriot Tank Lines Hard Charger: 47- Kyle Drum
Willmes Enterprises Lap Leader: 35- Jared Zimbardi
Best Appearing Car: 47- Kyle Drum
Award for Sportsmanship: 81- Derek Jonathan
Tough Luck Award: 67- Steve Collins
Worst Drawer of the Season: 79- Jordan Thomas (35.10)
Mechanic of the Year: Tony DiFonzo
Outstanding Newcomer: 79- Jordan Thomas
Dedication to Motorsports: Bob Clement
Just Missed the Points : 2- Steven Hutchinson Jr
Patriots of the Year: Team Zimbardi
Most Improved: 17- Josh Azzi