Brett Tonkin Saluted With First Modified Championship At Five Mile Point’s Awards Dinner

Story By: FIVE MILE POINT SPEEDWAY – KIRKWOOD, NY – The Claude Garrison Memorial, Inc. American Legion post 1645 in Binghamton, NY was the site of the 2021 Annual Five Mile Point Speedway Awards Dinner.

Brett Tonkin from Carbondale, PA was honored as the 2021 Modified Track Champion at the historic speedway this past weekend.

A large gathering attended the annual dinner as all of the Track Champions from the past season were honored with our special awards presented throughout the evening as well. The Fall Series Champions and top drivers were also presented awards.

Tonkin, with his first Sunoco Modified Track Championship at Five Mile Point Speedway, became the thirty-fourth different headline track champion in speedway history. Art Polenz was the first ever Modified headline Track Champion in 1951. Chuck Akulis, from Windsor, NY holds the track record with fourteen Modified Track Championships including nine in a row between 1977-1985. Tonkin is now a member of an elite and historical group of drivers to earn a Championship as the speedway enters the 72nd consecutive year of racing.

The 2021 Modified Track Championship came down to the last race and very last lap on September 11th. Tonkin led the point standings for the majority of the season but a rough outing at the next to last point race saw Brian Malcolm take over the point lead entering the finale. Malcolm was looking for his third consecutive Modified Track Championship at the speedway. Entering the finale Nick Rochinski was also within striking distance of winning the title. Tonkin left no doubt by winning the finale, his first victory of the season and securing the 2021 Track Championship. His margin was only three markers over Nick Rochinksi. Malcolm had a rough night and dropped to third in the final standings. Barry White and Brad Szulewski completed the top five in the final standings. For Tonkin, his season of consistency was the difference in securing his first Track Championship at the historic quarter mile oval.

Gary Smith, from Harpursville, NY was honored for his second consecutive Insinger Performance Crate Sportsman Track Championship. Smith had a season long battle with runner-up Ray Leonard for the title. Like Tonkin, Smith recorded the victory in the season finale to secure his championship. On the final night Smith won both his heat race and the feature as he was on rails. Ray Leonard, Dominic Roselli, Seth Zacharias and Brad Weaver were the top five in the final standings.

Doug Polhamus from Windsor, NY was introduced as the 2021 Street Stock Track Champion. For Polhamus, it was his fourth Track Championship at the speedway in five years. He and Gene Sharpsteen had a great season long battle for the championship. Sharpsteen wound up second in the standings with Bobby Wagner, Don Reeves and David Stalker completing the top five.

Justin Slezak, from Conklin, NY captured his second straight S.W.A.T Exterminating Factory Stock Track Championship at the speedway. Entering the season finale Slezak had already wrapped up the title as he had a dominating second half of the season. Tom Groover, Charlie Towner, Daniel Stevens and Bob Mills were the final top five in the standings.

David Brown, from Pittston, PA was introduced as the 2021 600 Modified Track Champion. James Randall, Rich Powell, Jason Sullivan and Chelsie Beebe were the final top five in the divisional standings for the class.

The Four Cylinder Expert Division saw Co-Champions in 2021 as Andy Bolles and Doug Newbigging tied in the final point standings. This was an amazing conclusion to a season-long battle in the division. Dave Simms, Josh Wilder and Brian Salmini were the top five in the final standings.

The Annual Awards Dinner saw a first-time husband and wife Track Championship duo introduced. Adam Gilbert was introduced as the Crate Sportsman Futures Track Champion and his wife Bethany was introduced as the Four Cylinder Novice Track Champion.

Dale Folejewski, Matt Backus, Joe Buchanan and Amanda Scholtisek were the final top five in the Crate Sportsman Futures Division. Austin Slater, Scott Beach, Lucas Plaisted and Dakota Fuller were the final top five in the Four Cylinder Novice division.

The Fall Series Awards were also presented on Saturday. Fall Series Champions were Brian Malcolm (Crate Sportsman), Chuck Culbertson (Futures Sportsman), Jerry Lobdell Jr. (Street Stocks), Casey McPherson (Factory Stocks), Josh Towner (600 Modifieds), Doug Newbigging (Four Cylinder Expert), Dakota Fuller (Four Cylinder Novice), Josh Landers (All-Star Slingshots), Avery Decker (Junior Slingshots).

Several special awards were also presented throughout the evening. Lyndell and John Miller were recognized for their four decades of support in both regional racing and at Five Mile Point Speedway.

The Annual “Head of the Class Award” was presented to Insinger Peformance Crate Sportsman car owner Chris Zacharias. Zacharias was recognized for a number of race team posted incentive awards that his business Signworks Fleet Graphics provided over the season.

A number of additional pecial awards were presented during the evening. The Best Appearing Car Award Winners were: Brett Tonkin (Modifieds), Ray Leonard (Crate Sportsman), Doug Polhamus (Street Stock), Justin Slezak (Factory Stocks), Andy Bolles (Four Cylinder Expert), Bethany Bertram (Novice), James Randall (600 Modified), Billy Fiske (Futures Sportsman).

The Most Improved Drivers were: Barry White (Modifieds), Ray Leonard (Crate Sportsman), David Stalker (Street Stock), Daniel Stevens (Factory Stock), Dave Simms (Four Cylinder Expert), Bethany Gilbert (Novice), James Randall (600 Modified), Joe Buchanan (Futures Sportsman).

The 2021 Rookie of the Year award winners were: Brian Mady (Modifieds), Bryce Bailey (Crate Sportsman), Bobby Wagner (Street Stocks), Daniel Stevens (Factory Stocks), Doug Newbigging (Four Cylinder Expert), Scott Beach (Four Cylinder Novice), Dustin Jones (600 Modified), Adam Gilbert (Futures Sportsman).

2021 Hard Luck Award Recipients were Joey Colsten (Modifieds), Blaine Klinger (Crate Sportsman), Gene Sharpsteen (Street Stock), Billy Shoemaker (Factory Stock), Brian Salmini (Four Cylinder Expert), Lucas Plaisted (Four Cylinder Novice), Jason Sullivan (600 Modified), Matt Backus (Futures Sportsman).

Five Mile Point Speedway is one of the most historic racing facilities in the United States. Built in 1951 by Irving and Anna Heath the speedway is priming for a big 72nd consecutive season of auto racing.

 
 
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