THE HISTORY OF THE AUTO RACING PROMOTER OF THE YEAR: Hugh Deery, the well-known promoter of Rockford (IL) Speedway, was the first Auto Racing Promoter of the Year, receiving the award in 1976. Jody Deery, with whom he founded Rockford Speedway, and co-founded these Workshops, received the award in 1994. Their son Chuck, for twenty-four years the promoter of LaCrosse (WI) Fairgrounds Speedway, was the 25th recipient of the award in 2000.
Along the way, the greatest promoters of our time received the award … J.C. Agajanian, for his Ascot Speedway in Gardena, CA; and D. Anthony Venditti, builder and promoter of Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts. And to… Don Martin, the builder and promoter of Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, PA. And also to… Jack Gunn, for his operation at Williams Grove (PA) Speedway, Howard Tiedt, Santa Fe (IL) Speedway, now gone, but formerly in suburban Chicago; and Paul Kuhl, the long-time promoter of Flemington (NJ) Speedway, the famed square 1/2-mile track, first dirt and later paved.
The Promoters of the Year are split evenly between dirt and paved tracks with 19 paved and 18 dirt. There has been an Auto Racing Promoter of the Year from every geographic region. Sixteen continue to operate race tracks.
Five tracks, operated by Promoters of the Year are gone, or inoperative. They are: Ascot (CA) Speedway, Santa Fe (IL), Saugus (CA) Speedway, Louisville (KY) Motor Speedway, and Flemington. Twenty-three Promoters of the Year, owned or own their facilities, while 12 leased them. Twenty-six of the 35 made or make their primary living promoting auto races.
Counting the tracks of the Promoters of the Year by length, we find eleven Auto Racing Promoters of the Year operate or operated 1/2-mile tracks. Eight, 1/4-mile tracks, nine, 3/8-mile tracks, three, 5/8-mile tracks, four, 1/3-mile and two 4/10-mile tracks.
The Nuckles family, 2010 Promoters of the Year, promoters of Columbus (OH) Motor Speedway,waited longest to receive their award–though eight nominations. They surpassed Charlie Cathell, Delaware International Speedway/U.S. 13 Dragway, who was 1999 POY after seven nominations. Seven promoters joined the elite group after one regional award: D. Anthony Venditti, George Eisenhart, Cary Agajanian, Ray Wilkings, Jody Deery, Chuck Deery, and Nadine & Bob Strauss in 2003.
Over 37 years, there has been 292 Regional Promoters of the Year Awards shared between 148 nominees.
THIRTY-SEVEN YEARS OF PROMOTIONAL EXCELLENCE: Promoters selected Ron Drager and Scott Schultz, Flat Rock (MI) and Toledo (OH) Speedways, as 37th Auto Racing Promoter of the Year last year. Previous winners are: Hugh Deery, 1976/1984; J.C. Agajanian, 1977; D. Anthony Venditti, 1978; Jack Gunn, 1979; George Eisenhart, 1980; Dick O’Brien, 1981; Howard Tiedt, 1982; Don Martin, 1983; Glenn Donnelly, 1985; Cary Agajanian, 1986; Bud Lunsford, 1987; Bob Daniels, 1988; Howard Commander, 1989; Ray Wilkings, 1990; Paul Kuhl, 1991; Robert Lawton; 1992; Earl Baltes, 1993; Jody Deery, 1994; Andy Vertrees, 1995; Charles Powell, 1996; C-Ray Hall, 1997; Larry Kemp, 1998; Charles Cathell, 1999; Charles Deery, 2000; Ralph Capitani, 2001; Lanny Edwards, 2002; Bob & Nadine Strauss, 2003; Tom Curley, 2004, Steve York, 2005; John Padjen, 2006; Lynn Phillips, 2007; Joe & Walt Doellefeld, 2008; the Nuckles family, Columbus (OH) Motor Speedway, 2009; and the Queensland Family, Deer Creek (MN) Speedway, 2010; Robert Sargent, Macon (IL), Paducah (KY) Speedways, 2011.
2012 REGIONAL AUTO RACING PROMOTERS OF THE YEAR: Bruce Rogers, Grandview (PA) Speedway; Harold Crook, Lonesome Pine (VA) Raceway; Kurt Beeksma and the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association, ABC (WI) Raceway; Dan Robinson, Lucas Oil (MO) Speedway; and Steve Beitler, Skagit (WA) Speedway.
PAST REGIONAL AUTO RACING PROMOTERS OF THE YEAR: Bob Barkhimer, Ned Jarrett, Harvey Tattersall, John Marcum, Ed Bloom, Bob Slack, Dick Tobias, Roger Holdeman, Ken Clapp, Marshall Wilkings, Keith Hall, Stan Durrett, Darwin Hentz, Jim Corcoran, Leroy Nelson, Jim Raper, Doug Fort, Dan Jones, John Stiles, George Butland, Gary Cressey, Sharon & Craig Kelley, Marty Jones, Dave Manes, Bill Leesch, Roger Van Daalwyk, Frank Plessinger, Bill Lipkey, Mason Day, the Meals Family, the Beacham Family, Benny Yount, Rick Farren, Mick Beadle, the Rubin Brothers, John Bandimere, Lee Baumgarten, the Cook Brothers, Marion Collins, Tom Helfrich, Russell Hackett, Bob Fredrickson, Mike Lamm, the Chrysler Family, Mark Chewning, Alan Kreitzer, Dale & Johnnie Pinelis, the Stone Family & Ted Austad, Bob Allen, Craig Cormack, Mooney Starr, Joe Clay, John Hellendrung, Ray Marler & Ken Schrader, Les McBurney, Harvey Fink, Don Hoenig, Andy Cusack, Terry Eames, C.J. Richards, Alex Freisen, Ben Dodge, Mark Arute, Red MacDonald, Bill Ryan, Andrew Harpell, Sylvia & Shirley Porter, Gary & Donna Howe,James Griffin, Adam Nelson, Roger Hadan, Steve Beitler, Wayne Anderson/Linus & Don Mack/Darren Evavold, Bruce Rogers, Todd Fisher, Fritz Roehrig, Al Varnadore/Todd Hutto, Jim Doran, Paul Zimmerman, the Bassuener Family, Orville Chenoweth, Toby Kruse, Rodney Wing.
|Hugh Deery 1976, 1984, Rockford (IL) Speedway||JC Agajanian, 1977, Ascot (CA) Speedway|
|D Anthony Venditti, 1978, Seekonk (MA) Speedway||Jack Gunn, 1979, Williams Grove (PA) Speedway|
|George Eisenhart, 1980, Ohio||Richard O’Brien, 1981, Oswego (NY) Speedway|
|Howard Tiedt, 1982, Sante Fe (IL) Speedway||Don Martin, 1983, Lernerville (PA) Speedway|
|Glenn Donnelly, 1985, Cuyuga County (NY) Speedway||Cary Agajanian, 1986, Ascot (CA) Speedway|
|Bud Lunsford, 1987, Lanier (GA) Speedway||Bob Daniels, 1988, Indianapolis (IN) Racing Park|
|Ray Wilkings, 1989, Saugus (CA) Speedway||Howard Commander, 1990, Lebanon Valley (NY) Speedway|
|Paul Kuhl, 1991, Flemington (NJ) Speedway||Robert Lawton, 1992, Boone (IA) Speedway|
|Earl Baltes, 1993, Eldora (OH) Speedway||Jody Deery, 1994, Rockford (IL) Speedway|
|Andy Vertrees, 1995, Louisville (KY) Speedway||Charles Powell, 1996, Summerville (SC) Speedway|
|C-Ray Hall, 1997, Eighty-One (KS) Speedway||Larry Kemp, 1998, Benton County (IA) Speedway|
|Charles Cathell, 1999, Delaware International Speedway||Charles Deery, 2000, LaCrosse (WI) Fairgrounds Speedway|
|Ralph Capitani, 2001, Knoxville (IA) Raceway||Lanny Edwards, 2002, Devil’s Bowl (TX) Speedway|
|Nadine Strauss, 2003, Lakeport (CA) Speedway||Tom Curley, 2004, Thunder Road International (VT) Speedbowl|
|Steve York, 2005, Magic Valley (ID) Speedway||John Padjen, 2006, Silver Dollar (CA) Speedway|
|Lynn Phillips, 2007, Talladega (AL) Short Track||Alfred Gurley, 2007, Talladega (AL) Short Track|
|Walt Doellefeld, 2008, Stateline (ID) Speedway||Joe Doellefeld, 2008, Stateline (ID) Speedway|
|Jeff Nuckles, 2009, Columbus (OH) Motor Speedway||Queensland Family, 2010, Deer Creek (MN) Speedway|
|Bob Sargent, 2011, Macon (IL) Speedway||Ron Drager, 2012, Flat Rock (MI) Speedway|
|Scott Schultz, 2012, Flat Rock (MI) Speedway|