ARCA 'family' big winner in championship night celebration

ARCA 'family' big winner in championship night celebration

(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – December 13, 2014) – The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards celebrated families and generations Saturday, honoring its 2014 teams and owners and giving out a few surprise awards along the way.

Cunning ham Motorsports owners Briggs Cunningham and Kerry Scherer won the prestigious Marcum Award, second-place driver Grant Enfinger took home the H.G. Adcox Sportsmanship Award and Nick Ramey was the Spirit Award recipient.

“People are so important to us,” ARCA President Ron Drager said. “People and family is what make ARCA what it is.”

Several drivers and owners mentioned family support when accepting honors during the three-hour ceremony held in the Sagamore Ballroom at the Indiana Convention Center. It’s the third straight year ARCA has held its national championships awards banquet in Indianapolis. Television personality Rick Benjamin was the master of ceremonies.

Mason Mitchell took home a whole heap of hardware for his season, not only winning the 2014 series championship but also numerous contingency and sponsor awards as well.

“Congratulations, Mason Mitchell, on being Mr. Consistency,” said Jeff Abbot, Promotions Manager and Spokesman for Menards, in giving the championship trophy to Mitchell. The iconic image of Mitchell exiting his car at Chicagoland Speedway after his first career win and opening his fire suit to expose a Superman shirt was shown several times on the video screen.

Drager presented the Marcum Award, in honor of ARCA founders John and Mildred Marcum.  Scherer said he was honored to accept the award with his business partner, Cunningham.

“I love ARCA and the people in this room,” he said. “I’m genuinely honored.”

Scherer later took the stage to help celebrate sixth-place driver Austin Wayne Self, winner of the 2014 SCOTT Rookie of the Year title.

Enfinger, the second straight winner from Alabaman, graciously accepted the sportsmanship award, saying he was “blessed to be part of the ARCA family.”

Ramey, who has retired from his weekly at-track ARCA duties to become the lead instructor at Roush Yates School of Technology, was credited for his help to many drivers and teams in the series in a glowing introduction by Jeff Brehmer, ARCA’s Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

“This is my family,” Ramey said. “I’m really going to miss you all.”

Several drivers and owners from the top 20 this past season were honored and gave brief comments on the season, thanking sponsors and supporters. The family theme, however, was most prevalent, playing out all night in speech after speech. From team owner Bill Kimmel to drivers Frank Kimmel, Tom Hessert, Tommy Praytor and Karl Weber, among others, Saturday served as a perfect tribute to racing families everywhere.

Billy Venturini applauded the fact that he gets to work with his family at the race track for Venturini Motorsports.

“It’s quite a thrill to get to work with my family every day,” he said. “I’m very grateful to be able to do it with mom and dad and this whole team.”

Justin Boston, the 2013 SCOTT Rookie of the Year, who was fifth-place finish this year, also credited the entire ARCA community.

“I will always consider ARCA my home,” Boston said.

Finally, Mitchell credited his mother and father. Following a video clip showing Mitchell growing up in Iowa that included a special tribute from his racing hero, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon, Mitchell called his team onto the stage and thanked each of them.

“My dad (Russ) has helped me, opening doors for me,” Mitchell said. “And, my mom is definitely my biggest fan.”

-          By Doug Donnelly, 

Tim D.

ARCA Racing...