More than $30,000 in cash, trophies and contingency awards was handed out during the ceremony to the top 48 drivers in the four Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail E.T. Series classes, Universal Technical Institute Jr. Dragsters and the ATI Stock-Super Stock Shootout.
Dozens of racers, whether or not they were in the money, were on hand with friends and family. It’s a great tradition that Maple Grove management is looking to continue far into the future. Indeed, Sunoco Race Fuels will continue to sponsor the Money Trail through the 2025 season.
The season champions for the Money Trail Series had their turn in the spotlight as Brock Moshier (Gold Rush Trailers Super and Ciccarone Racing Products Pro), Dave Raser (P.C. Richard & Son Street), Joe Stuebner (Ray’s Yamaha Top Bike), C.J. Ketterer (UTI Jr. Dragster) and Mark Petitdemange (ATI Stock-Super Stock) were recognized in their respective classes.
Besides, their respective cash payouts, champions Super, Pro, Street, Top Bike and Jr. Dragsters each received a tool box, valued at $499, from NAPA Auto Parts and Carlyle Tools.
Moshier, of Lititz, Pa., was the first Maple Grove bracket racer to win two classes since Paul Werner claimed both Pro and Street in 2007. In Super, he beat runner-up Scott Lorish by 24 points, amassing 510 points. It was his first championship in that class.
Moshier’s Pro championship was his third in the past four years. The final margin of victory was a little more substantial as he had 604 points to beat Gary Simpers Jr. by 34 points.
Raser, of Oxford, Pa., prevented Werner from winning a third consecutive Street championship and did it in convincing fashion. Raser’s final point total of 659 was more than 100 ahead of Werner, who finished with 555. It was Raser’s third championship; he last won it all in 1989.
Another racer returning to the top of his class was Stuebner, from Hamburg, Pa., in Top Bike. In taking his first title since 2011, Stuebner had 491 points to beat runner-up Danny Boyer by 25 points for his sixth championship.
Stuebner also earned a bonus, by taking the 2014 E.T. Shootout at the NHRA Keystone Nationals last October. He won a golf cart, sponsored by D&G Golf Carts, Potty Queen, P.C. Richard & Son and Awesome Vinyl. It was Joe’s second triumph in this annual event.
A pair of brothers were on top of Jr. Dragster standings. C.J. Ketterer of Sellersville, Pa. took the top spot with 521 points, just 14 ahead of Jeremy Ketterer. It was C.J.’s first championship.
Taking the Stock/Super Stock Series in 2014 was Petitdemange of Oxford, Pa. He had 158 points to beat runner-up Tony Curcio by 36 points.
The 2014 MGR Walk of Fame class of Tony Elmo, Paul Thimm Sr., Scott Weney, Bobby Yohn and Dale Thierer was inducted by Lex Dudas and Kent Lewis. A total of 78 people have been inducted since Maple Grove introduced the Walk of Fame in 2003.
Elmo started his career at Maple Grove in 1986, manning gates and stubbing spectator tickets. In his 27-year career he worked at almost every position in the Event Services Department. He became Event Services Director in 2004 and turned Maple Grove’s department into one of the best in drag racing.
Thimm has been a fixture at Maple Grove since the early 1970s, first as a racer, then as a mentor. He helped develop Paul Thimm Jr. and Kevin Robb into great racers and champions. The third generation is now competing in Jr. Dragsters with grandson Kyle Robb. He also spent time on MGR’s starting line crew.
Weney, who passed away late in 2014, was a regular racer at Maple Grove, but was best known for the customer service he provided as the head of S&W Race Cars. When Maple Grove began the Walk of Fame, Weney was quick to involve S&W in making the trophies. The company also made Money Trail championship trophies.
Yohn began as a racer before joining the MGR staff, working his way up to chief starter. Eventually, the NHRA brought him aboard to work with NHRA’s chief starter, Buster Couch, at selected national events. His career was cut short when he died tragically in 2000.
Thierer, who also passed away in 2014, was a highly respected Top Fuel dragster racer, who won the NHRA Division I championship in 1971. In 1973, driving for Maple Grove’s Lewis Brothers in the Sparkling Burgundy dragster, he almost won another title. After taking several years off, he returned to racing in 2005 in a nostalgia Top Fuel dragster and enjoyed more success.
It was announced that Gold Rush Trailers (Super), Ciccarone Racing Products (Pro) P.C. Richard and Son (Street), Reading Standard Motorsports (Top Bike), Universal Technical Institute (Juniors) and ATI Performance (Stock-Super Stock) would be coming back in 2015 as series sponsors.
Ambassador and Appreciation Awards were presented to Jack Brady, KSR Monster Truck Promotions; Brian Hard, Penske Truck Leasing; Ivan Mejias, Latin American Sports Compacts; Denny Parisan, Ronald McDonald House, Racing for Ronald; Jeff Riling, NAPA Auto Parts/Carlyle Tools; Randy Kaylor, Keystone Diesel Truck Nationals; and Tim Twiford, Crowne Plaza.
Nick Daniels was voted by the racers as having the Safeco Insurance Best Appearing Car of 2014.