Following an impressive 2016 season with great competition throughout, the OSCAAR Modified drivers and crews gathered together on Saturday, January 21 to honor everybody for their accomplishments.
With six victories and no finishes outside of the top-eight, Gary McLean was consistent throughout the entire season en route to being crowned the series champion.
“I’d like to thank all the folks at OSCAAR and everybody that works hard to give us some place to race and have a lot of fun racing against a good group of guys,” he said. “We had a ton of fun. I didn’t intend on going after the championship; kind of said we weren’t at the beginning of the year due to the nights we were going to take off. With the Chase format, it worked out that we were able to race for the championship and get the job done. I’d like to thank all the competitors I got to race against as they did a good job. There’s some really good guys coming up, and too bad we’re not going to be racing full-time next year, but we’re not going to. It’ll be different for us so we’ll try and have fun with that.
“Congratulations to all the OSCAAR divisions. They did a good job this year in the other divisions, so other than that, thank my crew. They’re the guys that get it done. Thank you.”
On top of the top-10 in points receiving their award plaques, six other awards were given out throughout the evening.
The Sportsman of the Year Award was given to Luke Gignac. From the start of the season, Gignac showed respect to his fellow competitors off and on the track en route to scoring nine top-10s and finishing second in points.
The Hard Luck Award was given to Brian McLean as a result of a couple hard wrecks throughout the year. McLean was still able to put in a couple strong runs throughout the year, including a runner-up at Flamboro Speedway in June.
The Most Improved Driver Award was given to Chris Milwain. Milwain scored four top-fives and six top-10s this year, compared to a single top-five the year before. The hard work paid off for him as he finished eighth in the standings.
The Best Appearing Award went to A.J. Emms, who captured the fan’s attention with a blue and orange scheme.
The Rookie of the Year Award went to Gignac, who posted five heat victories and a season-best feature finish of second at Flamboro in July.
The last award given out was a special award put together by Gary Elliott. called the Ironman Award. The award is meant to go to overcame adversity throughout the year to run all of the events on the schedule. For 2016, the award went to Emms. Emms was able to run all the events this year, despite a crash mid-season at Delaware and motor issues at Flamboro in August. The perseverance was awarded as Emms finished third in points with seven top-fives, including his first career victory at Peterborough Speedway.
With a solid season, OSCAAR is now putting full focus towards the upcoming 2017 campaign, which should be filled with great racing, lots of competition, and fun across the entire province of Ontario based on early indications. Be sure to stay tuned to the OSCAAR website for details throughout the entire winter.
By Ashley McCubbin