Don and Billie Gibson, owners of West Plains Motor Speedway, hosted their 15th Annual Awards and Recognition Banquet at the West Plains Civic Center on Dec. 8.
The top drivers in each of the track's five divisions were honored with special trophies provided by O'Reilly Auto Parts, along with over $12,000 in cash prizes and gifts. The 2007 points fund provided $7,435 in cash prizes.
Over 230 guests in attendance were welcomed by track announcer Tom Harris.
Bill Ball delivered the invocation and a buffet style dinner prepared by Warm Fork Grill, was served, while a treasure trove of door prizes were awarded throughout the evening.
Those receiving recognition in the order of their points finishes for IMCA Modified were: track champion Chris Piper of West Plains, followed by Brandon Ball of West Plains, Brian Judd of Caulfield, Jason Brigman, Matt Barry and Kevin Collins, all of West Plains, Joey Smith of Pomona, Carmon Vincent of Moody, Anthony Carnal of Cabool, and Calvin Tribble of West Plains.
The Super Stock division saw a repeat track champion, Stan Ellison of West Plains, take the honors for another near perfect season in 2007.
Second place went to Jeff North of Rogersville, Mo., followed by Bobby Bryant and Andy Collins, both of West Plains, Clint Seamans of Imboden, Dee Kelly of Birch Tree, Bill Dixon of Thayer, Derald Kelly of Birch Tree, Kevin Collins of West Plains and Doyle Frost of Alton.
Dexter Frost of West Plains earned the Hobby Stock Championship with an outstanding season.
Shane Hitt took second, followed by Brock Frost, both of Birch Tree, Korey Whitelock of Alton, Dean Smith of Mammoth Spring, Rick Cooper of Thornfield, Mo., Chuck Russell of West Plains, Scott Todd of Hardy, Jessie Shearin of Blue Springs, Mo., and Bobby Bryant.
The Cruiser Championship title went to John Stiner of West Plains.
Second place went to Clifford Collins II, followed by Rhonda Gunter, both of West Plains, Sissy Ratliff-Seamans of Imboden, Mark Doiron and Clifford Collins, both of West Plains, Tyler Newcom of Hardy, Bill Harden of West Plains, Chris Skinner of Moody, and Murrill Pace of Gainesville.
The Youth Hobby Championship went to Ben Piper of West Plains. This made for a father-son double championship as Chris Piper is Ben's father.
Second place went to William Piper of Birch Tree, followed by Austin White of Willow Springs, Cody Toten of Pomona, Kyle Duke and Clayton Gunter, both of West Plains, Rowdy Trivitt of Williford, Ricky Cross of St. James, Mo., Kevin May of Pomona and David Harden of West Plains.
Dennis Burton, track race director, presented the Outstanding Driver of the Year award to veteran driver Denny Dennison of West Plains. This award is prepared and presented courtesy of Wolff's Athletics of Hardy.
Larry Ratliff of Hardy was recognized with a plaque for his outstanding dedication and support of the great sport of dirt track racing.
As the evening's events drew to a close, the drawing was held for the handmade racer's autograph quilt.
This year's winner was Oleta Burton of Hardy.
Discussion and announcements included the release of the 2008 track opening date of March 1 for the first track practice session of the season.
The 9th annual Stanfill Memorial Modified Special is set for March 13, 14 and 15, while the annual car show will be March 22 and the first points race of the season is set for March 29.
The 16th Annual "Show-Me 100" is scheduled for May 22, 23 and 24 and the Super Stock Firecracker Weekend will be July 3, 4 and 5.
The 16th Annual Modifed Show-Me Championship will be July 31, Aug. 1 and 2.
Additional information of the 2008 schedule will be announced at a later date.
Track officials extended thanks to O'Reilly Auto Parts for their sponsorship at WPMS during the 2007 season and their committment to continue in 2008. Special contributions were acknowledged from Hoosier Tire, Lucas Oil Products, Fabick Cat, Great Rivers Distributing, Stacy Rogers, the local Snap-On Tool dealer, Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart Super Center of West Plains. Larry Shaw Race Cars and GRT Race Cars were recognized for their donations to the event.