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SuperClean Modified Series Annual Banquet

by Dave Grayson
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

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Topping the list of the 2008 SuperClean points standings was newly crowned series champion Jimmy Dickerson
The SuperClean Modified Racing Series held their annual awards banquet, January 17th, at the beautiful Blue Water Resort and Casino in Parker, Arizona. The gala evening was a time to celebrate  the series' outstanding 2008 season by honoring excellence in performance with post season bonus checks awarded to drivers who finished within the top 15 in points. It was also a time to enhance the excitement level regarding the series' upcoming 2009 season.

During the course of some opening remarks, series co promoter Greg Scheidecker noted that 62 different teams raced with the series last year.  Each event had a very healthy car count of 27 cars per race during the course of the ten race series. The SuperClean pay outs were well over $100,000 in purse and post season bonus money including an $11,500 contribution from Hoosier Tire West, an additional $2,500 in contingency awards as well as Lucas Oil products valued at $2,500.

Topping the list of the 2008 SuperClean points standings was newly crowned series champion Jimmy Dickerson.  The El Cajon, California driver was a model of consistency during the season. Out of a possible 500 points available he earned 454. That points number was based on his five wins, nine top five finishes and nine top ten finishes. Dickerson also managed to finish either first or second in eight of the series' ten races. Despite these consistent levels the series' championship between Dickerson and season rival Andrew Phipps was not resolved until the latter stages of the final race in what turned out to be an extremely dramatic points race.

At the banquet Dickerson was presented a $2,500 check from the points fund, a $1,200 contingency awards check, $1,000 worth of Lucas Oil products and a beautiful champion's jacket from Hoosier Tire West. The post season awards raised his season earnings to $12,300.  Following the ceremony Dickerson said "all of this is due to the efforts of (team owners), Eric and Jennifer Brucher who gave me an awesome car to race. They do whatever it takes to make that car top dog and they basically put it all on me when they gave me that car. Another big source of support is STR, with great chassis setups, along with Applied Decorative Concrete and Competitive Metals."

Dickerson also had high praise for his fellow competitors in the series and said "this group of guys that we race with are awesome. They are the best group of guys that I've ever raced with. From first all the way back through the field they make it hard on you. It's a lot of fun but it's not easy."

When the SuperClean Modified Racing Series arrived at the Lucas Oil I 10 Speedway, this past November 8th, for the season finale everyone was willing to bet the mortgage money that Andrew Phipps was going to leave Blythe, California that night as the new series champion. Unfortunately, a surprise late in the race mechanical failure changed the course of the entire season and the Simi Valley, California driver found himself second in the final standings.

But it was outstanding team consistency that put Phipps in position as a title contender to begin with. The team scored three feature wins along with 8 top five finishes and one top ten. Phipps collected $1,500 from the points fund, as well as another $200 in bonus money, which brought his season earnings to a total of $8,125.

At the awards banquet Phipps said "I've got to absolutely say that it was a great year for us. We had a lot of fun. This was exactly what we were looking for: a short schedule with one race per month. I've got four kids and we've got a lot of stuff going on. These guys who run this series understands exactly where we're at and they know if they tried to run a 20 race schedule that we just wouldn’t be able to do it. It's perfect for what I want to do. I don' want to the 18 races in a Late Model car anymore because it just takes the fun out of it."

Always a class act, Phipps said "I have to congratulate Jimmy Dickerson. He had an absolutely amazing year. He was fast at every single track and had great results. On our side of things we shook our Spartan Trucking/Ron's Rear Ends car down to nothing and put it all back together like a brand new car which we didn't  get to do before the start of the year. We bought it, raced it as it was and made improvements as went along. No doubt about it, the car will be better for 2009. Now that I've gotten to go to all of these tracks, some of them two times, we will definitely be better next year."     

Phipps also noted that the SuperClean Modified Racing Series is a very unique blend of tough competition combined with a great deal of camaraderie. "This series is absolutely a lot of fun. Everyone who run in this series are good guys and we all get along really well. We're all here for the same reason, nobody's trying to be a hero, and we all want to win really really bad. We're all trying to win every race but at the same time we can do it in a way that doesn't run us out of money and allows us to still spend time with our families. When we go to these races it's fun. There's been a lot of races in the past where I've had to spend a lot of nights thrashing on the car to get it back together for the next race so you can show up Friday night for the practice session. The entire process is like having a second job. This series isn't like a job to us. It's almost like having a vacation. We get to go out and play and have some fun. It's like going out to the desert to ride motorcycles.  We get to go out and have a fun time," he said.

Yet another driver from the SuperClean Modified Racing Series who garnered a lot of attention in 2008 was Chris Gerchman. The third generation driver, from the famed modified racing family based in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, put together a string of consistent finishes, especially during the last half of the season, that led to a feature win along with eight top five finishes. His 396 points placed him third in the final standings which awarded him $1,100 from the points fund, along with $400 in bonuses, for a season total of $6,400.

Gerchman was all smiles at the awards banquet and said "It was just an awesome season. This is the best group of guys that I've ever raced with. I feel like we really stepped up our game and I think we did it pretty well. Now it's time to keep moving forward to the 2009 season. I'd like to really thank my hard working crew along with Peggy's Sunrise Cafe, Hoosier Tires and everybody who made all of this happen."

Burbank, California's Tim Morse finished fourth in the final standings with 388 points. While that highly coveted feature win somehow eluded him in 2008, his consistent five top five finishes and four top tens won him $1,000 from the points fund and gave him a season total of $6,150. Morse was also a chart topper in the bonus awards program with $1,100.

"2008 was an unbelievable season for me," Morse said adding "it was probably the hardest I've worked on a race car while trying to get ready for a season. Running the 2008 season was a good experience for me because I learned a lot. Throughout the year I did a lot of changes with frames and shocks and it really worked out well. I set some track records and won three Budweiser Fast Time Awards. I'm really looking forward to 2009."

In other specialty awards Randy Ussery received the Sencon Concrete Hard Charger award, Dickerson won the Budweiser Fast Time trophy, Billy Johanneck received the Poly Dome Plastic Trophy Dash bonus, Morse won the Super Clean Pass trophy and Ed Carpenter won the E3 Spark Plugs B Main bonus.   

Also enjoying the evening were the hardworking officials from the SuperClean Modified Racing Series. Head Technical Inspector Allan Brown had high praise for the level of professionalism and spirit of cooperation his staff received from the teams and added "the teams during the qualifying and pre race tech inspections were extremely helpful. They quickly fixed everything that we asked them to do. They got their cars there on time and they brought them there legal. When it came main event time they did the same thing and as a Tech Official I thought that every car had an equal chance."

Series Co Promoter Bill Rozhon was thrilled with the 2008 SuperClean Modified Racing season and said "our series had 62 teams during the season with an average car count of 27 per race. The Las Vegas race had the highest car count. I was especially proud of the Havasu 95 Speedway, (where he's also the Track Director), where we averaged a steady 30 cars per race. Our guys are very competitive but they all get along with each other very well and I'm very proud of them."

Greg Scheidecker, the series Co Promoter representing Lucas Oil, was thrilled with the turn out for the banquet and said "you know when I told everybody that we were coming to one of our series' sponsor's home, the Blue Water Resort and Casino here in Parker, Arizona, some of the guys at first said hey that's a long drive but they came. It was an excellent meal and a great turn out."

Scheidecker noted that there were still a few loose ends to be tied up before the new 2009 series schedule could be considered official but he was very excited about the prospects of presenting nine points events and one non points post season event. Scheidecker was also thrilled about the 2009 return of many of the corporate sponsors that comprises "Team Lucas."

While this evening was a time to celebrate an outstanding 2008 season, it was also time to have some fun and say thank you to those who made that season possible. It was also a time for drivers to thank their families for their understanding and support during the racing season. That sentiment was expressed the best by Scheidecker who, during his opening remarks, said "every organization needs good people behind it in order to succeed and I've got one of the best: my wife Joyce."

In addition to the title sponsor the Super Clean Modified Racing Series is supported by a highly potent marketing concept known as "Team Lucas" which includes Lucas Oil Products Inc, Jim Beam, Hoosier Racing Tire, Blue Water Resort and Casino, General Tire, K&N Performance Filters, Fatheadz Sunglasses, Dixie Chopper, Sencon Concrete LLC, Poly Dome Plastic Products, Sunoco Race Fuels, R&L Carriers, E3 Spark Plugs and Budweiser.

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