By Kristen Moore
THANK YOU to all our drivers and workers for helping make the 2018 road racing season a success!
The Oregon Region Board of Directors announced the 2018 Driver and Perpetual awards at the November BOD meeting.
We were pleased to see many drivers and workers join us to accept their award, share stories and enjoy dinner at Buster’s Barbeque.
Congratulations to the following Oregon Region driver and perpetual award winners. We’ve collected a few testimonials about our winners.
Scott Vondrachek, Novice Driver of the Year, SM #95
“I raced with Scott all season. He always came to the track with a great attitude and was always a pleasure to race with on track. With Scott it is more about the friendship comradery than it is about winning.
He has been one of the most enjoyable competitors to be around and will be a great asset to OR SCCA and the Spec Miata group.” – Tim Ferrick
“Scott “Lightning McVee” Vondrachek. I have known Scott for ten years and I will never forget the time I gave him a ride in a race car around PIR. He was giggling like a little girl and he vowed that day that he would someday be racing with us in Spec Miata.
Over the years he has come to all the races and been a big fan while he waited for the time to be right for him to get a race car. Finally, he was able to make it happen this year.
A dream come true for him and we welcomed him into the fold. To see Scott at the track is like seeing a little kid that is just excited to be there!
Scott has worked hard to improve his game over the season and made some big improvements. We all look forward to seeing him progress next year. Scott is the perfect choice for “Rookie of the Year”
PS Scotty drives a red #95 just like Lightning McQueen from the movie Cars. Hence the “Lightning McVee” nickname. Rumor has it he raced a whole weekend sitting on a Lightning McQueen model. Ask him about it sometime.” –Will Schrader
JD Barnum, Regional Driver of the Year, SRF3 #28
JD won the SRF3 Oregon Regional Championship for 2018, the 2016 SRF Oregon Regional Championship and SRF NORPAC championship.
JD holds 3 of the 4 track records in SRF. JD has created a “family first” racing team: He makes sure everyone is having fun. It is all about family!
Tony Opheim, National Driver of the Year, FA #31
Tony has supported our regional race program for the past 4 years, attending almost every race we held. In 2018 Tony concentrated on qualifying for the Runoffs, attending mostly Majors on the west coast. This year, Tony represented Oregon Region at the National Runoffs at Sonoma and took second place in Formula Atlantic.
Brad McAllister, Pro Driver of the Year, TA2 #24
Brad, an Oregon Region member and supporter, has been running the competitive Trans Am West Series and this year finished 4th in the points with a win at the season finale at CoTA.
Jason Brassfield, Most Inspirational Driver of the Year, SM #14
“Jason “Boom Boom” Brassfield. I met Jason about 8 years ago when I had the privilege of being his instructor in a Spec Miata that he built on a budget. Jason is a second-generation volunteer race worker and he decided to make the jump into a race car. I am so glad he did as we need more guys like him in racing. I remember being impressed with his enthusiasm and his fantastic attitude.
This guy is always smiling and ready to help a fellow racer.
Nothing has changed about his attitude and approach to racing. He was a great student and has continued to improve his car and his driving every year. We have traveled to races, pitted together, worked on cars and eaten together. That’s what Club Racing is all about. It was one of the best moments of the year for me to be able to watch Jason win his very first race this last August. All his hard work and dedication paid off when he got that checkered flag.
Very fitting that he would be chosen as the “Inspirational Driver” for 2018!!! Jason got the name “Boom Boom” after blowing a motor big time complete with flames and all. His graceful exit from the car and subsequent dive over the tire wall has been described as “Driver Ballet”. – Will Schrader
John Grant, Crew Person of the Year, Rhom Innovations
“John has always been a great contributor in the paddock for years, always willing to help other teams, extremely knowledgeable. This year he has been amazing. Single handed he has been hauling my TA2/GT2 Mustang to Texas all over California and Oregon keeping it in one piece even in 100 plus degree days he is an animal. While many Trans Am teams have several crew members, John has done it all and he has done it well. We will showcase his fine work at the runoffs this year as well, hoping for a top finish based on podium finishes at all the Majors events we have done and good TA2 results.” – Brad McAllister
Will Schrader, Norton Gaston Award
“Will heads up the Spec Miata tour and personally calls every Spec Miata driver before every race to encourage them to sign up. He also spends endless hours on the phone diagnosing problems, instructing drivers, giving advice on where and how to get their cars in top shape. He’s a huge asset to the Spec Miata community. After a big wreck a couple of weeks ago he went to other drivers houses and fixed their cars, so they could race the next day. That’s the kind of guy he is.” – Ken Sutherland
“Will embodies the attitude of gentlemen competitor. Always there and ready to help fellow racers, never looks to gain a spot with a cheap shot or risky pass. He truly encourages friendly and safe competition over everything else.” – Tim Ferrick
Rio Rios, Norton Gaston Award
“Rio is the Solo president this year and is trying very, very hard to revitalize the membership and bring in new racers. His every focus is on improving the sport in Oregon. He keeps the membership informed of his every idea and intention. He is always on the lookout for some new way to increase participation and interest. He is supportive of those who bring him ideas. He is innovative in many ways and looks for ways to improve what we already have as a solo community.
He recently instituted having some of our monthly meetings at solo events rather than away from the track during the midweek. This way he gets input from both those who attend the meetings and those who participate in the sport who many times are not active meeting attendees. He could have left things as they are, but he decided to innovate to get more feedback. He is highly encouraging of women participating in the sport. He really takes charge and always follows up his projects.” – David Russell
Patrik Lundin, Region Worker of the Year
“No one has impressed me more than Patrik Lundin, Chief of Flags. He really outshined above all others, especially with his never-ending responses to continually changing requirements, locations & availability for F&C personnel at Grand Prix of Portland IndyCar! Patrik consistently excels at distributing all forms of event information and set a high bar preceding and during our most challenging 2018 event. For these and many other reasons, Patrik not only deserves to represent Oregon Region SCCA as Region Worker of the Year but should be National Flags Worker of the Year as well!” – Bob Smethers
Aaron Bucci, Regional Executive Appreciation
“Aaron was chosen for the 2018 RE award because of his continuous efforts and dedication to SCCA. He has been an active member for more than 6 years and for the last 3 years has been very involved with our super successful TNIA program.
You can always find Aaron in the paddock with a smile on his face and willing to talk with anyone.
Promoting our club and encouraging TNIA participants to joining and become an active member of Oregon SCCA. Whether as a volunteer or racer he wants to share his love and enjoyment for auto sports with everyone in the paddock.
Aaron is committed to the growth for the Oregon region and constantly looking for ways to improve members experiences and happily assists with the implementation of those ideas. If you see Aaron in the pits, say thanks to him for his dedication to OR SCCA.Thank you to Sandra Ferrick for arranging the awards. This year, each driver and perpetual award winner received a Dakine duffle bag with the Oregon Region SCCA logo stitched on the bag personally by Sandra!” – Tim Ferrick