Twin Cities Raceway Park in Vernon has announced its champions for the 2016 racing season.

The track will conduct its annual awards banquet Dec. 3 at the Jennings County Fairgrounds in North Vernon. You must RSVP your tickets. Full details on ticket information can be found on the track’s website at

Marty O’Neal of Spencer captured the Super Late Model Championship this year at Twin Cities. O’Neal drives for car owner Larry Hartwell of North Vernon.

Joe Godsey of Edinburgh finished second in points. Godsey drives for car owner Steve Vawter of Columbus. Alan Magner of North Vernon was third in the standings, followed by Mike Bechelli of Elizabethtown and Bodi Henry of Scipio.

The O’Neal-and-Hartwell combination also captured the Indiana Late Model Series Championship for 2016. Their MasterSbilt Race Car is sponsored by K&G Sports, Right Auto Parts, Mo and Jo Investments, JT’s Trash Service, Max Powder Coating, All-Star Performance, E-Z Lifts, Wilson Concrete and MLR Fabricating.

In the Crate Late Model Division, Brad Erwin of Crothersville was named the champion. Brian Shewmaker of Columbus was second in points, followed by Bechelli, Henry and Trent Low of North Vernon. Henry was named Rookie of the Year in both the Super and Crate class. Henry’s C.J. Rayburn Race Car chassis is sponsored by SRT Transmissions.

Bechelli, at age 76, picked up the Modified track title at Twin Cities this year. Bryson Clark of North Vernon finished second to Bechelli, with Jarod Fleetwood of Seymour, Jeff Deckard of Ellettsville and Jerry Adams of Elizabethtown completing the top five. Adams was named the division’s Rookie of the Year.

Bechelli’s Bob Pierce Race Cars modified is sponsored by McDonald’s, M&M Recycling, Bowman Motorsports, Industrial Solutions Technology, Simpson Race Products, A.J. Tuck Company and Roberts and Son. The title was Bechelli’s 20th championship of his career.

Jeremy Helton of Paris Crossing was the Super Stock track champion. Justin Walters of North Vernon was second in points, with Ross Smith of Columbus, Jeff Patterson of North Vernon and Joey Cochran of Underwood rounding out the top five drivers. Walters was named the top rookie.

Walters’ car is sponsored by Carpet One, Phat Guys, Upper Cut Salon, Pap’s Chop Shop, Roark Garage. Billy Kipper, Jeff Bott and Jerry Adams also help with the car.

Mark Bruce of Commiskey picked up the Pure Stock title for the second year in a row. Ray Burgess of Madison was second to Bruce in the final standings. Ross Smith placed third, followed by Brian Hutt of Charlestown and Ryan Layman of North Vernon. Hutt was the top finishing rookie.

Tony Napier of North Vernon was the top driver this year in the Hornet division at Twin Cities. Todd Cain of Columbus was second in points and Hunter Perry also of Columbus was third. Kobe Derringer of Commiskey was fourth, with Columbus’ Austin Perry completing the top five. Austin Perry was announced as the top rookie in the class.

Dickie Gaines of Mitchell was the top point man in the 410 Non-Wing Sprint Car division. Garrett Abrams of Rushville was second, with Columbus native J.J. Hughes placing third. Joss Moffatt and Logan Hupp both of Columbus rounded out the top five. Cody Clarkson of North Vernon was named the Rookie of the Year.

Season finale at Salem

Salem Speedway wrapped up its 2016 racing season with its annual Halloween 200 for stock cars.Brett Hudson was the winner of the $5,000 top prize. Skeeter Crum was second, with Chuck Barnes Jr., Todd Kempf and Terry Fisher Jr. completing the top finishers. The top local finisher was North Vernon’s Troy Clark, who placed 15th in the final rundown.

Florence hosts big night

Florence Speedway in Union, Kentucky, had its last race of the season Oct. 22. Hosting a pit area of 38 Late Models and 54 Modifieds with each feature race paying $5,000 to win closed the curtain on a successful season.Bobby Pierce came home the winner of the Fall 50 for Late Models. It was the second straight win for Pierce in the annual October event. Pierce completed the best year of his career with the win. Pierce, a 19-year-old second-generation driver from Oakwood, Illinois, captured the World 100 at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, back in September and the $50,000-to-win Sunoco North/South 100 at Florence Speedway in August. He also won the UMP weekly title and the UMP Summernationals championship this year.

Pierce, who was third different leader of the race, ran away with the event once he gained the lead. Dustin Linville finished second, followed by Eric Wells, Michael Chilton and Jackie Boggs.

In the Summit Racing, American Modified Series season finale Trent Young took home the win. Josh Harris finished in second, followed by Boggs. Allen Weisser was fourth with Jesse Wisecarver taking fifth. Young was crowned the series’ 2016 champion afterwards.

James Essex writes a motorsports notebook for The (Columbus) Republic, a sister paper of The Tribune. Send comments to