VERMONT – Stock car driver Nick Sweet has been named VMM 2016 Driver of the Year by the readers of www.vtmotormag.com. It is Sweet’s second straight overall win in the annual awards.
Nearly 12,000 votes were cast across twelve categories in the online poll at www.vtmotormag.com and Barre, VT driver Sweet earned 20.39% of the vote in the overall Driver of the Year category. The ACT Late Model Tour champion, Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl Milk Bowl winner, and Thunder Road Late Model runner-up finished ahead of Devil’s Bowl Speedway Sportsman Modified champion Jason Durgan of Morrisonville, NY, who received 15.64% of the vote.
Vince Quenneville Jr. of Brandon, VT finished third with 11.87% of the vote after he finished runner-up in the Devil’s Bowl Speedway Asphalt Sportsman Modified standings and fourth in the Devil’s Bowl Speedway Dirt Sportsman Modified standings, as well as earning the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Vermont State Championship. Thirteen-time Bear Ridge Speedway champion Adam Pierson finished fourth with 11.22% of the vote, with Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl Late Model champion Scott Dragon of Milton, VT fifth with 10.79% of the vote.
Chris Donnelly of Piermont, NH, Bobby Hackel of Rensselaer, NY, Nick Heywood of Plattsburgh, NY, Patrick Laperle of St-Denis, QC, and Mike Ryan of Vershire, VT were also on the overall Driver of the Year ballot and received votes.
Sweet also claimed Driver of the Year honors in the Touring Series and Late Model categories. Donnelly finished second to Sweet in the Touring Series while ACT Late Model Tour race winner Bobby Therrien of Hinesburg, VT finished third. In the Late Model category, Dragon finished second with Devil’s Bowl Speedway Late Model champion Josh Masterson of Bristol, VT third.
Sportsman Modified champion Durgan claimed top honors in the Devil’s Bowl Speedway Asphalt Driver of the Year. Quenneville finished second in the voting with Masterson third.
Bear Ridge Speedway star Pierson took the top award in both Bear Ridge Speedway and Open Wheel Driver of the Year categories. Pierson finished ahead of Limited Late Model champion Tim Martin of White River Junction, VT and Four Cylinder champion Ryan. In the Open Wheel category, Pierson finished ahead of Durgan and Quenneville, respectively.
Late Model champion and Governor’s Cup winner Dragon earned top honors in the Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl category. Sweet finished second with Tiger Sportsman champion Stephen Donahue of Graniteville, VT third.
Sportsman Modified champion Heywood earned the most votes in the Airborne Park Speedway category. Sportsman Modified race winner Bucko Branham of Plattsburgh, NY finished second with Mini-Modified champion Dale O’Neil of Mooers, NY third.
Sportsman Modified champion Hackel took top honors in the Devil’s Bowl Speedway Dirt category. Quenneville finished second to Hackel with Sportsman Modified race winner Kenny Tremont Jr. of West Sand Lake, NY finished third.
Bear Ridge Speedway Four Cylinder champion and Devil’s Bowl Speedway Dirt Mini Stock champion Mike Ryan claimed the most votes in the Four Cylinder category. Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl Street Stock champion Jamon Perry of Hardwick, VT finished second with Devil’s Bowl Speedway Asphalt Mini Stock champion Eric Messier of Hinesburg, VT finished third.
Messier took top honors in the Rookie Driver of the Year category, narrowly finishing ahead of Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl Street Stock winner Peyton Lanphear of Duxbury, VT. Devil’s Bowl Speedway Dirt Sportsman Modified rookie of the year Justin Severence of Pittsford, VT finished third.
Thunder Road Late Model competitor and the track’s Memorial Day Classic winner Tyler Cahoon of St. Johnsbury, VT earned top honors in the Breakout Driver of the Year category. Devil’s Bowl Speedway Sportsman Modified race winner Billy Lussier of Fair Haven, VT finished second with Airborne Park Speedway Sportsman Modified race winner Jamy Begor of Mooers Forks, NY.
Sweet is the seventh different driver to win the overall VMM Driver of the Year award after winning it one year ago, too. Joey Polewarczyk Jr. claimed the honors in 2014 while Todd Stone, Wayne Helliwell Jr., Kevin Chaffee, Don Miller, and Thomas Placey won the honors for 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009, respectively.
VMM covers stock car racing in and around Vermont with on-site event reporting, breaking news, feature stories, weekly columns, photography, and more. For more information, visit the website at www.vtmotomag.com, follow VMM on Twitter at @VMMUpdates, or find VMM on Facebook and YouTube.
VMM Driver of the Year Award Winners:
VMM 2016 Driver of the Year: Nick Sweet, Barre, VT
VMM Airborne Park Speedway Driver of the Year: Nick Heywood, Plattsburgh, NY
VMM Bear Ridge Speedway Driver of the Year: Adam Pierson, East Corinth, VT
VMM Devil’s Bowl Speedway Asphalt Driver of the Year: Jason Durgan, Morrisonville, NY
VMM Devil’s Bowl Speedway Dirt Driver of the Year: Bobby Hackel, Rensselaer, NY
VMM Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl Driver of the Year: Scott Dragon, Milton, VT
VMM Touring Series Driver of the Year: Nick Sweet, Barre, VT
VMM Open Wheel Driver of the Year: Adam Pierson, East Corinth, VT
VMM Late Model Driver of the Year: Nick Sweet, Barre, VT
VMM Four Cylinder Driver of the Year: Mike Ryan, Vershire, VT
VMM Breakout Driver of the Year: Tyler Cahoon, St. Johnsbury, VT
VMM Rookie Driver of the Year: Eric Messier, Hinesburg, VT