|SNORE President Kenny Freeman congratulates all of the champions at the season-ending ceremonies at the South Point Hotel and Casino Jan. 10
KJ Howe was king at SNORE's event.
What started as a friendly gathering at a bar called the Sawdust Saloon in Las Vegas 45 years ago evolved into an impressive awards ceremony Dec. 10 at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Rich history combined with more than $35,000 in prize money was tastefully intermingled with endless trophies and a series of multi-media presentations as SNORE honored its top drivers at what might be called “The House That Mike Gaughan Built.”
The 2014 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage Championship Series covered a six-race schedule featuring strong fields. A season-opening extravaganza kicking off the year with the Battle at Primm south of Las Vegas had a down-to-the-wire finish at the Rage at the River in Laughlin in December to make the latest season one that nobody will ever forget.
Presented in the Sonoma Room of the South Point on the southern end of the famed Las Vegas Strip, auto racing awards shows don’t come any better than SNORE’s latest presentation.
Legendary former Mint 400 Race Director KJ Howe was among the throng of attendees, and he was quick to point out the history of SNORE.
Howe said he first met the members of SNORE in early 1970s at the Sheriffs Jeep Posse headquarters.
“SNORE was a bunch of guys who got together in 1969 and were heavily involved in all kinds of racing,” said Howe, a 75 year-old Vietnam veteran who found his way to Las Vegas after completing his years in the U.S. Army. “I went to visit with the SNORE members because I needed to get briefed on the Mint 400. They were invaluable to the success of the Mint 400.”
Howe said the history of SNORE was important to the success of the Mint 400 because of its expertise with organizing, check points and the rest.
SNORE president Kenny Freeman remembered the earliest SNORE gatherings.
“SNORE had people like Denny Selleck, Walt Lott, Don Dayton and Chuck Garhardt, to name a few,” Freeman recalled.
Freeman thanked the club, drivers and volunteers for a good year.
“We couldn’t do it without all of you,” said Freeman, a native Las Vegan, whose late father, Ken Sr., was among the first SNORE members. “There are many challenges and it takes an immense amount of dedication to make this work.
“Thanks again to each and every one of you.”
A long list of awards was presented in a well-planned and timely awards ceremony including officially naming 29 year-old Hemet, Calif., Class 1600 driver Michael Bud Ward the overall Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage Series champion.
Ward capped an amazing season to win the title at Rage at the River in Laughlin, Nev., one of SNORE’s top races. The year was climaxed by what was nothing short of a picture-perfect ending that could not have been written any better in a down-to-the wire finish.
While accepting earnings of $10,972, Ward quickly thanked his family, his sponsors and SNORE for what could have been utilized for a movie about the sport of off-road racing.
Michael Bud Ward leads the winners.
Also illustrating SNORE’s deep dedication to not only the sport, but humanity was the fact that two drivers – Class 7 champ Jon Lee and Stock Bug champion Ed Mahoney -- donated their winnings to Race for the Wounded, an organization that helps wounded veterans who have served the United States in Middle East.
Mahoney’s winnings totaled $1,266, while Lee’s efforts resulted in $1,440 both of which were gladly accepted by fellow competitor Tony Scott, who spearheads the effort to help wounded veterans.
Special awards went to Debbie Burgos (Jimmy Shafer/Al Perino Award); Ward (Driver of the Year); Bill Shapley (Mechanic of the Year; Engine Builder of the Year; and Transmission Builder of the Year); John Ruiz (Denny Selleck/Don Dayton Award); McKenzie’s (Sponsor of the Year); Jamn Off Road (Pit Crew of the Year); Bruce and Dave Federwisch (Volunteers of the Year); and Rookie of the Year (Colton Gubler); and Hotel Sponsor of the Year (Buffalo Bill’s).
SNORE Awards Program
Jan. 10, 2015
At South Point Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, Nev.
Class 2000 – Justin Anderson.
Class 1450 – Justin Oquendo.
Limited Sportsman – Richard Robinson.
Unlimited Sportsman Buggy – Scott Rasmussen.
Class 5 Unlimited – John Willard.
Class 12 – Jason Davis.
Class 3000 – Darryl Kysar.
Class 1 – Kelly Mather.
Champ Class – Colton Gubler.
Stock Bug – Ed Mahoney.
Unlimited Truck – Jonathan Libby.
Class 9 – Corey Torres.
Class 10 – Geoffrey Cooley.
Class 7 – Jon Lee.
Overall and Class 1-2 1600 – Michael Bud Ward.
True Grit – Scott Davis
Hotel Sponsor of the Year – Buffalo Bill’s.
Race Sponsor of the Year – McKenzie’s.
Rookie of the Year – Colton Gubler.
Engine Builder of the Year -- Bill Shapley.
Transmission Builder of the Year – Bill Shapley.
Mechanic of the Year – Bill Shapley.
Sportsman of the Year – Justin Oquendo.
Volunteers of the Year – Bruce and Dave Federwisch.
Pit Crew of the Year – Jamn Off Road.
Denny Selleck/Don Dayton Award – John Ruiz.
Driver of the Year – Michael Bud Ward.
Jimmy Shafer/Al Perino Award –Debbie Burgos.