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2023 track champions and significant others. (Photo by Tom Stevens)
2023 track champions and significant others. (Photo by Tom Stevens)

'Big R': Ransomville Speedway celebrates 2023 season at awards banquet, names new GM


Mon, Dec 4th 2023 11:25 am

Submitted by Ransomville Speedway

Ransomville Speedway celebrated the 2023 season at the annual awards banquet on Friday night at the Lewiston No. 2 firehall. Donna Eick catered the banquet, and the event was emceed by Ransomville Speedway announcers Steven Petty and Jay Trainer.

It was announced at the banquet that Dave DiPietro Sr. will take over as the speedway’s general manager, as Bret Pawlak is leaving the position. DiPietro has over 40 years in racing, several of which were behind the wheel at Ransomville.

Mat Williamson celebrated his third consecutive Krown Undercoating 358 Modified track championship. The driver from St. Catharine’s, Ontario, had five wins at the “Big R” in 2023. Other feature winners include Erick Rudolph, Gary Lindberg and Chad Brachmann. 

Derek Wagner, from Middleport, celebrated his second straight Hy-Tech Concrete DIRTcar Sportsman title. Wagner had two wins on the season. Other feature winners include Nelson Mason, Cody McPherson, Brett Senek and Cameron Tuttle. 

Ken Camidge, from Niagara Falls, is the 2023 KiPo Motors Street Stock track champion, Camidge had one win on the season, but consistent finishes propelled him to the title. Other feature winners include Brandon Sherwood, Josh Pangrazio, Chris Dziomba, Simon Bissell, John Zimmerman, Byron Dewitt and Dan Schulz. 

Ryan Plante, from Cheektowaga, was crowned the Sunflowers of Sanborn Mini Stock track champion. Plante saw victory lane on two occasions on his way to the title.

Other feature winners include Chris Leone, Cole Susice, Curtis Rung, Matt Hornquist, Brad Whiteside and Dante Mancuso.

Mike Kramarz used three wins to earn him the Kevin’s Carpet Cleaning Novice Sportsman track championship.

Other feature winners include Dillon Adamczak, DJ Rosinski, Wayne Swinson, Jim Forester, Zack Bleich and Matteo Panunte. 

The Key Player Award was awarded to Howard Schram for all his efforts in leading the track preparation crew. The Driver of Year Award went to Mat Williamson, while the Performance Award went to Nelson Mason. The Trevor Wilkens Memorial Hard Charger Award was presented to Derek Wagner. The Ray MacIver Sportsmanship Award was presented to John Smith. 

Rookie of the Year honors went to Noah Walker (358 Modified), Wayne Swinson (Novice Sportsman) and Tyler Foster (Mini Stocks.) Most Improved Driver Awards went to Curtis Rung (Mini Stock), Luke Blose (Novice Sportsman), Chris Dziomba (Street Stocks), Jessica Kriegisch (Sportsman) and Greg Martin (358 Modifieds). Best Appearing Car Awards were presented to Brian Melcher (Mini Stock), Mike Kramarz (Novice Sportsman), Ken Camidge (Street Stocks), Cameron Tuttle (Sportsman) and Scott Kerwin (358 Modifieds). 

The Pat Spina Mechanic of the Year Award went to Mike Brachmann, while the Owners of the Year went to Pete Cocco and Paul Wendt. The Hard Luck Award went to Steve Lewis Jr.

Speedway owner Parm Atwal, left, shakes hands with newly named General Manager Dave DiPietro Sr. (Photo by Tom Stevens)


DiPietro Sr. Named New Ransomville Speedway General Manager

DiPietro is the new general manager of Ransomville Speedway, taking over the position from Pawlak, who had the position since 2021. DiPietro has over 40 years in racing, several of which were behind the wheel at Ransomville.

DiPietro has been a driver and crew member. He started out sitting in the stands of the Ransomville Speedway on Friday nights. His racing efforts went from behind the wheel, to being the crew chief for son Dave’s efforts, and he would even go as far as selling tires at both Lancaster Motorplex and Spencer Speedway. DiPietro also was a longtime crew member for the late Ray MacIver and worked at both Troyer Race Cars and, most recently, Bicknell Racing Products. 

DiPietro has management experience in several successful businesses and has exciting plans for Ransomville Speedway going into the future.

“There will be an improved fan experience at the track,” he said. “We will have streamlined concessions, stronger media presence, and will be having stronger car counts.” 

Speedway ownership would like to thank Bret Pawlak for his years of service to Ransomville Speedway and wish him and Elisa the best. 

Management is busy preparing for the 2024 season. Several exciting touring series will be coming to the “Big R” in 2024, including the Super DIRTcar Series, Empire Super Sprints and Southern Ontario Sprints.

Ransomville Speedway is located on Braley Road in the hamlet of Ransomville, just 20 minutes from Niagara Falls and Lockport. “The Big R” is a 3/8th-mile DIRTcar-sanctioned facility that is the “Home of the Summer Nationals.” Ransomville also features a 1/16th-mile go-kart track for action on the “Little R” on Thursday nights. For more information, visit www.ransomvillespeedway.com and follow on X/Twitter @Ransomville, Instagram (@ransomvillespeedway) Facebook and TikTok (@ransomvillespeedway).

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