Winter Nationals 2016 ” When you thought it couldn’t get any better”
Jane and myself have hosted this event for the last twelve years. After another blow out party, I have kidded my wife over the years, ” Let’s make this one the last and quit while we’re on top. Besides how could we possibly raise the bar on any of our past year’s events?” The secret to raising the Mr. Aruba Winter Nationals to yet a higher level is YOU, YOU and YOU! Like a magnet attracts metal. This event attracts people like yourselves. The kind of people that after you meet with them, you cannot forget them…in my case the face for sure (sorry about the names sometimes). Jane and I are not doing anything extraordinary by setting a date, laying out some food and opening our doors. How special would this night be if all of you did not show up? And when we thought it couldn’t get better, you all came and it took off like an SS/AH race car with wheels hanging up in the air. There is no question of the caliber of people who migrate to help this event with our cause.
Help is all who contributed by attending, mailed checks and, of course, our volunteers. Thanks to our sponsors: Jeg’s; Firecore Wires; Promier Lighting; Evansville Kia,Mazda,Volvo; Holt Race Cars; Precision Automotive Canton OH; Larry Smith Construction; D&D Automotive; Turtle Wax; Stoner Solutions; Environmental Protective Coatings; Foreground Studios; TTi Exhaust; and the Foot and Ankle Wellness Center.
We had many heavy hitters in attendance including Jeg Coughlin Jr, Michael Beard, Bob Marshall, T.J. Coughlin Jr, Ron Richards(on) and several past champions of at least one of the past year’s races. All I can say, there were no ducks, no bunnies no easy rounds. Heck, Pastor Paul McCullough’s daughter Brenna after a quick lesson from Michael Beard made it to the quarter finals! “What?” There were over five perfect light awards given out. Enough said.
The Gambler’s race winner Jason Wheatcraft not surprisingly gave back a record $1048 winnings back to the cause after deposing of yours truly in the final. Brian Spring took home the first set of Firecore wires getting the best of Lonnie Smith (the king of smack ). Special thanks to Mark Hummer who put up the purse for the Chip Faust “In it to win it” Memorial Race. Mark was able to guess correctly the weight I was able to remove from Mr. Aruba this past winter netting him a case of Brad Penn Oil. I’m working on the driver’s weight as you read this. The winner, Jeg Coughlin Jr. gave runner up George Jobe the first place purse. George promptly handed back $2 hundy to the cause. To the both of you, nicely done! JD Fleece won the raffle. The Hemi Challenger (aka The Beer Eliminator) was won by none other than Jeg Coughlin Jr. who again graciously handed over the second set of Firecore wires to Larry Smith. Larry Smith donated another $100 bill to change the Mr. Aruba lane to the Larry Smith Construction Lane at Ostrander International Raceway (otherwise known as our basement ). Construction will be updated on Facebook that will start this spring or as soon as we get a new ink cartridge in the printer.
There will never be a night like January 30, 2016. The good news is the best is still yet to come! My bold prediction is based on the past events. You all should be proud of what has been accomplished raising $11,666 this time. Thanks to all of you who stepped up to make this a record breaking night. Our hope this great start for 2016 gives you momentum through this year’s wins, losses, trials, and tribulations. God bless you all. The people that your contributions will benefit, in all probability never get an opportunity to thank you. So from myself, Jane and Jeg Coughlin Jr. thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Best of luck racing and hope to see you next year.