Tioga driver tourney to have Meadowlands leg
July 08, 2011
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It’s a saying at Tioga that with each year the mission is to do things “bigger and better,”and the fifth annual Drivers’ Championship is no exception. If you think last year’s prize of $25,000 was a nice incentive, listen to this year’s package. The winner at the end of the event will receive $25,000; a commemorative ring from Bow River Jewelry; a trophy from L.V. Harkness, a new set of summer driving colors courtesy of Jim Riegle Colors, and a new Evolution race bike courtesy of Tom Harmer.
This year's competition will feature an opening leg at the Meadowlands on Saturday, Aug. 20. All nine drivers competing will also participate in the Meadowlands leg. The points they earn at the Meadowlands will carry over to Tioga Downs for the Sunday, Aug. 28, finale. The leader after the events held at the Meadowlands will earn $10,000 and will obviously be in the best position to collect another $25k heading to Tioga.
The nine drivers competing in this year’s event, as in years past, will be the top seven money-winning drivers in North America; the leading money-winning driver at Tioga Downs; and one sponsor's exemption.
The prizes for second through ninth are nothing to laugh at as second place will receive $5,000, third place $4,000 and drivers finishing fourth through ninth will each receive $2,000 for their participation.
Also on Aug. 28 at Tioga, the track will re-introduce the Tim Tetrick bobblehead in cooperation with Winbak Farms. Tetrick will be at the track at 12 p.m. on the trackside apron along with the eight other drivers to sign autographs and talk with the fans.
Previous winners of the Tioga Downs’ Drivers’ Championship are Brian Sears and Yannick Gingras (2007 co-champions), Yannick Gingras (2008), Jason Bartlett (2009) and Ron Pierce (2010).
If the cut-off date for the 2011 Drivers’ Championship were today (which it isn’t--the 2011 cut-off date for the standings is Sunday, Aug. 7, the day after the Hambletonian), the top seven money-winning drivers in North America would be: Tim Tetrick, George Brennan, Jody Jamieson, Ron Pierce, Brian Sears, Jason Bartlett and Yannick Gingras. The leading money-winning driver at Tioga Downs right now is a newcomer to the racetrack this year, driver–trainer Ed Hensle. The sponsor’s exemption for 2011? That will be announced at a later date.
“This is the event that all of us at Tioga look forward to. You put nine guys of this caliber out on a racetrack going for this kind of money, you get one heck of an event," said Jason M. Settlemoir, VP of racing and simulcast. "With the new leg at the Meadowlands this year, we think it will just entice more fans to watch the event and just build excitement for the final the next weekend at Tioga. Our sponsors in this industry and our local area have helped us more and more with this event each year and we truly appreciate their hand in this year’s Drivers’ Championship.”
As if the Drivers’ Championship weren’t enough, for the first time ever the $420,000 Zweig Memorial Trot will join the same card as the Drivers’ Championship. Last year’s Zweig Memorial featured Hambletonian runner-up Lucky Chucky winning a division along with a world record mile by Temple Of Doom in 1:52.4. The list of eligibles for the 2011 Zweig includes Manofmanymissions, Swan In A Million, Live Jazz, Big Rigs, and Charlie De Vie. Headlining the list of eligibles in the filly division includes New York’s superstar filly Jezzy, one of Pennsylvania’s top filly trotters Cedar Dove, Celebrity Katie, and Miss Sue V.
Tioga Downs would like to thank its sponsors for the 2011 Drivers’ Championship: Accumark, Allerage Farms, All Event’s Engraving, Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supplies, Binghamton Senators, Bow River Jewelry, Community Press, Charles E. Coon & Sons, Climans Green Liang Architects, Delaware County Fair, Dig Safely, Elmira Jackals, Evolution Racing LLC, Ferris Tractor, Figisbig.com, Harness Racing Hall of Fame, The Horseman And Fair World Magazine, Hub International, Jim Riegle Colors, Larson Design Group, Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, L.V. Harkness, Mainesource, Maitland Trifecta, Nathan’s Hot Dogs, Northwood Bloodstock, Oakdale Mall, Ontrack, Roberts Communication Network, STHHA, Tioga State Bank, Winbak Farms and Youth Beats. (Tioga Downs)