Press Release


Miller, Paladino, Westfall and Thirlby Prevail as Numerous Other Awards Included in Fast-Paced Show

2014 Champions received their trophies from track owner, Tony Stewart, at the annual Eldora Awards Banquet on Saturday.
2014 Champions received their trophies from track owner, Tony Stewart, at the annual Eldora Awards Banquet on Saturday.

ROSSBURG, Ohio (Jan. 24, 2015) – More than 400 drivers, crew members and fans gathered inside the Eldora Ballroom Saturday evening to bring an official close to the 2014 season with the annual Eldora Speedway Awards Ceremony.

Honored as divisional champions for the legendary half-mile clay oval were Matt Miller (DIRTcar UMP Late Model), Matt Westfall (DIRTcar UMP Modified) and Frank Paladino (Eldora Stock Car), while Brandon Thirlby received accolades for his championship in the Sunoco American Late Model Series.

For Miller, it was his fifth championship and second consecutive, having mastered the field in 2000, 2008, 2010 and 2013 as he drove the car owned by Rick DeLong. It was Westfall’s first Modified championship and Paladino’s first stock car championship as they drove for Best Performance Motorsports and Paladino Motorsports, respectfully.

Prior to the presentation of the champions, the remainder of the top 15 in the final point chase were brought to the stage to receive trophies and point fund money.

Intermixed were multiple ‘specialty’ awards. Rookie of the Year awards went to Jeff Koz (Modified) and Brandon Archey (Stock Car), while the Most Improved Driver honors went to Thirlby (Late Model), Casey Luedeke and David Smith (Modified) and Wayne Williams (Stock Car). Determined to have the Best Appearing Cars in 2014 were Chamberlain (Late Model), Rob Starkey (Modified) and Koz (Stock Car). Recognized for their run of Hard Luck were Curtis Roberts (Late Model), Brandon Vaughan (Modified) and Rob Trent (Stock Car).

Considered to be one of the most prestigious awards of the year, the Chick Hale Sportsman of the Year trophy was presented to the Taylor Family, while Veronica Ayres was named Woman of the Year. Skylar Alexander was tabbed as the Joe Mercer Memorial Fan of the Year, with Mark Saul capturing the Mechanic of the Year hardware. For their outstanding stable of race machinery, Mike Garke was announced as the Owner of the Year.

Eldora now turns its eyes on another busy season ahead. Reserved seating and campsites for Eldora’s major special events in 2015 – the 21st annual Dirt Late Model Dream by Ferris Mowers; the 32nd annual Kings Royal Weekend; the third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic; and the 45th annual World 100 – are on sale now at (937) 338-3815 and online at

The complete schedule for Eldora’s 62nd consecutive season, including ticket and campsite information, is available at and can be requested by phone at (937) 338-3815. Tickets for all events will go on sale Monday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. EST.

Fans can get behind-the-scenes access of Eldora Speedway by following @EldoraSpeedway on Twitter, hitting ‘Like’ at and on The Eldora Speedway app for the iPhone, iPad and Android is available for free download via iTunes and Google Play.