Badger Midget Auto Racing Association
BMARA Honors Presented at Annual Awards Banquet
The 2022 Advanced Fastening Supply Badger Midget season was certainly one for the books, and the stellar year was celebrated this past Saturday night at the annual Awards Banquet, hosted by the series at the National Midget Hall of Fame in Sun Prairie, WI.
The evening began with a welcome speech and prayer from series president, Quinn McCabe, as well as an announcement that Advanced Fastening Supply will return as the series’ title partner in 2023, plus confirmation that the series will return to Angell Park Speedway on a regular basis, as well as new tracks and locations next season. The 2023 AFS Badger Midget schedule is set to release, as per usual, around the time of the Chili Bowl Nationals.
The Emcee for the night was BMARA Announcer Matt Vaade, and after a cocktail hour and wonderful dinner, the awards ceremony began. The Badger Special Appreciation Awards were presented first, with Melissa Dahlke, Bryan Folz, Linda Bredeson, Jim & Rheanna Saaf, Todd Kluever, Dawn Huss, Brandon Waelti, Joey & Stacy Rhone, Jake Dohner, and Shay & Jessica Sassano each taking home a plaque courtesy of the BMARA Fan Club.
Next up, the series honored its strong rookie class. The AFS Badger Midgets had four rookie entrants in 2022, with Charles Rufi, Nicholas Klein, Trey Weishoff and Jack Vanderboom the honorees.
The Pat Stender Award was presented posthumously to Marty Howard, and accepted by his wife Teri. The crowd once again gave the award a standing ovation, showing their appreciation for Marty’s support of the series and racing as a whole throughout his life.
The 2022 Frank Connor Award went to Jake Neuman and the Terry Vaugh Award was presented to Jack Routson, both drivers of the famous Bill Ecker owned car. Next up was the Kevin Doty Award, and Shay Sassano was selected as the 2022 recipient.
The Hard Charger award for the most cars passed in the season went to Kevin Douglas. The driver of the #5K also finished a strong 8th in points in 2022. The next award presented was the Bryan Gapinski Media Award, and Loren Kelly of Box3 Media received the honor.
The Most Improved Driver Award went to Aaron Muhle. Muhle jumped from 20th in points in 2021, to 5th in 2022. With 7 Top 5’s, 12 Top 10’s and 20 out of 21 Features made.
Best Appearing Car and Best Appearing Crew was a clean sweep this year, with Todd Kluever’s #55 team taking both honors home. The Mechanic of the Year went to Brian Boden, chief mechanic of the championship winning Boden Motorsports #51 car.
The Rookie of the Year Award was presented to Charles Rufi, who gave an extremely emotional speech about his season and losses suffered along the way within his family. Charles adapted to the midget extremely well in his first season, finishing 15th in points and collecting 2 Top 10 finishes along the way.
The series also gives out honors for perfect attendance over the course of a season. This year, Kyle Stark, Zach Boden, Harrison Kleven, RJ Corson and Mike Stroik made it to every race of the 2022 AFS Badger Midget season.
The night concluded with Owners Points and Drivers Points Awards. All drivers expressed their appreciation for the series management and offered their congratulations to the other drivers and owners involved with the series in 2022.
Drivers Top 10 Awards
1st Zach Boden
2nd Kyle Stark
3rd Todd Kluever
4th RJ Corson
5th Aaron Muhle
6th Adam Taylor
7th Mike Stroik
8th Kevin Douglas
9th Daltyn England
10th Derek Doerr
Owners Top 10 Awards
1st Boden Motorsports
2nd Harlin Kittleston Racing
3rd Rich Corson
4th Kluever Motorsports
5th Craig Dori
6th Two-Four Motorsports
7th Fusion Engineering Racing
8th Team Stroik
9th Douglas Motorsports
10th Daltyn England Racing
Of course, the “main event” of the night was the crowning of a new Badger Midget champion, and Zach Boden is certainly deserving. An astounding 7 Fast Qualifier Awards compliment his 2 A Main victories, 12 Top 5’s, and 16 Top 10’s. The year was not smooth sailing for the team however, as mechanical gremlins and a fierce title bout with fellow competitor Kyle Stark and the Harlin Kittleston team tested the Boden Motorsports camp.
“We had an unreal amount of bad luck this year.” 2022 AFS Badger Midget Champion Zach Boden stated. “I can’t say enough about my team and my family for continuing to fight when things got hard. We kept pushing till the end to finally bring a championship home. It’s still sinking in that it actually happened.”
One of the many highlights of the night was a tearful goodbye to longtime series official and board member Chuck Bollig, who gave a fantastic speech to those gathered, and symbolically tossed his clipboard over the podium one final time thus receiving a standing ovation from the crowd. Thank you for all you have done for the series Chuck!
It also has to be mentioned that Todd Kluever gave an extremely emotional and touching tribute to longtime crew member, friend and series supporter BJ Dahlke and his daughter Addison, who we tragically lost this season. On a night of celebration, it’s important to remember those who we’ve lost along the way, and BJ and Addison will forever be remembered in the BMARA community.
Thank you to all who attended the 2022 Badger Midgets Awards Banquet! We can’t wait to see you all back at the track in 2023.
The Advanced Fastening Supply Badger Midget Series would like to thank all of our 2022 series partners for their continuous support this season!
Advanced Fastening Supply
Simpson Race Products
Madison Extinguisher Service
Advanced Racing Suspension
My Race Pass
Ryno Classifieds Online
Conrad Real Estate
1855 Saloon & Grill
Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning
Ben’s Auto Service Inc.
Horizon Carpentry Inc.
High Performance Lubricants
Industrial Truck Repair LLC
Article Credit: Loren Kelly
Submitted By: Loren Kelly