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TPS 2009 Awards Dinner

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TPS 2009 Awards Dinner


Neil Upchurch steps down as TPS Race Director


The 2009 Texas Pro Sedans Series annual Awards Dinner was held at Earl Abel’s Restaurant in San Antonio on Sunday evening, November 15. The private dining room was filled with a record turnout of 79 Texas Pro Sedans drivers and their families, crew members, TPS officials, TPS sponsors, TPS guests and fans who attended the season ending event.


During the Awards Dinner, 2009 Texas Pro Sedans Champion Mike Merrell of Kingsland, Texas, received his first TPS Champions Plaque. It was presented by six time TPS Champion Bill LaBarge. LaBarge subbed for 2008 TPS Champion Sergio Hexsel who was ill. In his championship acceptance remarks, Merrell sincerely thanked his wife, car owner, crew and #70 VW Scirocco sponsors for their support and vowed that Merrell racing will field two cars in 2010 with the return of two time TPS champion, Donnie Moore.


The 2009 Texas Pro Sedans Rookie of the Year was Tory Christopher of Universal City, Texas. Christopher was out-of-town. His TPS Rookie Plaque was received in his behalf by 2008 winner Bob Sherland. He thanked Tory Christopher's supporters.


Mike Merrell, Tory Christopher and “2009 TPS Champion Runner Up” Tom Johnson of Kingsland, Texas, all received embroidered Hoosier racing jackets. The jackets were sent to the TPS Awards Dinner by TPS sponsor Tom Lorenz, President of Hoosier Racing Tires Southwest in Mesquite, Texas. The Hoosier jackets were presented by the TPS Hoosier Tire dealer at Thunderhill Raceway, Jerry Spencer.


Texas Pro Sedans Race and Administrative Director, Neil Upchurch presented a narrative summary recalling the 2009, 34th consecutive TPS racing season. He thanked Mary Ann and H.E. Naumann of Thunderhill Raceway, Charles Turner and Mike Nowels of Red River Speedway and Dan and Kandy Monroe of CC Speedway for hosting a total of ten 2009 TPS races.


TPS Driver, Bruce Mabrito delivered his annual cleverly written TPS post season ode. This year, Mabrito concentrated his presentation on Mike and Charysse Knotts who will soon depart for a three year job in Germany. Mabrito’ s speech will be posted on www.TexasProSedans.com on which web master Charysse Knotts will continue to maintain the site as-soon-as her computer is back on line in Germany. Neil Upchurch presented a TPS appreciation plaque to Mike Knotts with for his 34 years of Texas Pro Sedans membership and service. Mike Haag, San Antonio Express-News sportswriter and blog editorial writer delivered the key note address.


Several Texas Pro Sedans sponsors, race officials and members received Appreciation Awards. Cash awards were presented to TPS drivers, Mike Knotts, Mike Merrell, Tory Christopher, Tom Johnson, Ozzie Osburn and Bruce Mabrito for their 100% participation during the 2009 season. TPS sponsors Richard and Bea Villanueva and Nelson Skinner were presented with sponsor appreciation gifts.


During a short business meeting, Proposition 2 was passed with vote of 20 in favor optional transponders wherein

non-equipped cars will be allowed to race, but will not be classified and would place behind transponder equipped cars.

3 votes were cast for mandatory transponders in which non-equipped cars would not be allowed to race.

The manual scoring proposition received no votes.


Neil Upchurch announced he was retiring from his position of Race Director, but will continue as TPS Administrative Director. Details about Upchurch's retirement will be posted at a later date. Upchurch also announced that TPS Chief Steward Jack Foy is retiring due to race day work schedule conflicts regarding his acceptance of a new job.


Applications are being accepted from qualified persons for the vacant position of TPS Race Director.


Upchurch announced that 2010 TPS Rules would be e-mailed to all 2010 TPS members at a later date.


With the large member participation at the TPS Awards Dinner, a proper finishing touch was put on the 2009, 34th consecutive Texas Pro Sedans Series season. TPS initiates their 35th racing season in 2010.


Upchurch announced the 2010 TPS race schedule may be finalized by January pending the signing of 2010 contracts with THR. A race schedule at Thunderhill Raceway will be announced at a later date.

A contract has been signed with CC Speedway for three races which will be held on April 10, May 15 and July 10.

TPS will apparently not be racing at Red River Speedway in 2010.

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look like mike ate something that didnt agree ..or he is boult to cry ..thinking he should have had two championships.. i cant see bills hand .. was he fixing to pull a speech string on mike ..sort a looks funny .both have the same look on thier faces .

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