Wow! The first annual I-35 Speedway banquet was a huge success! Over 170 people packed the Cameron Missouri Community Center to have a fun filled evening honoring the 2015 Champions, Rookies, Sportsmen of the Year, Fans of the Year, and introducing the first inductee into the I-35 Speedway Hall of Fame, Mrs. Dixie Kaster!

Having put on Central Auto Racing Booster banquets since 1993, Diana and I are experienced at banquets. From the 1995 1,000 plus banquet where we were packed in like sardines at Finnigan’s Hall to the first year in 1993 when only 178 tickets had been sold two weeks before the banquet (we ended up at 330 after she and I got on the telephone) we have never had as much fun as tonight’s banquet.

The food provided by Pit Stop Catering was simply outstanding. All that was left was salad and a few green beans. The dance floor was hopping and full all night long as K&C DJ Services provided a great mixture of music and fun. Rick Staley was simply outstanding as himself emceeing the event. Dennis Elliott even stopped and grabbed the microphone to compliment Rick on his announcing and work at the track. Eventually this led to a “Salvadore Perez” shower for Rick, but he did not even get wet! The silent auction, the bartending, the door prizes were all done professionally and led to everyone having fun, fun, fun. But most of all the respect shown by everyone to pay attention during the awards was most impressive. There were no calls for quiet, everyone was respectful and two standing ovations occurred, one for Mike and Kyle Johnson’s award from the fans, staff, and racers and for the induction of Dixie Kaster into the Hall of Fame.

For years I thought we all should be part of the Central Auto Racing Boosters banquet. My first banquet was 1988 and C.A.R.B. support six tracks. It was awesome to get an award in front of numerous drivers. However as time changes so does banquets. The I-35 Speedway banquet most certainly felt like family, isn’t that what our sport is about, our family?