After a full season of dirt track stock car action, Larry Jackson and Bill Knippenberg found themselves tied for Late Model championship honors at Santa Fe Speedway in Willow Springs. This marked the third time in the track’s history that the Late Model championship ended in a tie. The veteran Jackson, now a three-time track champion, was involved in a championship tie previously in 1967. Knippenberg won one feature race during the ’91 season. Charlie Barys was the track’s Sportsman division titlist. Arkansas’ Billy Moyer was the winner of the track’s National Clay Track Championship 200 lapper.
Tracy Schuler drove to four feature wins during the season on his way to winning the Late Model title at the Grundy County Speedway in Morris. A first-time title winner, Schuler joined his dad Lee and older brother Larry on Grundy’s track champions list. One of Tracy Schuler’s victories was the annual Lee Schuler Memorial race, which honored his late father. Sportsman competition saw John Cowman win the Sportsman title at the fairgrounds third-of-a-mile paved track.
Len Nowosel was the Late Model champion at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Ind., picking up his first track championship crown. Bobby Gash was the Sportsman division champion at the half-mile paved oval. Frank Gawlinski won his sixth career Tony Bettenhausen Memorial 100 lapper.
Twenty-year veteran Pat Echlin captured 18 feature wins and picked up his second career Late Model driving title at Blue Island’s Raceway Park. Mike Tobuch garnered top honors in the Hobby Stock division at the short quarter-mile paved oval. Kevin Reidy was the winner of the 50-lap Late Model season finale.
The Markham family seemed to have a hold on championship honors on the dirt at Sycamore Speedway. Tom Markham bested his cousin, Ralph, by one point to win the Super Late Model title. Roger Markham won the Spectator division crown.
First-time titlist Bobby Wilberg was crowned the NASCAR Late Model champion at the Rockford Speedway. Wilberg notched three feature wins during the season at the high-banked quarter-mile paved speed plant. Michigan’s Butch Miller took home top honors in Rockford’s National Short Track Championships 300.
Todd McGarr picked up this third straight Late Model driving title on the dirt at the Southlake Speedway in Crown Point, Ind. McGarr won seven feature races during the campaign, including the speedway’s Harvest 100. 14-time feature winner Mike Kingma won the oval’s Hobby Stock crown.
Tom Rients posted his first career Late Model championship at the Kankakee Fairgrounds Speedway. Rients, who finished second in the final overall United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) standings, won 10 feature races on the dirt. Todd McGarr, winner of 13 features, was the track’s Limited Late Model champ. Jeff Momper was the Street Stock division champion and Joey Izzo won the Nimrod (four cylinder) class title.
Chicago’s Bill Venturni picked up his second Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) Super Car Series championship, scoring one series victory and repeating his 1987 feat. Locals Bob Strait and Dave Weltmeyer were also winners on the ARCA circuit. Second generation speedster Danny Pens won his second consecutive United Midget Auto Racing Association midget driving championship. One of Pens’ victories was the annual Bob Lockard race at Grundy.
Another making it two championships in a row was ARTGO Challenge Series titlist Steve Carlson, who nailed down three victories during the Late Model stock car tour. One of Carlson’s victories was the Cabin Fever 100 at Grundy. Kevin Cywinski won ARTGO’s Wayne Carter Classic at Grundy, which saw Dale Earnhardt and Mark Martin compete in a special match race before a capacity crowd.
Eddie Hoffman took home the top prize of $10,000 after winning an enduro event at Michigan’s Kalamazoo Speedway. Later in the year, Hoffman would win a 30-lap Street Stock feature that was part of the annual Indiana/Michigan Challenge Cup at the Southwest Speedway in Mottville, Mich.
Indiana’s Michael Lang had started off the 1991 racing season in the Chicagoland area by winning a United States Auto Club (USAC) National Midget 100-lap race indoors at the Rosemont Horizon on January 5.