By Stan Kalwasinski


Part of the Chicago area Markham racing family, Roger Markham grabbed top honors in the Super Late Model division on the dirt at the Sycamore Speedway.  Racing in the class since 2000, Markham captured his first title for Sycamore’s top division.  Previously, Markham had grabbed championship laurels in the track’s Late Model class (1999) and, at the age of 15, in the Spectator division (1991).


Coming down from his Wisconsin home on a regular basis, Brett Sievert captured eight feature races during the campaign and made off with top honors in the United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) Late Model division on the dirt at the Crown Point (Ind.) Speedway.  Illinois’ Dave Porth was the top driver in the UMP Modified ranks at the northwest Indiana dirt oval.  Bill Wise was Crown Point’s Street Stock champ with Jesse Gaylord winning top Mini Stock division laurels.  This would mark the final season of racing at the Crown Point speed plant, which kicked off racing in 1957 and was known as the Broadway Speedway.


Second generation speedster Billy Knippenberg was top man at the Grundy County Speedway (Morris) in the Late Model division.  With two feature wins to his credit, Knippenberg garnered his first Late Model crown at the “Friday Night Racin’ Place.”  Grabbing his fifth consecutive Late Model track championship, Ricky Bilderback again found himself on top of Rockford Speedway’s NASCAR Weekly Series Late Model standings.  Bilderback won five feature races at the high-banked, quarter mile paved oval in ’05. 


Bagging his second career Late Model division driving crown at Illiana Motor Speedway (Schererville, Ind.), Pat Kelly picked up eight feature wins at the half-mile paved oval, including the track’s annual Tony Bettenhausen Memorial 100 lapper.  For the second year in a row, Josh Nelms picked up top driving honors in the track’s Mid American Sportsman division, winning seven main events.  Anthony Danta claimed the Limited Late Model division crown.


Friday night racing at the Kankakee Speedway saw Ted Loomis and John Provenzano end up with the same amount of points after a season of UMP Late Model dirt track action.  Loomis was awarded his second consecutive championship by virtue of having more feature wins than Provenzano.  Over at the LaSalle Speedway, Tim Hamburg was the Late Model track champion while Eric Dauber garnered top honors in Midwestern Late Model honors.


Kamp Motor Speedway (Boswell, Ind.) hosted UMP Late model and Modified racing during the season with Ted Loomis grabbing top honors in the Late Model ranks and Tim Reynolds doing the same in the Modified division.  Another “Hoosier State” dirt speedway, Shadyhill Speedway in Medaryville saw Jesse Bitterling claim division honors in UMP Modified competition. 


For the fourth time in his career, Steve Thinnes notched championship driving honors in United Midget Auto Racing Association (UMARA) “National” midget competition.  Now a three-time champion, Joe Knippel was UMARA’s Sportsman midget titlist.  Racing throughout the Midwest, Tim Cox copped top driving honors for the Hoosier Outlaw Sprint Series (HOSS) winged sprint car tour.  Nailing down four feature wins during the season, Scott Neitzel scored his second consecutive Interstate Racing Association (IRA) Outlaw Sprint Series championship.