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2015 Awards News

  • NCMA To Honor Jeff Gordon With Achievement In Motorsports Award: Jeff Gordon will be honored at the 10th Annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards Ceremony and hosted by the North Carolina Motorsports Association, January 13, 2016. Gordon, who will retire from full-time racing at the conclusion of the 2015 season, will be awarded the NCMA Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award for his personal and professional contributions to the motorsports industry in the state of North Carolina. "We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to honor Jeff and his amazing contributions to the sport of auto racing in our state," said Greg Fornelli, NCMA Chairman. "Jeff Gordon changed the face of NASCAR with his winning personality and his winning ways. His talent, his marketability and his philanthropy opened our sport to a whole new audience." Past recipients of the Achievement Award include Bill France Jr., Benny Parsons, Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Richard Childress, O. Bruton Smith, Junior Johnson, Humpy Wheeler, Ned Jarrett & Family and Mike Helton.
    Gordon is a four-time Series champion in NASCAR's premier series, winning the title in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001. He has three Daytona 500 victories and a record five Brickyard 400 trophies. He is third on the all-time victories list with 92 career wins. Gordon has driven the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy during his entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career, and has a 23-year relationship with sponsor Axalta Coating Systems (formerly DuPont). In addition to his racing achievements, Gordon established the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation in 1999 to help support children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. In December 2006, the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital opened at NorthEast Medical Center in Concord, N.C. Gordon is also part of Athletes for Hope; works with AARP in its Drive to End Hunger program; and is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. He is also heavily involved in Kick It, a program that raises funds for pediatric cancer research. Gordon announced in May that he will join the FOX NASCAR broadcasts as an in-booth analyst with veteran broadcasters Mike Joy and Darrell Waltrip for the 2016 season.
    The NC Motorsports Industry Awards Ceremony presented by Fifth Third Bank, which will also honor companies making an impact in the state's racing industry, takes place Jan. 13, 2016 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center in Concord, N.C. Details regarding tickets to the event will be available soon at

  • Ray Evernham Receives Smokey Yunick Award: Ray Evernham, a former modified racer who earned 47 victories and three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships as Jeff Gordon's crew chief, received the prestigious Smokey Yunick Award prior to the Bank of America 500. Legendary car owner and mechanic Henry "Smokey" Yunick, who passed away May 9, 2001, instituted the award in 1997 to annually recognize an individual who rose from humble beginnings to make a major impact on the motorsports industry. "Ray Evernham literally redefined the role of a NASCAR crew chief during his time with Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Ray's experience as a driver and his understanding of the sport's rapidly advancing technology produced a unique dynamic, while his innovative work with the 'Rainbow Warriors' established a new standard for pit-road performance. Ray is a perfect match to the ideals upon which Smokey founded this award, and it is only appropriate that he will be recognized as we celebrate Jeff's final race at Charlotte Motor Speedway where they enjoyed so much success." Smith was on hand Thursday to present Evernham with the award during a media availability.
    Born Aug. 26, 1957, in Hazlet, New Jersey, Evernham inherited the automotive gene and the second-generation mechanic spent his formative years turning wrenches alongside his father at the family's service station. Evernham eventually began racing them at area short tracks such as Wall Stadium and New Egypt Speedway. He advanced through the ranks and became a regular in the open-wheel modifieds that headlined the local racing circuit. He enjoyed a limited amount of success on the track, but it was soon obvious that Evernham's mechanical ability far surpassed his driving talent. His big break came in 1983 when Evernham was hired by Roger Penske and Jay Signore to work as a chassis specialist for the International Race of Champions, a New Jersey-based operation that annually presented a series of races featuring a dozen of the world's top drivers competing in identically prepared race cars. In addition to learning the business of major-league auto racing during his time with the IROC series, Evernham impressed drivers such as Dale Earnhardt and A.J. Foyt with his ability to translate what they were experiencing on the track into adjustments to the cars.
    Evernham's first venture into NASCAR's premier series came during the 1989 and 1990 seasons when he prepared the #38 Fords driven by Australian Dick Johnson. At the end of the 1991 season, Evernham accepted a job with team owner/driver Alan Kulwicki and he moved his toolbox to North Carolina. What seemed like the perfect opportunity quickly turned into a nightmare as a clash of personalities resulted in Evernham leaving the Kulwicki operation during the days leading up to the 1992 Daytona 500. Frustrated and ready to return to his native New Jersey, Evernham's career took a drastic turn when Ford officials Lee Morse and Preston Miller stopped him while walking out of the Daytona garage area. They had been impressed by Evernham's work and suggested they might have another assignment for him. A young open-wheel racer named Jeff Gordon had just become a Ford stock car driver and he had mentioned to Ford officials that he would like to work with Evernham. The two had crossed paths briefly in 1990 when Evernham setup the chassis on the Pontiac in which Gordon made his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut. Evernham served as the chassis specialist on the #1 Bill Davis Racing entry Gordon drove to three victories and 11 poles during the 1992 season.
    When Rick Hendrick hired Gordon to drive for his newest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, Gordon requested that Evernham come with him as the team's crew chief - and the rest is history. Over the next seven years, the Gordon/Evernham/Hendrick combination rose to the top of the sport during a time when the popularity of stock car racing was exploding. Evernham left Hendrick Motorsports in 1999 and formed his own team, bringing Dodge back into sport. The team debuted at the 2000 Daytona 500 and enjoyed modest success with drivers such as Bill Elliott, Casey Atwood, Elliott Sadler and Kasey Kahne. On Aug. 6, 2007, it was announced George Gillett Jr. had purchased a majority share in the team, which eventually merged with Petty Enterprises. Late in 2010, Evernham sold his remaining shares in the operation. Today, Evernham works as a consultant for Hendrick Motorsports and hosts Velocity's "AmeriCarna," a television program that celebrates this country's car culture. He has also assembled an extensive car collection that includes both road cars and race cars.(CMS Pit Notes)(10-9-2015)

  • Holly Cain awarded NMPA Spirit Award: Holly Cain, a highly respected member of the media that has covered motorsports for over 25 years, has been awarded the NMPA Spirit Award for the second quarter of 2015 by the members of the National Motorsports Press Association. The award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Cain has covered motorsports since 1990 for the Tampa Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and before joining in August of 2012. Her outstanding writing career has garnered her multiple accolades including the Associated Press Sports Editor (APSE) and Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) awards. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 2014, Cain has shown great courage and tremendously positive attitude while engaged in a difficult battle. She has been a long-time supporter of the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and has entered many 5k "Race for a Cure" events in honor and memory of friends suffering from breast cancer.(NMPA)(8-6-2015)

  • #4 Crew Chief Childers awarded the 'The Byrnsie Award": To honor longtime FOX NASCAR broadcaster Steve Byrnes, the NASCAR on FOX crew has developed 'The Byrnsie Award." In honor of late FOX NASCAR broadcaster Steve Byrnes, whose nickname was 'Byrnsie,' the award was established to celebrate an individual in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series who embodies principles Byrnes portrayed daily in his personal and professional life -- preparation, teamwork and family within the garage area. Childers was voted the recipient by Byrnes' colleagues on the FOX NASCAR broadcast team, of which he was a member since the first race broadcast in February 2001. Byrnes passed away in April following a courageous battle with cancer.
    "The Byrnsie Award" was voted on by FOX NASCAR broadcasters, and introduced on Sunday's "NASCAR RaceDay" pre-race show by Byrnes' son, Bryson. "I'm very honored that my dad could have his very own award named after him," Bryson said in announcing Childers as recipient of The Byrnsie Award. "I'm very excited to announce that the winner of the first-ever Byrnsie Award goes to Rodney Childers. Rodney is the crew chief for Kevin Harvick, and so far this season, he's already led him to two victories and 10 top-five finishes. But he's also a great family man. So I'd like to congratulate Rodney, and I think my dad is very proud of you right now." Larry McReynolds presented the inaugural award to Stewart-Haas Racing crew chief Rodney Childers for his success both atop the pit box and as a father. "It's incredible to hold this (trophy) and to think about Steve and his family and how much he meant to this community and everybody here at the race track," Childers told McReynolds after receiving the trophy. "For somebody to say anything like this to me is incredible, so I appreciate this and everybody at FOX ... a great honor."(FoxSports)(6-29-2015)

  • Richard Petty to be honored at IMRRC Award Dinner: Richard Petty, the most decorated driver in the history of NASCAR, will start the August race weekend in Watkins Glen by receiving the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports, sponsored by the International Motor Racing Research Center. Petty, who earned a record 200 career races and seven NASCAR Cup championships during his 30-year driving career, will be recognized on Aug. 6 at the IMRRC Award Dinner presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corp. and Watkins Glen International. The dinner will be at the Corning Museum of Glass on the Thursday prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Watkins Glen International, the famed upstate New York road race course. The award memorializes Cameron R. Argetsinger, founder and organizer of the first races at Watkins Glen. Team owner and former driver Chip Ganassi was the first recipient of the Argetsinger Award in 2014. "It always makes you feel good to be honored or recognized for your contributions, especially for something you have dedicated so much of your life towards," Petty said. "You can tell that Cameron also had a passion for road racing and dedicated his time and efforts to making it better for everyone." The inaugural race through the streets of Watkins Glen was in 1948. In 1961, Argetsinger organized the first U.S. Grand Prix, and Formula One racing began its successful 20-year run at The Glen. NASCAR competed at The Glen in 1957, 1964 and 1965 and annually since 1986. "You have to figure that racing wasn't as popular back when I started," said Petty, who piloted his first race car in July 1958 at the age of 21. "It didn't matter if it was on an oval, road course or a street course, it was still coming along in America. Today, it's all popular, and it took a lot of folks working together to make that happen. I appreciate this award and what it means to our sport." Petty competed in eight NASCAR races at Watkins Glen, including July 19, 1964, when both he and his father, the legendary Lee Petty, were on the track. It was Lee Petty's final career race. The IMRRC Award Dinner is open to the public, but tickets are limited. The ticket price is $250 per person. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Racing Research Center at (607) 535-9044.(IMRRC)(6-23-2015)

  • Linda Vaughn wins Honorary Jim Chapman Award: Linda Vaughn, who as Miss Hurst Golden Shifter and "The First Lady of Auto Racing" became one of the sport's greatest world-wide ambassadors, was announced as the first recipient of an honorary Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations. The Chapman Award, established in 1991, is considered by many in the industry as the highest honor in racing public relations. It is named in memory of Chapman, the legendary PR executive and innovator, who worked with Babe Ruth, Dan Gurney, Bobby Unser, Mario Andretti, Bill France Sr. and Avis Rent-a-Car founder Warren Avis among many others. Chapman, named Indy Car racing's "most influential man" of the 1980s, died in 1996 at age 80. The announcement was made at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the annual American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association breakfast meeting. Michael Knight, chairman of the selection committee and one of Chapman's closest friends, made the presentation. This first-ever honorary Chapman Award is the result of several suggestions and endorsement of the Chapman family and approval of members of the national media selection committee. Vaughn has earned PR awards from NHRA and SEMA and is in several Halls of Fame. Established in 1991 by media and publicists within the CART series, the Chapman Award originally focused on achievement in CART. After a hiatus of several years, the award was resumed in 2004, with eligibility expanded to anyone working in racing PR.(SpinDoctor500)(5-24-2015)

  • NMPA honors Steve Byrnes with First Quarter Spirit Award: The National Motorsports Press Association has awarded Steve Byrnes the NMPA Spirit Award for the first quarter of 2015. The award, voted on by members of the NMPA, is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Byrnes covered motorsports for 32 years, working for CBS, TNN, WTBS and Fox networks. March's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway was named the "Food City 500 In Support of Steve Bynres & Stand Up To Cancer" to honor Byrnes' battle with head and neck cancer. He passed away two days after the race. Byrnes is survived by his wife Karen and son Bryson. The Spirit Award is given quarterly and then an overall winner is announced after the end of the year. Lynda Petty, wife of seven-time champion Richard Petty, was the 2014 Spirit Award winner. Quarterly winners last year were Lynda Petty, Martin Truex Jr., Junie Donlavey and brothers Darrell and Michael Waltrip.(NBC Sports)(5-19-2015)

  • Lynda Petty Named Spirit Award Winner: Lynda Petty, the wife of seven-time NASCAR premier series champion Richard Petty, has been named the recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's annual Spirit Award for 2014. Petty, who passed away March 30, 2014, was one of the founding members of the Racing Wives Auxiliary, a charitable organization that provided assistance to those in need within the racing community. Today the group, now known as the Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports, seeks to enrich the lives of women, children and families through various education and wellness programs. In addition to raising and caring for a family of four, Petty also was active in numerous community and civic endeavors. The NMPA Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, the NMPA membership selects four quarterly recipients, with an overall winner chosen from among the four candidates at season's end. Petty was the first quarter recipient of the award for 2014. Other recognized for their efforts were driver Martin Truex Jr. (second quarter), long-time car owner W.C. "Junie" Donlavey (third quarter) and brothers Darrell and Michael Waltrip (fourth quarter).(Motor Racing Network)(1-26-2015)

  • Harvick wins NMPA Driver of the Year Award: Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #4-Kevin Harvick has been named the recipient of the NMPA's Richard Petty Driver of the Year Award for 2014. The award, which has been presented each year since 1969, is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership. Harvick was presented the trophy by the award's namesake, seven-time premier series champion Richard Petty, during the annual NMPA Awards Dinner Sunday night at the Embassy Suites in Concord, NC. It is the second time Harvick has been honored with the Richard Petty Driver of the Year award. Elevated to Cup competition following the 2001 death of seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt, Harvick responded by winning twice and finishing ninth in points in Cup while also winning the Busch (now XFINITY) Series championship. Harvick received nearly 75% of the vote cast by the membership. Other receiving votes were NASCAR drivers Chase Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman, along with six-time World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz (, see an image of the award presentation at Kevin Harvick's Twitter.(1-26-2015)

  • NCMA Honors Mike Helton and Tom Higgins: More than 400 North Carolina motorsports industry members and enthusiasts gathered Wednesday night at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Resort to honor NASCAR President Mike Helton. Before a crowd that was a who's who of the stock car racing community for the ninth annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards presented by Fifth Third Bank, Helton became the ninth recipient of the Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award, which is given annually by the North Carolina Motorsports Ass'n. Team owner Richard Childress, who received the Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award in 2010, presented the award to Helton, who was clearly humbled and somewhat uncomfortable in the role of honoree. "I've made a lot of these presentations in my life, but I really got nervous being on this end of it," Helton said. "I won't accept this award only personally, but I will accept it on behalf of our whole staff at NASCAR and in particular those at the R&D Center." Helton talked about the importance of organizations like the NCMA looking out for the best interests of motorsports companies before concluding his remarks in typical Helton style. "I am very grateful for this recognition and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart," Helton said. Helton was then joined on stage by Childress, Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer with the group swapping stories about Helton's career as NASCAR's top official.
    Other former winners of the Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award have been Bill France Jr., Benny Parsons, Dale Earnhardt, Bruton Smith, Junior Johnson, H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler and the Jarrett family.
    Earlier in the evening longtime Charlotte Observer reporter Tom Higgins received the Jim Hunter Memorial Media Award.
    The annual NCMA Motorsports Industry Awards went to Charlotte Motor Speedway's STEM program, GoPro Motorplex, the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, the Safer Racer Tour and deBotech.
    Among the other attendees were Bobby Allison, Richard Petty, Larry McReynolds, Ray Evernham, Ned Jarrett, Wheeler, John Darby, Jimmy Makar, Lake Speed, Doug Herbert and Austin Dillon.(Speed Sport - NSSN)(1-23-2015)

  • Dick Hutcherson will presented the Tim Flock Driver's Award: The 10th annual Victory Lane Racing Association will hold its 10th annual awards banquet on Tuesday night, February 17, 2015 at the Pelican Bay Country Club in Daytona Beach, FL and the late Dick Hutcherson will be honored, along with five other racing legends. Hutcherson will presented the Tim Flock Driver's Award by former driver and close friend, Ken Ragan. Others being honored are: Curtis Turner, Mike Duvall, Sam Ard, Gene Stokes and Steve Waid. A meet and greet social hour will start at 6:00pm/et and the banquet will follow at 7:00pm/et. Tickets for the banquet may be purchased by contacting Gary Phillipson at 386-295-3487.
    Hutcherson started his racing career in 1956. After returning home to Keokuk Iowa from Iceland, where he was stationed during the Korean War, he learned that his brothers-in-law were building a race car to compete at his hometown track, Keokuk Sportsman Park. They asked Hutch if he wanted to drive the car. He later made the comment that he just did it as a favor to them. He had never considered racing as a vocation. Before the war he had worked for his dad's construction company and was an excellent carpenter. But the night he drove his first race at KSP he was hooked and knew he would be doing it on a regular basis! He raced jalopies for a couple years, winning on a regular basis.
    In 1959, he started racing in the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA), and found success immediately, winning his first time out. In his five seasons in IMCA, he won 91 races and finished in the top three in points each season, reaching the very top his final two seasons, winning 60 races, (29 in 1963 and 31 in 1964), and the national points title both seasons. As if that wasn't enough, Hutch was his own chief mechanic his whole IMCA career and in 64 won the prestigious P.A. Sturtevant Co. Master Mechanic of The Year award, THE TORQUE WRENCH! Ironically he went on to win that award again in 68 as crew chief for David Pearson as the team paired to win the NASCAR Grand National (now known as Sprint Cup) Championship. Hutch ran four NASCAR races in 1964, winning the pole in his very first start in the series at Greenville Pickens Speedway on March, 28th. He went on to win a second pole and have two top 5 finishes in only four starts that season. He then headed back to Iowa to successfully defend his '63 IMCA National Championship.
    In late '64, Ford Motor Company invited Hutch to move down south and race NASCAR full time for the famed Holman-Moody organization. It was the opportunity he'd been waiting for, so in December of '64 he packed his tool box, his pregnant wife, Betty, and headed south. His rookie season in NASCAR's premiere series 1964 and what a season it was! He ran great right from the start of the season and found victory lane in the 10th race of the season on April 17th at a bullring in Hillsborough, N. C, a mere five days after his son, Ricky, was born. He went on to win nine races and captured nine pole positions and battled Ned Jarrett for the championship right down to the end of the season, settling for second place, by far the best rookie season ever in NASCAR.
    Ironically Hutch didn't win the Rookie of The Year honor because at the time, the rule book stated that any driver who had won a championship in any other series wasn't eligible to run for rookie of award. Just imagine if that rule was still in effect, NASCAR wouldn't be able to crown any rookies of the year because in order to make it to the top racing series drivers, have won championships somewhere along the way!
    In 1966 Hutch was without factory backing because Ford boycotted NASCAR because of its new engine rules, so he only raced in 14 GN races. He did, however, drive a GT40 in the 24 Hours of LeMans for Ford and finished third overall in that event! What a long way he had come from a dirt racer in Iowa to race against world talent in the biggest sports car race in the world in France and showing them he was a real wheel man! Back in NASCAR he won two races in his shortened season! In '67, he moved to Bondy Long's team and won three more races including the 500 lapper at Bristol, Tenn. and the Dixie 500 in Atlanta.
    His wife talked him into retiring at the end of the '67 season because it terrified her every time he raced, afraid he was going to get seriously hurt or even worse. John Holman hated losing such a talent and told Hutch he would have a car if he changed his mind and wanted to continue racing. But he was committed to following his wife's desires so he didn't race again for many years. John Holman and Ralph Moody offered Hutch the General Managers position at Holman Moody and asked him to oversee the cars and be the crew chief for new hire David Pearson. The duo immediately found success winning in their fifth attempt, at Bristol Speedway. They won 16 times that season and capped it off with the championship! The team found more success the next year with 11 more wins and a second consecutive championship.
    But he grew tired of the constant traveling and didn't like being in the middle between Holman and Moody, so in 1970, he started putting things in place to open his own business. So in December of that year, he and good friend Eddie Pagan, also a former driver, broke from H-M and started building Hutcherson Pagan Enterprise Incorporated. Their goal was to build race cars, fix wrecks and sell parts. Within a few short years, because of their attention to detail and customer service, they rose to the top of their field where they remained until Hutch's death in 2005! They built cars for Dale Earnhardt , A J Foyt, Darrell Waltrip and Harry Gant, just to name a few. In fact, when Earnhardt was giving his acceptance speech after winning his seventh Cup Championship, he thanked Hutch by name for helping him in his early years by extending him credit and continuing to work on his cars when he couldn't afford to pay! Another example of what kind of man Hutch was! He built, and was crew chief for his brother, Ron as the duo paired to win three consecutive ARCA championships between 1972-1974.
    He became great friends with Foyt through the years and built all of his USAC and NASCAR Stock Cars and acted as crew chief for him through the mid '90's. The pairing was very successful, winning the USAC stock car championship in back-to-back seasons in '78 and '79. Hutch and AJ remained close friends until Hutch passed away in 2005. It would be interesting to know just how many races were won in the cars he built over the years at HP. The number would be well over a hundred!(Victory Lane Racing Association)(1-6-2015)

2014 Awards News

  • Richard Petty Honored at Autosport Awards in London: Richard "The King" Petty has an impressive new jewel in his crown. Sunday, Petty, NASCAR's most decorated driver with 200 wins and seven championships, received Autosport Magazine's Gregor Grant Award, a lifetime achievement presentation named after the publication's founding editor. The honor was bestowed on the 77-year-old racing legend in London during the annual Autosport Awards. Petty was in attendance at the ceremony to accept the award, which has previously been given to racing icons such as Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Stirling Moss. The Gregor Grant Award has been presented as part of the annual awards since 1989. Grant founded Autosport in 1950 and served as the weekly motorsport magazine's editor until 1968. Each year, Autosport chooses a member of the motorsport community to be honored in Grant's name for his or her lifetime contributions to the sport of auto racing. "This is a pretty big deal," Petty said after receiving the award. "This puts me in the company of some the best drivers in the world, and I'm proud to be included with them. I'm thankful to Autosport for recognizing us and inviting me to London for their Awards show."(Autosport Magazine PR)(12-9-2014)

  • Toyota Honored With NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Toyota was honored with the 2014 NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon held in the Encore Ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas. An official partner since 2004, Toyota joins Coca-Cola as the only multiple-time winner of the award. Utilizing an integrated marketing approach, Toyota has engaged fans, customers and employees across every facet of the NASCAR industry, including intellectual property, promotions, B2B, online, broadcast, at track, event marketing, and social media. "Toyota is a world class marketer that consistently demonstrates how to effectively leverage its strong brand across all NASCAR platforms to drive measurable performance both on and off the track, said NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar. "Celebrating its tenth year in the sport, Toyota is a true partner to NASCAR at all levels." This year, Toyota played a vital role in advancing core NASCAR initiatives including engaging fans across digital platforms, heavily investing in creative and media to connect with fans, developing activation geared towards reaching diverse audiences, and leading the way in promoting the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format.
    "Toyota is honored to receive the NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award for the second time in only four years," said Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota. "Our commitment to NASCAR, both on the race track and to our fans and consumers, has grown each and every year since we formed our partnership in 2004. Our continued development of new initiatives to engage the fans and help enhance their experience is paramount. We thank NASCAR for its continued support, and look forward to introducing everyone to the 2015 Camry along with other initiatives when we get to Daytona in February."
    Key Toyota integrated marketing highlights that reached NASCAR stakeholders this year include:
    · Partnered to help launch the Air Titan 2.0, NASCAR's innovative track drying system, which is pulled by Toyota Tundra trucks
    · Supported The NASCAR Foundation by contributing a Toyota Camry to the 2014 Betty Jane France Award winner
    · Became the first founding partner of the Daytona Rising Project
    · Introduced its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series", 2015 Camry race car in unison with its Camry production cars' arrival in the showroom
    · Executed four race entitlements across three tracks and major at-track presence, activating at 32 tracks
    · Prominently featured NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth in national TV creative
    · Continued support of NASCAR multi-cultural marketing efforts, including; integration with NASCAR Te Mueve Hispanic marketing platform, entitling the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series Toyota 120 at Phoenix International Raceway, sponsoring NASCAR Drive for Diversity and Rev Racing drivers Darrell Wallace, Jr., German Quiroga and Daniel Suarez
    · First Official Partner to support and integrate into the new NASCAR Chase Grid digital game platform
    · Sponsored the new interactive Chase fan event in Chicago, Chase Grid Live Sponsored by Toyota and Sprint
    · Built cultural relevance in NASCAR by using its "Made in America" core message to establish the company as an American carmaker, and supported our nation's military and their families through its backing of Hiring Our Heroes and NASCAR - An American Salute initiatives
    Other previous winners of the NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award include: Mars, Incorporated; ESPN; FOX / TNT / NBC; Nationwide Insurance; and Sprint.(NASCAR)(12-5-2014)

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. Receives 2014 NMPA Myers Brothers Award: In recognition of his career achievements as a champion driver, team owner and philanthropist, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was named the recipient of the 2014 NMPA Myers Brothers Award, a prestigious accolade recognizing those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. "This doesn't even seem real," said an emotional Earnhardt after receiving the honor at the 2014 NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon held at Wynn Las Vegas. "The truth is obviously I'm extremely humbled by this award, but I feel like I share it on so many levels - my sister Kelley (Earnhardt Miller) along with everyone at JR Motorsports is as deserving of this as anyone. I have a lot of passions with NASCAR, but I wouldn't be able to know how to make them realities without all those folks." An accomplished driver, evidenced by his 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories and two NASCAR Nationwide Series championships, Earnhardt was cited just as much for his achievements outside his #88 Chevrolet, namely as the owner of JR Motorsports and a tireless community benefactor.
    This season, JR Motorsports driver Chase Elliott became the youngest competitor to win a NASCAR national series championship after clinching the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series title. The 18 year old will likely join Brad Keselowski, Aric Almirola, Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt as Sprint Cup regulars who have developed under Earnhardt full time at the Nationwide level.
    In addition to his Nationwide Series program, Earnhardt contributes to racing at its grassroots levels, fielding Late Model or Street Stock cars since founding JR Motorsports. His Late Model drivers Josh Berry and William Byron finished first and second, respectively, this season in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Hickory Motor Speedway. Earnhardt's work extends off the track into the community. He has made 235 appearances on behalf of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a number that ranks in the top five among professional athletes. Furthermore, his Dale Jr. Foundation raised $913,000 to be distributed to more than 70 different charities. "I'm just as proud of what we've accomplished there as anything we've ever done on the race track," Earnhardt said about his foundation.
    The NMPA Myers Brothers Award has been presented annually since 1958 in the names of pioneer NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers and its winner is chosen by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association. Past recipients are a virtual who's-who of the industry - drivers, owners, track operators, sponsors and members of the media - and include nearly every current member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.(NASCAR)(12-4-2014)

  • Awards from NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: Seventeen awards were given out at the 2014 NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon held at Wynn Las Vegas on Thursday, spanning from achievements in marketing, performance on the track and exemplary work in the garage. 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick garnered seven honors, including the 3M Lap Leader Award and Mobil 1 Driver of the Year. "This is really the first time I've gotten to stand up here and actually realize what we've accomplished," Harvick said. "Thank you to everyone who has participated in making our sport what it is."
    Here is the complete list of Thursday's award winners from the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon:
    · NMPA Myers Brothers Award: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    · Buddy Shuman Award: Bill Joyner, Sunoco's Manager of Automotive Events
    · NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Toyota
    · 3M Lap Leader Award: Kevin Harvick
    · American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Kevin Harvick
    · Coors Light Pole Award: Brad Keselowski
    · Duralast Brakes "Brake in the Race" Award: Kevin Harvick
    · Freescale "Wide Open" Award: Kevin Harvick
    · Goodyear Tires Award: Kevin Harvick
    · MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award: Billy Davis, Hendrick Engines #4 team
    · Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: Stewart-Haas Racing #4 team
    · Mobil 1 Driver of the Year Award: Kevin Harvick
    · MOOG Steering & Suspension Problem Solver of the Year Award: Luke Lambert, crew chief #31 Richard Childress Racing team
    · Sherwin-Williams Fastest Lap Award: Matt Kenseth
    · Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Kevin Harvick
    · Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award: Kyle Larson
    · Champion Sponsor Award: Budweiser
    · Champion Crew Chief: Rodney Childers

  • Darrell & Michael Waltrip receive NMPA Spirit Award: Three-time NASCAR premier series champion Darrell Waltrip and younger brother Michael, a two-time winner of the Daytona 500, have been named fourth-quarter recipients of the National Motorsports Press Association Spirit Award for 2014. The two were recognized for their annual Waltrip Brothers Charity Championship event, which raised $450,000 through a dinner, auction and golf tournament. Proceeds from the fifth annual event will benefit the Motor Racing Outreach (MRO), a non-profit organization that ministers to the needs of the families of those involved in NASCAR; Feed the Children, one of the largest U.S.-based anti-hunger organizations; and Tucker's House, which seeks to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities that require home modifications for safety, accessibility and therapy. Also receiving votes for the fourth quarter were the Kyle Busch Foundation and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Joey Coulter. The NMPA Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. The Waltrips join Lynda Petty, wife of seven-time premier series champion Richard Petty, Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr., and long-time car owner W.C. "Junie" Donlavey as this year's quarterly award recipients. An overall winner of the 2014 NMPA Spirit Award will be determined by a vote of the NMPA membership and announced during the association's annual convention, scheduled for Jan. 25, 2015 in Concord, N.C.(NMPA)(12-3-2014)

  • Jon Edwards wins Jim Chapman Award: Jon Edwards, who has been media representative for four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon for almost 15 years, was announced as winner of the 2014 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations. The Chapman Award is considered by many in the industry as the highest honor in racing public relations. It is named in memory of Chapman, the legendary PR executive and innovator, who worked with Babe Ruth and was named Indy Car racing's "most influential man" of the 1980s. Chapman died in 1996 at age 80. The announcement and presentation were made at Phoenix International Raceway by Michael Knight, chairman of the selection committee, and one of Chapman's closest friends. The award is determined by a vote of national media members, most of who knew Chapman, and is authorized by the Chapman family. PR representatives from all forms of motorsports are eligible for consideration. As has happened before, the selection committee chose two equally-deserving Chapman Award recipients this year. Elon Werner, of John Force Racing, was recognized last weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before the NHRA national event.
    "Jeff Gordon is one of the most media friendly athletes in all of sports and Jon Edwards has played an essential role in making that happen," said Knight, the longtime journalist/publicist and award rights-holder. "Jim Chapman would approve of the committee's choice because Jon's open approach in working with the media parallels what Jim did with his own roster of legendary clients, including Babe Ruth.
    "Jim set the ultimate standard of professionalism, class and dignity. He knew that building good one-on-one professional relationships with journalists was important in good times and absolutely essential in bad times. That's too often missing today in a communications age where an E-mail or text message or over-reliance on social media is incorrectly considered 'relationship-building.' Jim was a true 'people person' and knew nothing could replace a handshake, a face-to-face conversation, or the sound of another person's voice.
    "Jeff's cooperation with the media has not only benefitted him, his team and corporate sponsors, it has benefitted NASCAR and all of motorsports. It's very appropriate to recognize Jon's many important contributions to this aspect of Jeff's successful career."
    Edwards began as a PR/marketing assistant at North Carolina Motor Speedway while attending the University of North Carolina in the early 1990s. He joined Performance PR Plus, DuPont Motorsports' agency, in 1994, managing PR in several series and trackside hospitality. In 1999, he was with driver Ricky Craven's NASCAR team, then began working with Gordon in mid-2000 and became an employee of Jeff Gordon, Inc. in 2011. Edwards received NASCAR's most valuable PR representative award in 2003 and 2007.
    Established in 1991 by media and publicists within the CART series, the Chapman Award originally focused on achievement in CART. After a hiatus of several years, the award was resumed in 2004, with eligibility expanded to anyone working in racing PR. Chapman started as sports editor or managing editor of several Southern newspapers before joining the New York Times. He served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He entered the PR business in 1946, as regional PR director for Ford Motor Co. in Detroit.
    1991 - Michael Knight
    1992 - Tom Blattler
    1993-94 - Deke Houlgate and Hank Ives
    1995 - Kathi Lauterbach
    1996 - Marc Spiegel
    1997 - Mike Zizzo
    1998 - Tamy Valkosky
    1999 -- Carol Wilkins
    2000-2003 - (Award not presented)
    2004 - Doug Stokes
    2005 - Susan Arnold
    2006 - Kevin Kennedy
    2007 - Dave Densmore and Bob Carlson
    2008 - Judy Stropus
    2009 - (Award not presented)
    2010 -- Jim Hunter
    2011 -- Bill York
    2012 -- Judy Kouba Dominick and Nancy Wager
    2013 -- Anne Fornoro
    2014 -- Jon Edwards and Elon Werner

  • Gurney Receives Edison-Ford Medal From The Henry Ford: The Henry Ford paid tribute to racing legend Dan Gurney on Wednesday (Oct 30th) during a special ceremony at Henry Ford Museum, awarding him the Edison-Ford Medal for his ingenuity and lifetime of innovative achievements. The Edison-Ford Medal is designed to honor those who fully leverage the creative, innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that resides in every one of us. Special guest Charlie Rose, talk show host, journalist and co-anchor of "CBS This Morning," served as Master of Ceremonies. In addition to a number of memorable wins in a variety of racing categories, Gurney established himself not only as one of racing's most successful drivers, but also as an innovative car builder and team owner. Gurney's wide-ranging curiosity and hands-on attitude have resulted in a number of innovations including the downforce-increasing "Gurney flap" and the "rolling wind tunnel," built at his race shop, All American Racers, to test the at-speed aerodynamics of scale models. Gurney is also tied to several automobiles that are part of The Henry Ford's world premier automotive collection, including the 1962 Ford Mustang I Concept Car driven at Watkins Glen, the 1965 Lotus-Ford Race Car that Jim Clark used to win the 1965 Indianapolis 500, and the 1967 Ford Mark IV Race Car, used for perhaps his most famous win at the 1967 24 Hours of LeMans. After winning that race, Gurney famously sprayed the crowd with champagne, starting a racing tradition. Dan Gurney is only the second recipient of the Edison-Ford Medal. Established in 1989 on the 60th anniversary of The Henry Ford, the medal was awarded that year to Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the Father of the Quality Evolution.(Ford Racing)(10-31-2014)

  • Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown winners named: A technician trained to service Hondas helped assemble a Chevy NASCAR engine in record time and also won the 13th annual Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. Elmer Javier, a Master Certified Technician from Hendrick Honda in Charleston, South Carolina, teamed with Van Nguyen of Hendrick Motorsports to assemble the 358ci Chevy R07.2 engine in a winning time of 21 minutes, 48 seconds. Earlier in qualifying the duo assembled their engine in 21:40, which set a new record for the fuel-injected engines. When the competition featured earlier earlier generation race engines that were carbureted, assembly time was around 17 minutes - an indication that NASCAR engines are getting more complicated. The first time fuel-injected engines were used in competition, winning time was 27:46. Taking second in the competition were Dan Ryan of Gwinnett Place Honda in Duluth, Georgia, who teamed with Scott Vester of Hendrick Motorsports to assemble their engine in 22:53. That was quicker than last year's winning time of 24:38. The showdown pairs 12 master technicians from the Hendrick Automotive Group - which encompasses 94 dealerships around the country - with 12 members of the Hendrick Motorsports engine department. Qualifying rounds are held over two days at the Hendrick Motorsports facilities in Concord, North Carolina. Teams with two best qualifying times then go head-to-head in the final. Teams can be penalized for errors, such as loose bolts. Although the competition has been staged for 13 years, it was renamed a few years ago to honor Randy Dorton, the chief engine builder for Hendrick Motorsports who died in a 2004 plane crash. The engines are similar to but not exact replications of the 900-plus-horsepower versions raced in NASCAR competition. They do start with GM blocks, heads and intakes and work with most of the supporting accessories, such as the water pump and fuel system.(Engine Labs)(10-22-2014)

  • Donlavey honored by NMPA: Longtime car owner Junie Donlavey was named the National Motorsports Press Association Spirit Award recipient for the third quarter of 2014. Donlavey, who passed away in June of this year at the age of 90, competed at NASCAR's highest level for more than four-and-a-half decades, beginning in 1950. Donlavey is credited with giving numerous drivers the opening they needed to begin, or further, their Cup careers. Among those whose first premier series starts came with Donlavey were two-time champ Joe Weatherly, Jimmy Hensley, Harry Gant and Robby Gordon. Donlavey also aided the careers of drivers such as Ken Schrader and Dick Trickle. Donlavey-owned teams made 863 starts, finishing in the top-10 in points on nine occasions. His lone win as an owner came in 1981 at Dover, Del., with driver Jody Ridley. Donlavey was inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame in 2009. Also receiving votes for the third quarter were Sprint Cup drivers Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kyle Larson. Other quarterly winners of the Spirit Award for 2014 are Lynda Petty (first quarter) and Martin Truex Jr. (second quarter). The NMPA Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are chosen, and an overall winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership.(NMPA)(1-8-2014)

  • Don Miller and David Pearson to be honored: Don Miller, the former President of Penske Racing and the current Chairman of the Board of the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame (NCARHOF) along with former NASCAR driving legend David Pearson will be honored by the Foundation Fighting Blindness Tuesday, October 7 at the Urban Garden at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Uptown Charlotte, NC. Don Miller, a revered Philanthropist especially for illnesses and disabilities affecting children has always stepped up to the plate for those in need as noted by his past NASCAR Humanitarian Award. "I consider it a great honor to be named as a co-recipient with David Pearson for the Foundation Fighting Blindness Visionary Award," said Miller. "The work that Marilyn Green and her staff have done over the years is nothing short of remarkable. All of us that are blessed with good eyesight need to make a special effort to support the research that will eventually find a cure for the various causes of blindness. At our Hall of Fame we have hosted several tours for visually impaired people and will do much more in the future."
    Marilyn Green, Foundation Fighting Blindness National Board Member, is very proud to honor Don Miller. "Recognizing Don Miller at Dining in the Dark is a true honor. Don shows such passion and commitment to the many causes he holds dear. It's a true privilege for our Foundation Fighting Blindness family to honor him for his years of tireless work to help those in need."
    The Foundation Fighting blindness was established in 1971 by a passionate group of individuals driven to overcome vision robbing retinal degenerative diseases. The Foundation's goal is to drive the research that would lead to the prevention, treatment, and cures for the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases. Over the past 42 years the Foundation has raised nearly $550 million to put an end to retinal degenerative diseases. For information about the event tickets or to make a donation contact Lesley Ireland at 919-901-5631 or at
    More info and to make a donation at

  • Journalist Mark "Bones" Bourcier to be honored: Mark "Bones" Bourcier will receive the Charlie Mitchell/Jack Ratta Memorial Award at the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday, Nov. 16 at Maneeley's Banquet Hall in South Windsor, CT. Bourcier, a native of Southington, CT, is currently an Editor At Large for Speedway Illustrated Magazine. Honing his skills at local media outlets and then at Speedway Scene and Trackside Magazine, Bourcier has become one of America's premier auto racing scribes, twice winning the coveted Miller Racing Award of Excellence in Honor of Russ Catlin. They are part of a host of writing awards that also includes the Eastern Motorsports Press Association's Frank Blunt Memorial Award. He did memorable work for Stock Car and Open Wheel magazines and has appeared in several national outlets including National Speedsport. While Bourcier, who began watching race cars at Plainville Stadium, is a national figure in the motorsports writing fraternity, he has never forgotten his roots. He has written and/or edited books on New England racing heroes Bugs Stevens, Richie Evans, Ed Flemke and most recently Bentley Warren. They are on a list of books that include biographies of Bill Simpson, Tony Stewart, Parnelli Jones and Dave Darland and a history of Utica-Rome Speedway.(NEAR)(9-25-2014)

  • Truex, Jr. wins Second Quarter NMPA Spirit Award: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. has been selected as the second quarter recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's Spirit Award. Truex Jr. and longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex were honored for their fifth annual Catwalk for a Cause charity event held in May. Money raised through the popular event supports the Martin Truex Jr. Specials Needs Fund at the Levin Children's Hospital, which assists patients and families of children being treated for cancer. Also receiving votes for the second quarter were Sonoma Raceway and Furniture Row Racing. Lynda Petty, wife of seven-time NASCAR premier series champion Richard Petty, was the first-quarter recipient. The NMPA Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are chosen, and an overall winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership.(NMPA)(9-17-2014)

  • Petty Receives Legion 'Good Guy' Award: Praised for his patriotism and his service to the community, NASCAR Hall of Famer "The King" Richard Petty was presented The American Legion's James V. Day "Good Guy" Award during the organization's 96th annual national convention on August 25th. "Richard Petty is so much more than just a former race driver and now current team owner," American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger said during an award luncheon held in Petty's honor at theWestin Charlotte by The American Legion Past Department (state) Commander's Club. "He is a great American, who is always giving back to the community. By donating his land, and more importantly, his time, to Victory Junction, Richard has helped chronically ill children receive life-changing camping experiences. He and his son Kyle have helped educate young people about the safe use of automobile lifts, and he has donated time to Civitan International. Richard Petty Motorsports has also supported paralyzed veterans. The NASCAR culture is often praised for its patriotism. Well, it's no coincidence that Richard Petty is The King of NASCAR."
    "It's an honor to be recognized by the American Legion,"Petty said. "I've also felt it was important to do my best to give back to the community and to those in need. It's just something small we do to help out and hopefully make people's lives better or make them feel good. It's humbling to be rewarded for it." The James V. Day Good Guy Award is named after a World War II veteran and prominent Legionnaire. Recent recipients include former boxing great George Foreman, performer Dolly Parton, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and former NBA star David Robinson.(Petty Family Foundation)(8-27-2014)

  • Lesa France Kennedy to be Honored: On Saturday, August 23, 2014, the National Women's History Museum (NWHM) and its Los Angeles Regional Council, will host a private brunch at 11:45am/pt at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles - Women Making History - to honor the achievements of three notable women including Lesa France Kennedy, ISC CEO and NASCAR Board Member. The event will honor female philanthropists and activists who contribute to women's history while creating awareness to advance NWHM's mission and build a world-class museum in Washington, D.C. This year's honorees also include accomplished actress and philanthropist Sophia Bush, and producer, director, and Academy Award-winning writer Callie Khouri. "We are delighted to join with our LA Council to honor these three remarkable women," said Joan Wages, NWHM President and CEO. Past recipients include Maya Angelou, Fran Drescher, Annie Leibovitz, Jennifer Seibel Newsom, Dolores Huerta, Marissa Mayer and Rita Moreno. "I am humbled and honored to receive this special recognition," said Lesa France Kennedy, ISC CEO and NASCAR Board Member. "The National Women's History Museum is making great strides in educating our nation and I am excited to help preserve women's history for the next generation." NWHM's mission is to educate, inspire, empower, and shape the future by integrating women's distinctive history into the culture and history of the United States. For more information on the NWHM, please visit

  • Ganassi to be honored for contributions to motorsports: Multiple race-team owner Chip Ganassi on Thursday will receive the inaugural Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for his outstanding contributions to motorsports. The award will be given by the International Motor Racing Research Center at the 2014 IMRRC Award Dinner honoring Chip Ganassi presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and Watkins Glen International. Some of racing's top figures, including NASCAR President Mike Helton, will be honoring Ganassi, who fields teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Verizon INDYCAR and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series. Ganassi Racing driver Jamie McMurray, who will be competing in the weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International, also will take a turn at the podium, as will Brian Barnhart, INDYCAR senior vice president, competition, and SCCA president and CEO, Lisa Noble. The proceeds of the dinner will benefit the IMRRC, an archival library dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of motorsports, covering all series and all venues, through its collections of books, periodicals, films, photographs, fine art and other materials. The IMRRC is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.(International Motor Racing Research Center)(8-3-2014)

  • Lynda Petty named first-quarter recipient of the NMPA's Spirit Award.: Lynda Petty, one of the founding members of the Racing Wives Auxiliary, was named first-quarter recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's Spirit Award. Petty, who passed away on March 25 at the age of 72, started the charitable organization, providing assistance to those in need in the racing community. Now know as the Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports, the group seeks to enrich the lives of women, children and families through education and wellness initiatives. The wife of seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty raised a family of four and was active in numerous community and civic endeavors. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and fellow premier series driver Denny Hamlin also received votes for the first-quarter award. The NMPA Spirit Award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are chosen, and an overall winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership.(

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Announces 2013 Russ Catlin Awards for Excellence in Motorsports Journalism: The 29th annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Russ Catlin Awards for Excellence in Motorsports Journalism ceremony was held today, honoring five individuals with the most sought-after accolades in motorsports media. This year's honorees are Nate Ryan (USA Today), J.A. Ackley (Dick Berggren's Speedway Illustrated), Lauren Stowell (ESPN), Chris Weaver (WGHP FOX8) and Mark J. Rebilas (USA Today Sports) for their outstanding work in 2013.
    This year marked Ryan's fifth time receiving the award (2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013). It was the second time receiving the honor for Stowell (2010, 2013) and Rebilas (2010, 2013). It was the sixth time that a representative from USA Today was honored with the award, the ninth time for ESPN and the second time for WGHP FOX8.
    The awards, which pay homage to motorsports journalism pioneer Russ Catlin, recognize the best motorsports coverage in five categories: Daily and Non-Daily Writing, National and Local Broadcast and Photojournalism. Entries are open to all forms of motorsports coverage and no affiliation or membership is required for participation. "The quality of this year's entries reflects how gifted and talented our journalists are," said Scott Cooper, Vice President of Communications at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We understand the time, effort and sacrifice it takes to cover such a demanding sport. They do an unbelievable job conveying the thrills, the excitement and the passion of motorsports. We appreciate all of our journalists' efforts and are excited to reward the best of the best."
    Russ Catlin was a forerunner of motorsports public relations and journalism. Catlin was one of the best known racing writers and historians, contributing articles and information to Speed Age, Automobile Quarterly, Open Wheel and numerous other publications. Catlin served as publicist for Darlington Raceway during the 1960s and guided several influential figures in the motorsports field, including former Charlotte Motor Speedway General Manager Humpy Wheeler, who established the awards in his honor.
    As in years past, The Indiana University School of Journalism judged the entries and determined the winners. All five winners were given a trophy and were awarded a $1,000 scholarship in their name to the school of their choice. The recipients also had their names engraved on the perpetual trophy kept at Charlotte Motor Speedway that lists all of the past winners. The award has been among the most coveted in motorsports journalism since it began in 1985. Reporters from top media outlets such as USA Today, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, New York Times and The Washington Post have all been past winners. The 2013 Charlotte Motor Speedway Russ Catlin Awards for Excellence in Motorsports Journalism are as follows:
    Writing - Daily
    Nate Ryan - USA Today
    Entry: "NASCAR walks tightrope with NRA sponsorship"
    Judges' Comments: The story acknowledges that NASCAR does not live in a bubble. It exposes the potentially volatile political and social side effects of sponsorship. The reporter tackles a timely topic with in-depth reporting and clear writing.
    Scholarship: Northwestern University
    Writing - Non-Daily
    J.A. Ackley - Dick Berggren's Speedway Illustrated
    Entry: "Tire Doping"
    The reporter educates readers on an important and timely topic while revealing a complex issue in motorsports. What could have been a dry report is brought to life by extensive reporting, lively writing and interviews from sources with a variety of perspectives.
    Scholarship: Rochester Institute of Technology
    Broadcast - Local
    Chris Weaver - WGHP FOX8, High Point, NC
    Entry: "Racing at Bowman Gray Stadium"
    Judges' Comments: This piece captures the viewers' attention with great camera work, fast-paced shots, and nice natural sound. But it also tells an interesting narrative and it is clear that there was a lot of work put into interviewing a variety of people over a span of many days. The combination of visuals, audio and storytelling that went into this piece make it a stand out from the rest. This work makes Bowman Gray come to life on the screen.
    Scholarship: UNC-Greensboro
    Broadcast - National
    Lauren Stowell - ESPN
    Entry: "Richie Parker - Drive"
    Judges' Comments: This piece combines excellent videography, interviews, natural sound and narrative to tell a compelling story. It's clear the reporter invested time in getting to know Richie Parker. The story provides a look behind-the-scenes of a successful NASCAR team yet avoids being a cliché.
    Scholarship: University of Connecticut
    Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports
    Entry: "Tumble of Terror"
    Judges' Comments: A lot of sports photography involves being in the right place at the right time, which this photographer obviously was. However, also notable are the excellent focus, framing and exposure of the wreck. This photo draws the viewers, who then stay to examine the details.
    Scholarship: Shoot Off Visual Media Workshops.(See past winners and more at

  • France, NASCAR earn Cynopsis Sports Awards: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR Fuel for Business were honored at the Cynopsis Sports Awards Thursday at the Yale Club in New York City. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Rick Hendrick presented France with the Vision Award, which recognizes the executive of the year from a sports league or organization who has demonstrated innovation and transformed an industry. "With all the stakeholders involved in our sport, it takes a leader who is willing to stand tall," Hendrick said. "Brian has revolutionized the sport of NASCAR, working with the entire NASCAR industry -- the teams, tracks and sponsors."
    Accepting the award, France said, "One thing that is never lost on me at these types of sports industry gatherings is how lucky we all are to be working in an industry that evokes so much passion from people across the world." NASCAR Fuel for Business (NFFB) earned two awards for B2B Program and Proprietary Asset. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the NFFB Council is a business-to-business platform that brings together an exclusive group of more than 50 Official NASCAR Partners to buy and sell products and services. Since its inception in 2004, the quarterly meetings have facilitated more than 1,000 "speed meeting" sessions where Official NASCAR Partners meet and do business with one another.
    NASCAR earned Honorable Mentions for Brand Activation at Live Events for its NASCAR After the Lap Sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola; Brand Extensions/Licensing for Touch by Alyssa Milano and Mobile App - Live Streaming for NASCAR Digital Media's NASCAR RaceView Mobile '13. The Cynopsis Sports Media Awards recognize the most outstanding work in the sports industry from the past year with categories that span television, digital, marketing and more.(

  • Bill Simpson presented with The Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award: Bill Simpson was presented today The Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award at Auto Club Speedway. Named in honor of former Los Angeles Times sports writer Shav Glick, the award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to motorsports in California. Simpson, who was both a driver and safety innovator during his motorsports career, will be remembered for over 50 years of safety contributions in all forms of racing. Today Simpson is focused on his new company, SG Helmets, which has taken racing technology and incorporated it into football helmets used at the youth, varsity, and professional levels.(Shunch PR)(3-24-2014)

  • Most Popular Driver voting to start in May: As the fan-driven National Motorsports Press Association's Most Popular Driver program launches for its 62nd season, the NMPA announced on Friday that the program will undergo changes for the 2014 season. Voting opens for the Most Popular Driver Award in May and will officially close at midnight on Sunday, Nov. 16. An official launch date will be announced in the near future. Once the program launches, fans will have the opportunity to vote by logging onto throughout the remainder of the season. The NMPA will release the official launch date for the program in the near future.(

  • Bruce Hayes to be honored for commitment to racing: For the past 55 years, at least one stock car zipping around Bowman Gray Stadium's track on race night has borne the name "Hayes Jewelers." And Bruce Hayes, the owner of that Lexington jewelry business, hardly ever misses a Saturday night race. But his involvement goes beyond sponsorship money. "Racing has been good to me," said Hayes, 79. "It's been good business, but it's just something I've always enjoyed as well." Hayes will receive the Allison Family Corporate Award, given in memory of Clifford and Davey Allison, on Feb. 19 at the Living Legends of Auto Racing banquet at Daytona Beach, Fla. Bobby and Donnie Allison will be the presenters. Hayes has been involved in racing at Bowman Gray since 1959. Hayes owned Caraway Speedway near Asheboro in the 1980s and has owned several cars - including the one that Joe Millikan drove to a Sportsman (now Nationwide Series) victory at Daytona in 1976. Hayes said he then supplied a motor to Richard Petty, who went through all he had during the same week at one memorable Daytona race. "Maurice (Petty) pulled the motor out of the car that we had won with and put it in their car and got it ready up to their specifications for Sunday," Hayes said. "Richard and David Pearson wound up crashing near the finish line." Hayes said that his company has produced many of the trophies presented by NASCAR over the years. "When R.J. Reynolds started with Winston sponsoring NASCAR races, we made all the Winston Cup trophies," he said. "And we still make a lot of the awards now, including a lot for NHRA." The Living Legends of Auto Racing was founded in 1993 as an effort to recognize stock-car racing's pioneers. The other award winners this year are: Jim Reed (Pioneer of Racing), Geoff Bodine (Distinguished Driver), Don LaJoie (Dedicated Service), Ken Squier (Media), Carl "Bugs Stevens" Bergman (Early Days Tribute) and Ronnie Sanders (Saturday Night Hero).(Winston Salem Journal)(1-24-2014)

  • North Carolina Motorsports Association honors Jarretts: Stock car racing's renowned Jarrett family was recognized Monday night during the eighth annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Award Ceremony presented by Fifth Third Bank at the Embassy Suites Hotel. With more than 300 members of the motorsports community in attendance the North Carolina Motorsports Association hosted the gala event, which concluded with the presentation of the group's traditional Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award to the Jarretts. Family patriarch and former NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett, his wife Martha, their sons Dale, who will join his dad in the NASCAR Hall of Fame next week, and Glenn, daughter Patti and grandson Jason were honored for the family's accomplishments on and off the race track.
    Also part of the ceremony were the presentation of seven Motorsports Industry Awards. NASCAR President Mike Helton took the stage to present the NCMA's Motorsports Media Recognition Award to the late Jim Hunter, a former sports writer, public relations representative and longtime NASCAR executive. Helton revealed that the award will also be rebadged the Jim Hunter Motorsports Media Recognition Award. Other Motorsports Industry Awards went to Stocks for Tots, Rev Racing, The World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Motorsports Authentics and Carolina Speedway.(National Speed Sport News)(1-22-2014)

2014 Driver of the Year Award

  • Kevin Harvick wins 2014 Driver of the Year: #4-Kevin Harvick swept the voting for both the 2014 Driver of the Year Award and the Fourth Quarter winner, respectively, by an elite panel of broadcasters and journalists. Just as Harvick walked off with his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship; he was the undisputed winner in both polls of the media. Driving the #4 Budweiser Chevy, Harvick, who turned 39 this Monday, won three races in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup including the final two events. The Bakersfield, CA native won this honor in his first year driving for Stewart-Haas Racing. Tony Stewart, co-owner of the team and a two-time winner of the Driver of the Year Award, was the first owner/driver to win the award (2011). Upon learning of the media award which relates to all automobile racing in the United States or American drivers racing globally Harvick said "it's quite an honor and goes with the respect of the media." Any time you gain that (respect) it has something to do with performance obviously as well."
    Harvick was destined to be a Sprint Cup Champion," said Driver of the Year president Barry Schmoyer continuing, "it was not a question of if, but, when. His performance on and off the track makes him a deserving Driver of the Year." Harvick scored 13 of the 16 votes cast by journalists and broadcasters, who voted in a secret ballot for a single driver. Will Power (the IndyCar Champion), Chase Elliott (the NASCAR Nationwide series champion), and Donny Schatz, (the World Of Outlaws series champion) each received one vote. I'm pretty excited about it," Harvick added, "it's a great honor." In the quarterly voting Harvick beat the NHRA's Erica Enders-Stevens and Tony Schumacher more than double the points in a points-based ballot. In its' 48th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique because it is the original award of its' type that encompasses all of the racing series and all of the drivers in the United States. A panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. are eligible to vote. Harvick will receive his trophies and Tissot wristwatches at presentations at places and times to be announced later. James Cranos is the Executive Director of the Driver of the Year Award and Barry Schmoyer, a businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida, is the president of the award.(DOTY)(12-11-2014)

  • Gordon voted 3rd Quarter Driver of the Year: This year's Brickyard 400 winner, #24-Jeff Gordon, was named winner of the third-quarter Driver of the Year Award 2014. The four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion won the voting by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists. Gordon is also the first four-time Driver of the Year It was the 42-year-old Gordon's record fifth victory at NASCAR's annual stop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indiana native also won the Pure Michigan 400 from the pole in the third quarter that ended at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31rst. "It's an honor to be recognized as the Driver of the Year 3rd Quarter, and it's been an incredible summer for this #24 team," said Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy. Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation, said, "I've had the pleasure of handing Jeff many trophies. His talent appears limitless."
    In the voting Gordon, who drives for Hendrick Motorsports, had four first-place ballots and totaled 87 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Will Power, who drove the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet to win the IndyCar championship this year, took seven first-place votes and totaled 77 points. Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Dallara Chevrolet was third with 47 points and one first-place vote. Donnie Schatz, who drives the Tony Stewart Racing sprint car in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series was fourth in the balloting with 33-points and two first place votes. Jason Line who drives the KB Racing Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stock car in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series tied Schatz with 33-points and one first place ballot. Gordon won the overall Driver of the Year title in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001. "The team has really been performing at a high level, and anytime you win a Brickyard 400 it's extremely special, " added Gordon. A total of 16 drivers scored points in the second quarter voting. In its' 48th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. A panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. Two panelists didn't vote this time. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Gordon will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented later.(DOTY)(9-24-2014)

  • Second Quarter Driver of the Year announced: Indy 500 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay, was named winner of the second quarter Driver of the Year Award 2014. The 2012 Verizon IndyCar series champion won the voting by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists Hunter-Reay, 33, won the iconic race in his seventh attempt. The Florida resident also won the Honda Indy Grand Prix in Alabama and was runner-up in the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix in the second quarter which ended at the at Pocono IndyCar 500 on July 6th. In the voting Hunter-Reay, who drives the #28 DHL Dallara-Honda for Andretti Autosport, had eight first-place ballots and totaled 102 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Jimmie Johnson, who drives the #48 Lowe's Chevy in NASCAR, garnered six first-place votes and totaled 84 points. Antron Brown who drives the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster in the NHRA was third in the balloting with 45 points. NASCAR's Brad Keselowski, who finished fourth in the voting, also received one first place vote. A total of 20 drivers scored points in the second quarter voting. In its' 48th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. A panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. Two panelists didn't vote this time. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Hunter-Reay will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented later. President of the Driver of the Year Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.(DOTY)(7-24-2014)

  • Earnhardt Jr. voted first quarter Driver of the Year: Two-time Daytona 500 winner, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., was named winner of the first quarter Driver of the Year Award 2014. NASCAR's perennial fan favorite won title in the voting by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists Ending an almost two-year winless drought Earnhardt took the checkered flag in the season opening, and rain-delayed, Daytona 500. In the first quarter, which ended with race in Darlington, he added three second-place and one third-place finishes.
    "I'm pretty blown away that we've won the First Quarter 2014 Driver of the Year Award," said Earnhardt. " It's an honor and really humbling to be chosen. The members that vote on this award are a credible group, and it's an award that's meant a lot to different drivers. It's one that I'm proud to have been voted for."
    Dale's father, the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr. won the annual Driver of the Year Award in 1987 and 1994. If Earnhardt goes on to claim the annual ballot he'd be the third winner's son to win the DOTY. Al Unser Sr. (1970) and Al Unser Jr. (1990) and Mario Andretti (1967, 1978, and 1984) and Michael Andretti (1991) are the other father-son winners.
    Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation, noted, "Dale and his crew chief, Steve Letarte, are in the groove. It wouldn't surprise me to see them at the Sprint Cup Championship table later this year."
    In the voting Earnhardt, who drives the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, had seven first-place ballots and totaled 88 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Kevin Harvick, who drives the #4 Budweiser Chevy in NASCAR, and Australia's Will Power who drives the #12 Verizon Dallara-Chevrolet for Team Penske tied for second place with 80 points. Harvick had five first-place votes and Australia's Power had three. Chase Elliott burst into the limelight scoring 37 points, one first-place vote and finished fourth, in the ballot driving for Earnhardt's JRM Nationwide Series team. And Kyle Busch also garnered one first-place vote A total of 20 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting.
    In its' 48th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. The panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Earnhardt will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at a race weekend at to be determined. "Hopefully we can keep up the good season with our National Guard team and keep ourselves in the conversation for the rest of the year," Earnhardt added. President of the Driver of the Year Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.(DOTY)(5-1-2014)

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