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updated 7-24-2014

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2014 Awards News

  • 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.(NASCAR.com)(6-11-2014)

  • 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
    Photojournalism
    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 CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com)(5-18-2014)

  • 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.(NASCAR.com)(4-19-2014)

  • 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 www.mostpopulardriver.com throughout the remainder of the season. The NMPA will release the official launch date for the program in the near future.(NASCAR.com)(3-1-2014)

  • 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

  • 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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Next Race: IRWIN Tools Night Race

Countdown to Race Time: 8/23/2014 ~7:43pm/et

Bristol Motor Speedway
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Friday, August 22, 2014, 5:40pm/et
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Friday, August 22, 2014, 1:30pm/et
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