POMONA, CA - RIS - John Force won his fourth Jerry Titus Memorial Award on Sunday as the top-vote-getter on the 2002 Auto Racing All America Team as voted by members of the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association.
Force thus breaks a tie with Jeff Gordon and Mario Andretti, as three-time winners of the prestigious honor. As the all-time leader in NHRA Powerade Funny Car racing, Force was easily elected to the first team. The Titus Award was announced at the annual All America Team Banquet at the Sheraton Fairplex Suites and NHRA Motorsports Museum.
In addition to the honor for Force, Parnelli Jones and Hershel McGriff were named as Pioneers in Racing for their contributions to the sport. Jones, winner of the 1963 Indy 500, received his award from J.C. Agajanian, Jr., son of his car owner in that effort. McGriff's honor was presented by Linda Vaughn, top racing public relations manager and known in the sport as the Queen of Racing.
The NHRA Motorsports Museum took the occasion to announce an exhibit honoring Jones that begins April 27th. Museum Executive Director Sam Jackson made the announcement. Racing Information Systems announced its newly-redesigned news service.
Also present at the banquet were honorees Bryan Sellers, Ron Fellows and Boris Said. Force was at a convention for sponsor Mac Tools and his award was accepted by world Funny Car speed record holder Gary Densham, a member of Force's team. Other team members excused because they were racing included Tony Stewart and Steve Kinser, both at the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, OK.
Open to the public, the annual banquet attracted a crowd of over 200. Multi-media for the banquet was produced by Racing Information Systems, which provided the Master of Ceremonies, AARWBA Western Vice President Michael F. Hollander.