Annual EMPA Press Convention attracts many notables.

TREVOSE, PA January 1, 2003. . . The annual Eastern Motorsport Press Association convention, the 33rd edition, is set for the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Trevose, PA. The three day convention, attracting more than 100 media that cover the sport on a regular basis, will run from Friday, January 17th through Sunday, January 19th.

The Friday night Pocono Raceway sponsored "Get Acquainted Party" will include several well known names in area motorsports plus some from the national racing scene. Bridgeport, NJ Speedway champion Duane Howard will be on hand as will Grandview Speedway Late Model champion Lou Egrie, United Racing Club champion Bill Brian Jr., United States Auto Club midget racer Tom Hessert (just back from the Chili Bowl), URC Rookie of the Year Ed Aikin and a number of others.

Representatives from several area and nationally known speedways and sanctioning organizations will join the activities.

And on Saturday the National Hot Rod Association will announce their plans for 2003 and will have one of their major stars on hand. The Indy Racing League will have an IRL driver and a Pro Infiniti driver as part of the convention program. Jason Jarrett will join the ARCA RE/MAX Series program along with Andy Belmont. Rick Crawford will represent the Craftsman Truck Series.

Former Dale Earnhardt Inc. president Don Hawk will return for a second appearance at an EMPA convention and talk about marketing and sponsorship in the sport.

SpeedChannel will be represented and will have information on their programming for 2003. SCCA will be part of the day long presentations.

Lyn St. James will present "Women in Motorsports" and lady sprint car racer Erin Crocker will be there.

NASCAR will have a big presence with the annual NASCAR Philadelphia Style Luncheon and a number of drivers talking about the new season.

Pocono Raceway, Dover Motorsports, United Racing Club and Thunder on the Hill series will all be part of the Saturday activities.

Topping off the day time program will be a panel of key industry people talking about the state of the sport, working with the media and other topics of interest.

Junie Donlavey, the veteran NASCAR Winston Cup car owner, will accept the first annual Junie Donlavey Spirit of the Sport award. Former Winston Cup racer Harry Gant, five time URC champion Dave Kelly, the late Kenny Weld and National Speed Sport News editor Chris Economaki will be inducted into the Eastern Motorsport Press Association Hall of Fame.

Tony Stewart will be honored as the Al Holbert Memorial EMPA Driver of the Year and Brett Hearn will accept the Richie Evans Memorial EMPA Northeast Driver of the Year Award. A number of other awards and presentations will be made during the SpeedChannel cocktail party and R.J.Reynolds Hall of Fame Dinner.

The convention will close out with hospitality functions sponsored by the United Racing Club and Andy Belmont Motorsports.

A business session open only to professional members will take place on Sunday morning.

Information on the convention is available from Ernie or Marilyn Saxton at 215.752.7797 or 215.752.2392.

The Eastern Motorsport Press Association has a membership that includes professional photographers, broadcasters, internet media and print journalists who cover motorsports on a regular basis. Professional, associate and corporate memberships are available.