GLENDORA, Calif. (Nov. 27, 2001) - NHRA World Champions Kenny Bernstein and John Force headline the Drag Racing nominees for the 2001 American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) Auto Racing All-America Team.

Two drivers from each of six categories -- Drag Racing, Open Wheel, Stock Car, Road Racing, Short Track and At Large -- will be selected to the first team by the members of the motorsports press association, while two second team drivers from each category also will be named. The remaining drivers in each category receiving five percent of the vote will receive honorable mention status.

The driver receiving the most votes overall will be presented the prestigious Jerry Titus Award, recognizing AARWBA's Driver of the Year. Force is a three time winner of the Jerry Titus Award (1996, 1999, 2000).

In addition to Bernstein and Force, other NHRA nominees for the Drag Racing category include Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon and NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Warren Johnson.

Bernstein earned his sixth NHRA World Championship (second in Top Fuel) with eight victories behind the wheel of his Budweiser King dragster. Force claimed a record 11th World Championship in Funny Car, driving his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to six victories and increasing his NHRA-leading win total to 98. Dixon posted a career-best second place finish in the NHRA Top Fuel points standings by earning six victories in his Miller Lite dragster. Johnson scored his sixth NHRA World Championship in Pro Stock, driving his GM Goodwrench Pontiac Grand Am to six wins. In the process, he became NHRA's all-time win leader in Pro Stock with 87 victories.

IHRA Top Fuel champion Clay Millican and Pro Stock champion Gene Wilson also received nominations in the Drag Racing category.

AARWBA members have selected an All-America Auto Racing Team annually since 1970. Drivers selected to the team will be honored at the AARWBA banquet, held in January each year. The banquet is open to the public. For tickets or other information about the AARWBA banquet, call (818) 842-7005 or write to AARWBA, 922 N. Pass Ave., Burbank, CA, 91505.

-NHRA-