By Bill Desmond
GREENSBORO, N.C. (Dec 2) - Robert Huffman took the lion's share of honors Saturday evening at the Greensboro Hilton as drivers, car owners and series supporters were honored for their accomplishments during the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring 2000 racing season. Over 220 guests gathered amidst severe threatening winter storms in the Carolina's to honor Huffman and his White House Juice Team for their third consecutive series title and fourth overall NASCAR Championship. This Championship is Huffman's third consecutive title and his fourth overall with the series he started with in 1988. When he won his first championship in 1990 he also took home Rookie of the Year honors, driving for car owner John Page. "What can be said for a team that continues to provide me with excellent race cars every year," said Huffman. I have to give all the credit for this championship to my entire crew who have supported my racing for many years," said Huffman. "White House Apple Juice is a great sponsor and they have given this team all we need." Huffman's accomplishments over the past six seasons certainly establishes him as one of the truly great NASCAR short track competitors and ambassadors to ever support this division. Since 1995 he has had 115 series starts, 20 Bud Pole Awards, 26 stops in victory lane and he is third in career wins with the series, 69 top five finishes and 90 top ten finishes. Huffman took the opportunity to thank Goody's Pharmaceuticals for their continued sponsorship of the series, NASCAR and Goody's Dash officials for their hard work. He also took the opportunity to announce he will be part of a two car Toyota factory team in 2001 working closely with Eric VanCleef who has been with the Toyota factory team for many years. Other members of the championship team honored were Ashley Huffman, Robert's wife and car owner and David Flynn his longtime crew chief. For the 2000 racing season Huffman recorded four stops in victory lane with wins at Daytona International Speedway, Montgomery Motor Speedway, Coastal Plains Raceway and Lowe's Motor Speedway. He recorded two Bud Pole Awards along with 11 top five finishes and 15 top ten finishes. Ricky Bryant, driver of the Washington Apple Pontiac was honored for his second place finish in the final points standing with B. J. Mackey, driver of the Van Camps Beans/Horton Homes/Daly Motorsports Pontiac recognized for his third place finish. Other top 20 drivers in attendance were Doug Gainey, Randy Humphrey, Eric Can Cleef, Bobby Dayton, Scott Weaver, Justin Hobgood, Jimmy Britts, Jake Hobgood, Cam Strader, Johnny Chapman, and Roger Sawyer. Special awards highlighted the evening and were announced and presented by Mike Simons, NASCAR Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring Director. Tommy Torbert was honored for his longtime support of the series with the annual Dedication Award. Roger Sawyer was awarded as the most improved series driver for 2000 while Jimmy Britts received the Annual Bud Pole Award for his four Bud Poles during 2000. Jim Cook owner of Jim Cook Chevrolet in Marion, N. C., was recognized by the Goody's Dash Series Family Auxiliary with that organizations Person Of The Year Award for his work and sponsorship of two teams with the series. Additionally Jim Cook Chevrolet also provides the pace car used by the series at all events. Mackey, who has been competing with this division since 1994, won the Gatorade "FrontRunner" Award and received a check for $3,500 and a beautiful Jeff Hamilton Racing Jacket from Ed Shull, Director of NASCAR Marketing for Gatorade. Mackey led 19% of the 2171 laps run in 2000. Cam Strader was awarded with the NAPA Filter Rookie of the year presented by Bill Stamey and his wife Johnna. Eric Van Cleef won runnerup honors as the NAPA Filter Rookie of the Year. One of the most coveted Annual Awards is the Most Popular Driver Award as determined by series competitors. The year's recipient, Robert Huffman, was speechless when Tom Deery, NASCAR vice president, announced his name. This was the first time Huffman has won this prestigious award. Craig Armstrong, General Manager at Portland Speedway in Oregon and MRN announcer was master of ceremonies. The 2001 Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring schedule of 16 races was released at the banquet. The series will open with their annual event at Daytona International Speedway in February.