Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring honors 2002 Champion Jeff Fultz. ATLANTA, GA. (October 26 2002) - Jeff Fultz, Mooresville, N. C., was feted Saturday evening at the Atlanta Airport Hilton as the 2002 Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR...
Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring honors 2002 Champion Jeff Fultz.
ATLANTA, GA. (October 26 2002) - Jeff Fultz, Mooresville, N. C., was feted Saturday evening at the Atlanta Airport Hilton as the 2002 Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Champion along with his C & C Boiler/Cleaver Brooks team with several other drivers receiving accolades for their achievements during the 2002 season.
Fultz trailed David Reutimann by five points entering the rain delayed final scheduled event at Memphis Motorsport Park on October 20 but Fultz let all know early that he was out to win his first NASCAR Touring title. When Reutimann exited the event on lap 43 with engine problems the Championship belonged to Fultz.
While this was Fultz's night to be feted it also marked the final involvement with Gatorade and the Gatorade "FrontRunner" Award. Ed Shull, Director of NASCAR Marketing for Gatorade, thanked the series and all competitors for their support of Gatorade through many racing years.
Fultz was greatful to his Championship car owner Jimmy Craig and Championship Crew Chief, Jon Craig.
"I am a little speechless tonight," commented Fultz, who has driven for this team for the past three seasons. "I have finished so close on two different occasions but tonight this is a dream come true. I have always dreamed about being a NASCAR Champion from the first time I attended "Uncle" Bob Harmon's All American 400 in Nashville. I have been going to races ever since I was three years old and was able to sneak into the track."
Fultz thanked his many sponsors and his team for the hard work and dedication they gave to this effort. He especially made note of Kipley motors and how reliable they were all year in powering this team to the championship.
In addition to his Championship Trophy, Fultz received his NASCAR Championship Diamond Ring from Chris Boals, NASCAR Director of regional touring and the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge along with his NASCAR point fund check which exceeded $21,700.
Other Sponsors recognizing the Champion were Jeff Freeman, Vice-President of Hoosier South with a Hoosier Champion's Jacket and Shawn Whitfield, Union 76 presenting Fultz with a check for $3,000 for using Union 76 fuel.
Other drivers being recognized for using Union 76 fuel were Billy Bigley Jr. who received $2,000 and Benny Gordon, receiving $1,000.
Gary Nelson, NASCAR Managing Director of Competition, presented Jimmy Craig his Championship Car Owner Trophy.
In Craig's remarks he told of how they had contacted Fultz about driving their car one weekend three years ago at Orange County Speedway. The very next morning Fultz as at the track from his home in Ohio and as they say the rest is history.. He commended Fultz for his dedication and commitment in leaving his family in Ohio while he pursued his dream of bettering himself as a racer. Fultz has been the Craig's driver since that time.
Jon Craig was recognized as the Champion Crew Chief for the C & C Boiler/Cleaver Brooks team.
David Reutimann finished second in points and walked away with some honors of his own. Reutimann won the Annual Bud Pole Award and a check for $3,500 with his three pole starts and the Gatorade "FrontRunner" Award of $4,000 and a beautiful Jeff Hamilton leather jacket in addition to his NASCAR point fund check that will exceed $10,800.
"What can I say," commented Reutimann, "except to congratulate Jeff and his team for an outstanding season. I have run behind him so much and no matter where we race together I will probably still run behind him."
Reutimann made numerous references to his daughter, Amilia, born in March of 2001 who has literally changed his life. Our family has been so blessed this year with so many good things happening that no matter what happens at the racetrack I can go home and Amilia is there and not changed at all. That keeps me in check."
Third place driver Charlie Bradberry was recognized for his outstanding season with his third place trophy and his NASCAR point fund check that exceeded, $9,770.
Other drivers recognized during the evening were Gordon, Joe Aramendia, Shane Sieg, Jason Hogan, Ken Weaver, Greg Pope, Roger Parker, Randy Gentry, Jarod Robie, Jody Lavender, Dusty Williams, Kevin Prince, Chad Bland and Johnny Brazier.
Special awards for the year recognized Pope as the Most Improved Driver for 2002, Aramendia was honored with the Sportmanship Award and Lavender was voted Most Popular Driver on the series for 2002.
Jason Hogan was honored at the NASCAR Hills Bros. All Pro Series Rookie of the Year over Aramendia, Robie, Williams and Brazier.
Mike Joy, Fox Sports, was Master of Ceremonies.