Reno, Nev. (December 14, 2002) Eddy McKean celebrated his championship season in style with a black tie affair at the beautiful Eldorado Showroom in Reno, Nevada Saturday night. More than 300 drivers, teams, and guests joined McKean to close out the 2002 racing season.
McKean, a former two-time Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge regional champion, won his first Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring title in only his second year of competition. McKean was honored with several special awards including, the Featherlite Champions Jacket, a Tiffany's crystal trophy with his #19 Pontiac etched on the surface from Goodyear Tires, and the most coveted prize in NASCAR, the NASCAR Champions Ring.
"My team worked real hard all season for this night," McKean said. "Winning races and championship is why I race, and to celebrate the championship with kind of event is great for the whole team."
McKean also collected contingency awards from 76 Racing Gasoline, Goodyear, and Featherlite. McKean plans to spend Christmas with his family in Idaho, and then prepare for the 2003 season opener for the Featherlite Southwest Series at Phoenix Int'l Raceway that will take place in only six weeks.
The top-twenty drivers and top-ten car owners also received trophies and recognition for their efforts this season. Several special awards were also handed out to Greg Fowler who won the Featherlite Trailer Award that provides him and his team a new Featherlite Trailer to use for the entire 2003 racing season.
Burney Lamar picked up two post season awards for his superb performance during his sophomore year on the series. Lamar collected the Gatorade Front Runner Award of $4000 and a embroidered Leather Jacket from Ed Shull, Marketing Director for Gatorade. He also collected the Bud Pole Award of $3000 for his five Bud Poles during 2002.
David and Susan Stone were honored by NASCAR with the George Stiles Series Dedication Award for their tireless efforts to support and contribute to the Featherlite Southwest Series. Danny Grill and Lauri Jennings were also honored as the 2002 Ray Judy Award recipients.
Jim Pettit II was received the Sportsman-of-the-Year Award for his on and off-track activities that continue to support and grow the series. Joe Herold collected the Most Improved Driver Award for proven excellence on the track, and Brandon Whitt was honored as the 2002 Featherlite Southwest Series Rookie-of-the-Year and his ninth place final points finish.
Doug McCoun of Prunedale, Calif. received the Most Popular Driver Award to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd. McCoun has finished in the top-ten final point standings for the past ten straight years and was speechless after his recognition. "This is the best award I have ever received," McCoun commented. "This is very special since it is voted on by my peers. I will treasure this for a long time."
The Featherlite Southwest Series will start their engines on February 2, 2003 to kickoff the 18th year of the series that will feature a fourteen race schedule that will begin and end at Phoenix Int'l Raceway. McKean will return to defend his championship and will be joined by 2001 series champion Craig Raudman, M.K. Kanke, Jim Pettit II, and the rest of the top drivers in this premier series.