1999 NHRA Winston Awards Ceremony

Newsgroups: rec.autos.sport.info Organization: motorsport.com, inc. Approved: jackd@motorsport.com From: motorsport.com <press@motorsport.com> Followup-To: rec.autos.sport.misc CERRITOS, Calif. - Tony Schumacher headlined the NHRA Winston...

Newsgroups: rec.autos.sport.info Organization: motorsport.com, inc. Approved: jackd@motorsport.com From: motorsport.com <press@motorsport.com> Followup-To: rec.autos.sport.misc

CERRITOS, Calif. - Tony Schumacher headlined the NHRA Winston champions honored Tuesday evening at the 1999 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series awards ceremony at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, as the world's largest motorsports sanctioning body remembered heroes of its past century and celebrated the beginning of the next millennium of drag racing. John Force, Warren Johnson, Matt Hines and Bob Panella Jr. also were presented checks and trophyware for their accomplishments in their respective pro categories. The evening was highlighted by performances by Beach Boys Family and Friends and a spectacular laser light show that culminated with a moving speech by NHRA founder Wally Parks. Parks, 86, spoke of the past, present and his outlook for the future of drag racing as it approaches the next millenium. In addition, newly appointed NHRA president Tom Compton announced that a major television package for the 2000 season would be announced in the near future that will feature live or same day national event coverage on two major television networks. Compton will take over as president of NHRA on Jan. 1 Longtime NHRA President Dallas Gardner was honored in a video tribute by Parks and was then presented the prestigious Don Prudhomme award for his effective tenure as the leader of the sanctioning body during the last two decades. Gardner also was presented a special award of recognition for his many years of dedicated service from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco's Sports Marketing Enterprises. Gardner will make the transition to the position of NHRA's Chairman of the Board at the beginning of the new year. Schumacher received a check for $200,000 from Winston for earning his first-ever Top Fuel crown, while Force walked off stage with his ninth champion's prize of $200,000. Johnson netted $125,000 for his fifth Pro Stock championship, while Pro Stock Motorcycle champ Hines and Pro Stock Truck champ Panella were presented checks for $30,000 each. NHRA Federal-Mogul Series champions also were honored. Rick Santos (Federal-Mogul Dragster), Frank Manzo (Federal-Mogul Funny Car), Andy Manna (Comp Eliminator), Jimmy DeFrank (Super Stock); Don Little (Stock); Frank Kohutek (Super Comp), and Sheldon Gecker (Super Gas) all earned 1999 titles. Funny Car driver Scotty Cannon headed the list of special award winners, claiming the $20,000 Winston Rookie of the Year title. Pro Stock Motorcycle's Antron Brown captured the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award, also worth $20,000. The T. Wayne Robertson Good Hand award was presented to R.J. Reynolds' Cliff Pennell, who guided Sports Marketing Enterprises following the death of T. Wayne Robertson nearly two years ago. Top Fuel driver Jim Head was presented the Blaine Johnson award for his dedication and perseverance in the sport. Head, one of the most innovative minds in drag racing, was instrumental in assisting NHRA with many track improvement projects during the last two years. For the third consecutive year, Pontiac earned the NHRA Manufacturers Cup, and Chevrolet earned the inaugural NHRA Truck Manufacturers Cup. NHRA Media Award winners were TNN's Raceday and Steve Ramirez of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Antron Brown , Matt Hines , Bob Panella , Warren Johnson , Tony Schumacher , Rick Santos , Scotty Cannon , Frank Manzo , Don Prudhomme , Jimmy DeFrank