Tom Schmeh wins special award

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TOM SCHMEH NAMED 2008 RECIPIENT OF "OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE SPORT AWARD" BY NORTH AMERICAN SPRINT CAR POLL VOTING PANELS KNOXVILLE, IOWA (December 14, 2008) -- Thomas J. Schmeh, curator of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum...

TOM SCHMEH NAMED 2008 RECIPIENT OF "OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE SPORT AWARD" BY NORTH AMERICAN SPRINT CAR POLL VOTING PANELS

KNOXVILLE, IOWA (December 14, 2008) -- Thomas J. Schmeh, curator of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum in Knoxville, Iowa, has been named the recipient of the 2008 "Outstanding Contribution to the Sport Award" by all three voting panels of the North American Sprint Car Poll.

In 1985, Schmeh started the National Sprint Car Poll from his home in Utica, New York, in order to give sprint car racing more exposure in the mainstream media. In 1989, when named executive director of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Foundation in Knoxville, the poll awards program to honor the sport's current achievers moved with him to the museum. Since then it has naturally complemented the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame's own induction awards program to honor the sport's greatest achievers. In the year 2000, the poll was divided into three categories: Non-Winged, 360- and 410-cubic inch Winged Sprint Cars. Today, all such sprint car racing in Canada and the United States is included in the scope of the three North American polls.

According to Schmeh, "I was honestly hesitant to include myself on the final ballots despite receiving numerous nominations from those builders, manufacturers, media members, promoters, and sanctioning officials on the 360-, 410-cubic-inch, and non-winged sprint car voting panels. However, museum foundation executive director Bob Baker encouraged me to do so, stating that the nominations were probably the voters' way of thanking me for my 19 years of leadership at the helm of the non-profit museum. Naturally, I am truly honored by the result and am very appreciative of the voters' support of my efforts here at the museum this year as curator and over the past two decades as board member and executive director."

Past recipients of the North American Sprint Car Poll's "Outstanding Contribution to the Sport Award" are: Dick Jordan, the late Fred Brownfield, Doug Auld, the late Hank Gentzler, Tony Stewart, Emmett Hahn, Allan Holland, Dave Argabright, Ron Shuman, the late Kevin Gobrecht, Jack Hewitt, Jack Miller, Brad Doty, Art & Carol Malies, Dave Bowman, Ralph Capitani, the late Ted Johnson, Mark Kuchan, Steve Kinser, the late Don Martin, Steve Beitler, Lee Brewer, Mark Kinser, Frank Lewis, Earl Baltes, Casey & Beverly Luna, Elayne Hoff, Jean Lynch, the late J.W. Hunt, and Bert Emick.

The North American Sprint Car Poll is an annual awards program of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Foundation, Inc., of Knoxville, Iowa. All awards will be distributed in the spring of 2009 at tracks throughout North America.

-credit: nschof

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