Rookie Award Renamed to Honor Kevin Gobrecht

Johnson Renames Rookie Award to Honor Gobrecht By Richard Day NEW OXFORD, PA (September 30) - The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series has renamed its Rookie of the Year award to honor Kevin Gobrecht,...

Johnson Renames Rookie Award to Honor Gobrecht By Richard Day NEW OXFORD, PA (September 30) - The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series has renamed its Rookie of the Year award to honor Kevin Gobrecht, series President Ted Johnson announced Thursday. "Kevin was a member of the World of Outlaws' traveling family, and we want his name to be associated with the series forever," Johnson said. "In the short time he raced with us, he formed many close relationships with members of our teams." The announcement, made during Gobrecht's funeral at the New Oxford Social Club Pavilion Thursday evening, brought applause from the more than 600 mourners. Future outstanding first-year drivers with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will receive the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award. Hylton/Blaney Motorsports hired Gobrecht to drive its #93 Amoco Maxim in April. He raced in 44 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series events, recording 19 top-10 finishes, including three in the top five. Kevin was sprint car racing's hottest driver in early August, winning Eldora Speedway's Historical Big One and finishing third in the Amoco Knoxville Nationals one week later. Gobrecht, 30 and a native of New Oxford, suffered fatal injuries in a freak crash late in the Preliminary Feature September 24th when the series opened the Channellock Fall Classic at NAPA I-80 Speedway. More than 1,500 mourners attended Gobrecht's funeral or one of the viewings. Wednesday's 5 p.m.-9 p.m. viewing at Feiser's Funeral Home lasted until the early morning hours as mourners lined the streets waiting patiently in the rain for the opportunity to pay their respects. Every Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series traveling team was represented. Tyler Walker, who left the series for the NASCAR's Busch Grand National division in mid-August, spoke about his close friend. Scott Gobrecht told a heartwarming story about his older brother. The Gobrecht brothers - Brian, Kevin and Scott - enjoyed fishing at night. They often had a tough time seeing, however, due to a broken reflector on their fishing boat's light. Kevin called Scott soon after winning the Historical Big One and said, "Guess what? I bought something really cool and you're going to like it. I bought us a new light for the boat with the money I just won." Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Director of Competition Bob Jackson presented a shining eulogy. "When I got to the track Saturday, I was asked two questions," Jackson recalled. "I was asked if I thought Kevin Gobrecht deserved to be out here racing with the world's best sprint car racers. I said, 'Sure he did.' He won the $100,000 at the Historical Big One and finished third at the Amoco Knoxville Nationals. The two guys ahead of him at the Nationals (Mark Kinser and Danny Lasoski) have taken more money out of Knoxville Raceway in recent years and won more races in the history of the track. Finishing third behind those two guys proves he was a great sprint car racer. "The other question I was asked was, 'Was he accepted?' When Kevin came to his first drivers' meeting (at Tulsa Speedway), he stood off to the side. I told Kevin, 'Come over here and join the group.' When he came over and stood next to Danny Lasoski, I said, 'Now Danny won't have to look up to another driver to talk to him.' "Everybody called Kevin 'The G-man.' At first, I thought the 'G' stood for Gobrecht, but now I know that 'G' stands for a good man ... a gentleman." Gobrecht drove John Zemaitis' #1Z Zemco sprinter to victory in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature at Williams Grove Speedway on July 31, 1998. He substituted for Jac Haudenschild in the #22 Elden Racing Maxim in 1996. Kevin won seven features, including Williams Grove Speedway's Early Bird championship, before joining the Amoco team earlier this year. He recorded three of those victories in less than 24 hours - at Williams Grove, Lincoln Speedway and Port Royal Speedway - in February. Gobrecht was the National Sprint Car Poll Rookie of the Year in 1995. He graduated with a degree in Business and Finance from Millersville University in 1991.

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Tyler Walker , Jac Haudenschild
Teams Williams