Banquet set for Jan 17

January 14, 1998 IHRA Championship Awards Banquet set for Jan. 17th BRISTOL, Tenn. -- The historic Grove Park Inn, located in Asheville, N.C., will be the site of the 27th annual IHRA Championship Awards Banquet, Saturday, Jan. 17. ...

January 14, 1998

IHRA Championship Awards Banquet set for Jan. 17th

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- The historic Grove Park Inn, located in Asheville, N.C., will be the site of the 27th annual IHRA Championship Awards Banquet, Saturday, Jan. 17. Among the banquet's honorees include Snap-on Tools Top Fuel World Champion Paul Romine, of Indianapolis. Romine, driver of the CARQUEST Auto Parts dragster, won four times during the season. Other professional category drivers to be recognized include Shannon Jenkins, Pro Modified world champ; Floyd Cheek, Pro Stock title winner; and Alcohol Funny Car champ Jimmy Rector. In addition, there will be eight sportsman category champions presented with Special awards to be presented include Rookie of the Year; Snap-on Tools Wrench of the Year; Don Carlton Memorial Award; and the Jim Ruth Memorial Award. Candidates for the Rookie of the Year award include Top Fuel driver Steve Smith; Pro Stock driver Tom Lee; Stock Eliminator newcomer Stacie Ridings; and first year Hot Rod racer Gil Carty Jr. Wrench of the Year nominees are Dale Kindl, crew chief for Angelo Alesci's Pro Stock team; Rick Hickman, 1996 Wrench of the Year winner and crew chief for Mark Thomas' Alcohol Funny Car team; Clayton Harris, chief tuner for Romine's Top Fuel effort; Rahn Tobler, tuner for Shirley Muldowney's Action Collectables Top Fuel dragster; and Howard Moon, crew chief for Von Smith's Alcohol Funny Car team. The Don Carlton Memorial Award, named in honor of the legendary IHRA Pro Stock icon, will recognize the professional racer who exhibited exceptional sportsmanship throughout the season. The final award presented during the evening is the prestigious Jim Ruth Memorial Award. This award, received in the most recent past by IHRA supporters Marv Benoit, Warren Barnett and Carl Moyer, will honor IHRA's Person of the Year, the individual who had the most impact on the IHRA Snap-on Tools Championship Drag Racing Series in 1997. A series of track operators meetings will take place Thursday, Jan. 15 and Friday, Jan. 16. The Media Relations Seminar for IHRA drivers will be held Saturday at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Sponsor/Racer Luncheon and door prize extravaganza at 11:30 a.m. Banquet seating will begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner to follow at 6:00 p.m. The awards banquet will begin at 7:15 p.m. All banquet attendees are required to stop by the registration area in the main lobby before attending any of the functions. Banquet Schedule:

Thursday, January 15, 1998

IHRA staff and track operators check in 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. *Registration - Carolina Walk North

Friday, January 16, 1998

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. *Registration - Carolina Walk North 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Track Operator

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Series Drag
Drivers Paul Romine , Mark Thomas , Shirley Muldowney , Angelo Alesci , Shannon Jenkins , Von Smith