CHAMPCAR/CART: IRL: Rick Mears to receive award

Rick Mears to receive Eagle One-Shav Glick Award. Legendary race car driver Rick Mears, one of only three four-time winners of the Indianapolis 500, has been chosen the winner of the fourth annual Eagle One-Shav Glick Award. The award,...

Rick Mears to receive Eagle One-Shav Glick Award.

Legendary race car driver Rick Mears, one of only three four-time winners of the Indianapolis 500, has been chosen the winner of the fourth annual Eagle One-Shav Glick Award.

The award, presented by the car-care products company, honors the venerable motorsports writer of the Los Angeles Times and is a symbol of distinguished achievement in motor racing by a Californian. Mears came out of Bakersfield as a champion off-road racer. Previous winners were Dan Gurney, NHRA founder Wally Parks and Parnelli Jones. Other nominees were Craig Breedlove, Chris Pook, Don Prudhomme and Les Richter. Judges were motor racing writers and executives.

The award will be presented during pre-race ceremonies in the winner's circle at the NASCAR Winston Cup Auto Club 500, at California Speedway, on April 27.

"Rick is one of the greatest oval track drivers in racing history," said Glick. "His smooth driving style and knack for improving his car during a race earned him Driver of the Decade honors, but more important, he is regarded as one of racing's true gentlemen."

Judges were: Mike Harris, Associated Press; Bill Center, San Diego Union-Tribune; Jim Short, Riverside Press Enterprise; John Zimmermann, Racer magazine; Doug Stokes, Irwindale Speedway; and last year's winner, Parnelli Jones.

Eagle One is a division of The Valvoline Company.

Editor's Note: The press release was sent in from Doug Stokes who has added the following personal comments:

What an honor to serve on this committee. Again, I must thank the Eagle One folks and Alex Litrov for including me in this fine group.

I met Rick fairly early in his "on-road" career. In fact, I'm the one who (when asked) told Bill Simpson not to let Mears within 10 feet of his F5000 which Mears was scheduled to try out at Riverside saying, "He's great with the off-road stuff but I don't think that he'll never amount to anything on the pavement." Maybe I was just a little bit hasty with my judgment.

Driving for Simpson and then Penske Rick became a friend -- We sent him a telegram (remember those?) on race day at the Speedway saying, "Good luck and hope you enjoy your drink of milk this afternoon." He did.

If one of us had written a book about a fictional racing driver named Rick Mears and had included all that he accomplished on the track and in life -- We'd have been laughed off the bookstand as purveyors of science fiction.

Rick is the real thing and I am prouder than proud to be a small part of this long-deserved honor.

Thanks,
    Doug Stokes

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Offroad
Drivers Dan Gurney , Rick Mears , Parnelli Jones , Don Prudhomme