DRIVERS, TEAMS TAKE HOME NEARLY $3 MILLION AT AWARDS CEREMONY INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 13, 1999 - 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League champion Greg Ray and team owner John Menard took home more than $1 million of the $2.8 million in bonuses and...
DRIVERS, TEAMS TAKE HOME NEARLY $3 MILLION AT AWARDS CEREMONY
INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 13, 1999 - 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League champion Greg Ray and team owner John Menard took home more than $1 million of the $2.8 million in bonuses and special awards presented Saturday night at the annual Pep Boys Indy Racing League Awards Ceremony at the Murat Theatre. Ray and Menard shared the evening's biggest award, the Pep Boys Million, a $1 million bonus for winning the season championship. Tony George, Indy Racing League founder and Indianapolis Motor Speedway president, presented Ray and Menard with replicas of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League Championship Trophy before nearly 1,000 guests. The awards ceremony capped a 1999 season in which the league distributed more than $20 million of prize money, bonuses and special awards during its 10 races. Numerous awards were presented during the gala, with ABC-ESPN television personality Bob Jenkins as host. A recap of the other awards:
Pep Boys Indy Racing League Entrant Champion Award: John Menard, Team Menard *This award was presented to Menard for the second time in league history. His team won the entrant championship in the 1996-97 season. Sprint PCS Rookie of the Year Award: Scott Harrington *Harrington scored 165 points in the CertainTeed Building Products Special Dallara/Aurora/Firestone to win the closest rookie race in league history. Harrington earned a $50,000 bonus and trophy from Sprint PCS. MBNA Lap Leader Award: Greg Ray *Ray earned $30,000 from MBNA for leading 464 laps during the 1999 season in his Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone, more than any other driver. Pennzoil Chief Mechanic of the Year Award: John O'Gara *O'Gara's skill helped Greg Ray win three races and the Pep Boys Indy Racing League championship in the Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. O'Gara earned a $25,000 bonus from Pennzoil. MCI WorldCom Long Distance Award: Eddie Cheever Jr. *Cheever earned a $50,000 bonus from MCI WorldCom for gaining more positions from start to finish than any other driver in three races this season, the best performance in the league. Cheever owned and drove The Children's Beverage Group-Team Cheever-Infiniti Dallara/Infiniti/Goodyear in 1999. MCI WorldCom/IRL Crew Most Popular Driver Award: Scott Goodyear *Goodyear was presented with a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle for winning this award in fan balloting. Goodyear drove the Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear in 1999. PPG Pole Master Award: Greg Ray *Ray won $10,000 and a trophy for capturing four PPG Poles this season in his Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone, more than any other driver. Delphi Halfway Award: Greg Ray *Ray earned $10,000 from Delphi Automotive Systems for this award presented to the driver who led at the halfway point of the most races this season. Ray and Mark Dismore each led at halfway in two events, but Ray won the tiebreaker by finishing higher in the season point standings. Engine Manufacturer Award: Oldsmobile *Oldsmobile received this trophy for the third consecutive year, as its Aurora engine powered the winners of all 10 Pep Boys Indy Racing League events this season. Oldsmobile is unbeaten in 29 Indy Racing events since league teams started using 4-liter engines at the start of 1997. Indy Racing League Special Achievement Award: Brian Barnhart *Indy Racing League Executive Director Leo Mehl presented Indy Racing League Director of Racing Operations Brian Barnhart with an award to honor his extraordinary contributions to the success of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League. Indy Racing League Special Appreciation Award: Mark Wingler *Wingler was honored with this special award for his significant contributions to the Indy Racing League community as the leader and chaplain of IRL Ministries.
The 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League Awards Ceremony will be broadcast at 1 p.m. (EST) Dec. 5 on ESPN2. The 2000 Pep Boys Indy Racing League season starts with the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway on Jan. 29 at Orlando, Fla.