Gatorade All Pro Series, Nascar Touring Honors 2001 Champion ATLANTA, GA. (Dec 15 2001) - Wayne Anderson, Wildwood, Fla., was feted Saturday evening at the prestigious Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, Ga., as the 2001 Gatorade All Pro Series, ...
Gatorade All Pro Series, Nascar Touring Honors 2001 Champion
ATLANTA, GA. (Dec 15 2001) - Wayne Anderson, Wildwood, Fla., was feted Saturday evening at the prestigious Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, Ga., as the 2001 Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Champion along with several other drivers who received accolades for their achieved milestones during their 2001 NASCAR racing career.
While this was Anderson's night to be feted as the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Champion, it also ended the year long association with Gatorade as title sponsor of the series. Gatorade will continue to play a part in the series in future years with their "FrontRunner" Award. Ed Shull, Director of NASCAR Marketing for Gatorade, thanked the series and all competitors for their involvement in 2001 and congratulated all drivers on their success throughout the season.
Andrew Feit, Managing Director of Corporate Marketing from NASCAR's New York Office introduced Hills Brothers Coffee as the new 2002 title sponsor with the name of the series becoming the Hills Bros. All Pro Series. Feit introduced Mauro Calcano, Hills Brothers Coffee Vice President of Human Resources who spoke on behalf of the new sponsor. This was an exciting year for all competitors on the series with the championship, the rookie-of-the-year title and the Bud Pole Award not being determined until the final event of the season.
This was Anderson's second series title having won top honors at the end of the 1999 racing season.
Anderson thanked many people in his acceptance speech which was short and to the point. "I am a racer, said Anderson, and I simply drive the car".
"First of all I want to thank Jani-King for all their support of this race team. We would not be here tonight without their help. I want to thank Frankie Grill for sticking by me. I have been a pretty bad boy a few times and Frankie has stuck with me through thick or thin. I am proud to give him his second NASCAR Championship in the last three years."
"This whole race team just seemed to click this year. Augie (Grill) did a tremendous job as crew chief and we have some really super people working on this team. We have raced many races this year and I feel the more races we compete in the better we are going to be. We come to every race with intentions of winning."
Anderson thanked all his sponsors and especially commented on the excellent engines they have had all year. "Our motors have been awesome and the motor we lost in the final race was not the motor builders problem. I missed a shift and that is what caused the problem," continued Anderson.
Anderson's accolades included his NASCAR point fund of $25,190, $4,000 from Ed Shull of Gatorade for winning their "FrontRunner" Award Program along with a beautiful Jeff Hamilton leather jacket, $3,000 from Unocal, a Hoosier Racing Jacket and his NASCAR Champion's Diamond Ring presented by NASCAR's Chris Boals. Anderson's total posted awards for the season exceeded $124,000.
Anderson was surprised with one special award during the evening when he was named the 2001 Series Most Popular Driver.
"What can I say about receiving this award," commented Anderson. "I want to thank all those who voted for me and this is one award that will hold a special place in my heart and my trophy case. Whenever you are recognized by your peers for doing something you enjoy, just as they do, it becomes very special.
Anderson's crew chief, Augie Grill received $2,500 from Jasper Engines and Transmissions as the top series Crew Chief and Jon Craig, crew chief for third place driver Jeff Fultz received $1,000 as the second place crew chief in that competition.
Longtime NASCAR car owner Frankie Grill was presented his car owner's trophy by "Uncle Bob" Harmon who has been associated with Grill for over 20 years in short track racing.
Randy Gentry finished second in points for his finest NASCAR Touring racing season. In addition to his $12,595 NASCAR Point Fund monies, Gentry received $2,000 from Union 76. Gentry's laps completed percentage of 98% led all drivers and earned for him the special award of Most Improved Driver for 2001.
Third place driver Jeff Fultz was recognized for his outstanding season of winning four races and his two Bud Pole starts with his NASCAR point fund of $11,335. Fultz won the Annual Bud Pole Award with his two poles. Shawn Whitefield, representing Union 76, presented checks to the top three finishing drivers in the end of year standings.
Other top five drivers recognized were David Reutimann who finished fourth in points and Eddie Mercer, fifth in the end of year standings. Rounding out the top ten drivers were Charlie Bradberry, who was honored as the Wireway/Husky Corporation Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Rookie-of-the-Year in sixth, Benny Gordon, seventh, Shane Sieg, eighth, Steven Howard, ninth and Kevin Prince, tenth.
Other drivers in the top twenty end of year points walking across the stage for their NASCAR point fund checks were Ken Weaver, Jody Lavender who finished second in the Wireway/Husky Rookie program and was awarded $1,000, David Melvin representing his driver Stanley Smith, Chad Bland, Roger Parker, Greg Pope, Richie Beasley and A. J. Frank.
Roger Parker was also recognized with the Series Sportsmanship Award for his contributions to the series in 2001.
Rick Benjamin, with Speedvision, was Master of Ceremonies.