Cam Strader awards banquet report

RALEIGH, N.C. (December 1, 2001) - Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring Teams gathered at the BTI Convention Center in Downtown Raleigh Saturday night to crown their new champion, Cam Strader of nearby Wilson, NC. Officials and NASCAR VIPs were on...

RALEIGH, N.C. (December 1, 2001) - Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring Teams gathered at the BTI Convention Center in Downtown Raleigh Saturday night to crown their new champion, Cam Strader of nearby Wilson, NC. Officials and NASCAR VIPs were on hand to congratulate the series' competitors on a fabulous 2001 season. The young champion was honored many times over as one by one dignitaries called him to the stage for his many accolades. "I feel honored to be a NASCAR Champion," said an emotionally charged Strader. His hometown was represented well by Charles Pittman. Pittman was there to announce that a street in a new subdivision would be named Cam Strader Drive to show the city's pride in his accomplishments. Cam's father and car owner, Steve Strader, recognized the contribution and sacrifices made by each of his team members. "We are proud to represent such a great series as Champions." Steve went on to say that he planned to bring his team back in 2002 to defend the title. Cam was also voted as the series' Most Popular Driver. "Wow!" said an overwhelmed Strader. "This is almost as exciting as the Championship. It is indeed a great honor when your peers choose you as the most popular driver in the series."

A representative from Ford Motor Company, Dave Piontek, added some humor when he said: "It is not often that you could imagine that the series' Champion could also be the most popular. Cam made only friends in 2001. He is a true Champion," said Piontek. "I plan to represent the series in a manner that will reflect the spirit that describes what this series is all about," expressed Strader.

"Last weekend in an interview - I was told that I would now be somewhat of a spokesperson for the Dash Series. I want to make this commitment to you," he said.

"I will at all times strive to be the best ambassador this Series has ever had, and always do my best to create positive exposure for this Series." Strader also won the Gatorade Front Runner Award by leading the most laps, completing 98.1% of the total laps run in the 2001 season. Billy Hodges was on hand from Goodyear and presented Strader the Goodyear Champion's trophy.

"Obviously, I couldn't be here tonight without my crew and the dedication they have shown me throughout the year," said Strader. "I want to thank each of you and express my deepest gratitude to you all." Strader then had each of his crew- members, his engine builder, and the Wesson sponsor representative, Frank Packard join him on stage as he presented the 2001 Dash Series Championship team.

Shane Hmiel earned top rookie honors in 2001 and was presented with the MAG-KLIP Rookie of the Year trophy.

The series' Families Auxiliary presented other awards. The Cedar Creek Racing Team, which fields car for Jake and Justin Hobgood collected the "Rodney Orr Determination Award." Public Relations and Media Coordinator, Randy Claypoole accepted an award of excellence called the "Dash Diplomat Award." One of the highlights of the evening was the presence of NASCAR's all-time leading winner, Richard Petty. Petty has been a representative of Goody's Headache Powders for over 20 years. Goody's will celebrate their tenth season as the series' title sponsor in 2002. As Petty was introduced, he received a well-deserved standing ovation. As he honored the Champion car owner, he also remembered the victims of the September 11 attack along with the drivers who have lost their lives in recent months. "I have used a lot of these over the years," Petty said as he pulled a packet of familiar Goody's Headache Powders from his pocket. "This is my personal award to the Champion car owner. Any car owner has his share of headaches," Petty went on to say. NASCAR's Regional Touring Series and Weekly Racing Series Director, Chris Boals was on hand to share in the celebration. Boals had plenty of congratulatory words about the new Champion. He also expressed words of appreciation and encouragement to the entire Goody's Dash Series' family. Boals commented: "The core of our business at NASCAR remains, 'putting race cars on the race tracks.' We are committed to meeting the challenges, and taking advantage of the opportunities along the way to being successful in the business of racing.The new auditorium-style format used in all the NASCAR year-end events this season heightened the formality and dignity of the presentations. Special presentations of the manufacturer's award and individual team member awards made by the Strader team, set a new precedent for the Dash Series awards ceremony.


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Drivers Shane Hmiel , Cam Strader , Justin Hobgood