ASHLEY FORCE ACCEPTS 2008 "FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD" FROM JIM MURRAY MEMORIAL FOUNDATION LOS ANGELES [October 30, 2008] -- Tonight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Ashley Force accepted the 2008 "Female Athlete of the Year Award" from the...
ASHLEY FORCE ACCEPTS 2008 "FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD" FROM JIM MURRAY MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
LOS ANGELES [October 30, 2008] -- Tonight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Ashley Force accepted the 2008 "Female Athlete of the Year Award" from the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation (JMMF) at its Tenth Anniversary "Tribute to Living Legends of Sports and Media" Awards Dinner.
Ashley Force, the 25-year-old NHRA Funny Car driver, was introduced by her 14-time Funny Car Champion John Force and spoke emotionally about growing up in a racing family and her journey to the top of her profession.
"Being presented with the Jim Murray Foundation Female Athlete of the Year Award means a lot to me and my team. Seeing all the people here at this event and hearing all the great things they have said about Jim Murray just shows me what a great writer and individual he was. The sports media is so important I just want to continue to showcase all the positive sides of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing and being presented with this award is just a great honor," said Force during her acceptance speech.
On April 27, 2008, Force earned her first ever NHRA professional win, defeating her father in the final round, and becoming the first woman to earn a win in the Funny Car class at the NHRA Summit Southern Nationals held at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia. Prior to this historic win Force also etched her name into the NHRA record books when she took the Funny Car points lead with arunner-up finish at the previous national event in Las Vegas.
Last year Force won the prestigious Automobile of Southern California Road to the Future Award presented annually to the professional rookie of the year after she became the first woman to reach a final round in Funny Car competition.
Other honorees included 2008 "Great Ones" Award recipient, Olympic gold medalist and boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard; Sportswriter of the Year Award recipient; Los Angeles Times sports columnist Helene Elliott, the first woman to be inducted into the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame (2005); and Howard Bingham, legendary sports photographer whose works have been published in magazines, books and periodicals including: Life, Look, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, People, Ebony, TASCHEN, and others.
The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation was established in 1998 by McCoy-Murray. As of 2008, the JMMF has awarded 63 journalism scholarships totaling $332,500.00.
The 2008 scholarship winners are Kyle Austin, Syracuse University; Kyle Goon, University of Maryland; Ryan Haney, Trinity College-Hartford; Alex Herbach, University of Southern California; Bill Oram, University of Montana; Michael Sanserino, Indiana University; and Mark Viera, Penn State University.