National Motorsports Press Association honors Lynda Petty, Kevin Harvick and others for service, achievement

Leave a comment

During its annual awards banquet, the National Motorsports Press Association announced several key award winners on Sunday.

First, the late Lynda Petty, wife of seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty, was named the recipient of the NMPA’s annual Spirit Award for 2014.

Petty, who passed away March 30, 2014, was known for her charitable work both inside and outside the racing community.

Petty was the first quarter recipient of the award in 2014, while Martin Truex Jr., the late team owner Junie Donlavey and Michael Waltrip also won the quarterly phases of the award in 2014. Petty then was voted the overall winner for the year by NMPA members.

Next, Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick was named the winner of the NMPA’s Richard Petty Driver of the Year award for 2014.

The award has been presented each year since 1969, following a vote by NMPA membership. Harvick, who also won the award following his rookie season in 2001, received nearly 75 percent of the votes cast by NMPA members.

Others receiving votes included Chase Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and six-time World of Outlaws champ Donny Schatz.

Two other awards of note were:

* NASCAR senior director of competition communications Kerry Tharp received the Joe Littlejohn award for his service to the NMPA.

* Martinsville Speedway public relations director Mike Smith was also recognized with the Ken Patterson award, which honors a PR representative in the industry who exhibits the kind and generous qualities that Patterson, the late PR director of Talladega Superspeedway, demonstrated.

source:
Richard Petty, Kevin Harvick and National Motorsports Press Association president Brian Nelson at Sunday’s NMPA annual awards banquet. (Photo courtesy Kevin Harvick Facebook page)

 

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Will Power nips Jack Harvey at finish to pace Road America practice

Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Will Power led the only IndyCar Road America practice of the weekend Saturday, shooting to the top of the chart on his 22nd and final lap of the session at 1 minute, 46.0021 seconds in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet.

Dixon knocked Jack Harvey’s No. 60 Dallara-Honda from the top spot (which would have marked the first time that a Meyer-Shank Racing car led practice).

Josef Newgarden, Power’s Team Penske teammate, was third, followed by Felix Rosenqvist and Ryan Hunter-Reay (who went off course late in the session but sustained no damage).

Alex Palou, Colton Herta, Graham Rahal, defending race winner Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward rounded out the top 10 in the practice that preceded a Saturday-Sunday race weekend doubleheader for IndyCar at Road America.

PRACTICE RESULTS: Click here to see who was fastest in the session

RACE INFORMATION: What you need to know for today’s REV Group Grand Prix

RATED ROOKIE: Rinus VeeKay rebounding well from a tough debut

IndyCar tested some new cooling devices with cars from Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske. Several drivers have said the cockpit heat caused by the new aeroscreen was stifling during last week’s GMR Grand Prix, and IndyCar repositioned drink bottles this weekend to keep liquids cool. The pieces tried by IndyCar during the Road America practice won’t be available during the races Saturday and Sunday at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, road course.

Scott Dixon, who is seeking to open the season with his third consecutive IndyCar victory, was 15th fastest in the 75-minute session. Other notables in Road America practice: Marco Andretti (12th), Simon Pagenaud (19th).

Power is aiming for his second consecutive pole position after qualifying first last week on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Qualifying for the REV Group Grand Prix Race #1 will take place at 2:15 p.m. ET (NBCSNNBC Sports Gold).

The broadcast of the IndyCar race at Road America will begin at 5 p.m. on NBCSN.