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AARWBA Titus Trophy Goes to Wheldon

Drivers Join NASCAR's Helton at Sold-Out Dinner;
End of Media Group's 50th Anniversary Celebration;
Indy Winner Top All-America Team Vote-Getter

INDIANAPOLIS - NASCAR President Mike Helton was the featured speaker and Dan Wheldon, the Indy 500 winner and IRL series champion, was announced as recipient of the Jerry Titus Memorial Trophy at Saturday night's 36th annual American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's All-America Team dinner presented by Sprint Nextel. The sold-out event marked the official conclusion of AARWBA's year-long 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Approximately 250 members, guests and VIPs were in attendance at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis for the ceremonies.

Members of AARWBA, the country's oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals, annually elect drivers to the Team from seven categories: Stock car, open-wheel, drag racing, road racing, short track, touring series and at-large. The Titus is named in honor of the late AARWBA member journalist and professional racer and the unique trophy features his typewriter and helmet. Wheldon was not in attendance and AARWBA President Dusty Brandel accepted.

On-hand to receive their gold “Horsepower” trophies as Team members were: NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher and Rookie of the Year Robert Hight, attending for his teammate John Force (drag racing category); World of Outlaws sprint car titlist and U.S. racing icon Steve Kinser and USAC Silver Crown title-holder Dave Steele (short track); Rolex sports car Daytona Prototype champs Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli and class runners-up Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz Jr. (road racing); ALMS GT-2 class title-holder Patrick Long (at-large); and ARCA stock car champion Frank Kimmel (touring series). Other drivers elected to the Team were: Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson (stock car); Martin Truex Jr. (touring); Jorg Bergmeister and Rob MacCachren (at-large); and Wheldon and Sebastien Bourdais (open-wheel).

Several special awards were presented, including:

Dusty Brandel President's Award: Recently renamed in tribute to the long-time AARWBA president, the honor went to the Hulman-George family for their help to AARWBA. Tony Hulman, who purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway just over 60 years ago, started the family's tradition of supporting AARWBA and Tony George continues that to this day. Mari Hulman George, IMS chairman of the board, accepted from Brandel.

Jim Chapman Award: Susan Arnold, of Kenny Bernstein Budweiser King Racing, received the honor for outstanding achievement in motorsports public relations. It is named in memory of Chapman, the late legendary PR executive, who was Babe Ruth's PR representative and director of racing for CART series sponsor PPG Industries. Arnold is the first recipient from drag racing. She was chosen by a blue-ribbon committee of journalists, all of whom knew Chapman. The plaque was presented by AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration Chairman Michael Knight and Associated Press' motorsports writer Mike Harris, both close friends of Chapman.

Pioneer In Racing Award: Safety innovator Robert Falcon received this award for life-long contributions to motorsports. Falcon is the inventor and developer of the “Shoehorn Rapid Extrication” device, used to remove drivers from race cars without aggravating possible spinal injuries. Falcon worked at Halibrand Engineering and served on the USAC safety committee for almost 30 years.

Bob Russo Founder's Award: The inaugural award, which honors the first AARWBA president, went to AARWBA 50th Anniversary Chairman Michael Knight. The award goes to an AARWBA member who has worked diligently to further the organization and for profound interest, tireless efforts and dedication to auto racing as exemplified by Russo. AARWBA charter member Bill Marvel, who established the tribute to Russo with help from Gary and Collene Campbell, the brother-in-law and sister of the late Mickey Thompson for whom Russo worked, made the presentation.

Gorsline Scholarship: This annual scholarship, from insurance executive John Gorsline, went to Katherine Legge. She won three Toyota Atlantic series races in 2005 and finished third in points in her rookie season. Pam Griffith, Legge's Polestar Racing team owner, came on stage to speak about the importance of the scholarship in furthering the careers of young drivers.

Lifetime Memberships: Special AARWBA membership cards went to NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. Executive Vice President of Communications Fred Nation.

In addition to Helton, industry VIPs on hand included: USAC Chairman John Capels, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Joie Chitwood, Fernandez Racing co-owner Tom Anderson, former Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Lyn St. James, Knoxville Nationals and ARCA race winner Kraig Kinser, Toyota Atlantic champion Charles Zwolsman, NHRA racers Tommy Johnson Jr., Melanie Troxel and Antron Brown, Champ Car team owner Derrick Walker, Champ Car Executive Vice President of Marketing Will Wilson, Don Schumacher Racing Senior Vice President Mike Lewis, IRL Vice President of Marketing Mike Ringham, Long Beach Grand Prix President Jim Michaelian, Indiana sprint car series champion Justin Marvel, Valvoline brand manager Steve Costello, USAC Board member Ken Unger and ARCA champion team owner Larry Clement.

Popular broadcaster Bob Jenkins, Speed Channel co-anchor, was Master of Ceremonies. Attendees walked a red carpet past the 1955 Indy 500 winning “Pink Zink” Kurtis-Kraft Offenhauser and a 2005 IRL Fernandez Racing Honda to symbolize AARWBA's half-century of motorsports heritage. AARWBA's first organizational meeting was held about one mile from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Long-time AARWBAer Jack Martin, a Navy veteran and member of “The Greatest Generation,” led the Pledge of Allegiance. There was a visual tribute to AARWBA' s 50 years, produced and edited by Western Vice President Mike Hollander, with contributions from members. The ceremony concluded with Knight banging a gavel to officially close the 50th Anniversary Celebration, followed by a drop of gold balloons, to the music Auld Lang Syne.

Official AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration sponsors include: Porsche Cars North America, NASCAR, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy Racing League, Valvoline, Toyota Motorsports, American Honda, Fernandez Racing, Champ Car World Series, Budweiser, BMW, NHRA, American Le Mans Series and Ford Racing.


NASCAR Prexy Mike Helton Speaks Dec. 3 at
AARWBA Auto Racing All America Dinner presented by
SprintNextel logo
in Indy -

AARWBA extends special thanks to the corporate sponsors of our 50th Anniversary Celebration

Porsche logo NASCAR logo Toyota Motorsports logo
Indianapolis Motor Speedway logoIndy Racing League logo Fernandez Racing logo Valvoline logo Champ Car World Series logo
Honda logo Budweiser logo NHRA logo BMW logo
ALMS logo Ford Racing logo


NASCAR President Mike Helton To Be Featured Speaker at AARWBA All-America Team Dinner Dec. 3 in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS NASCAR President Mike Helton will be the featured speaker at the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Associations 36th annual All-America Team dinner, Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis.

AARWBA is the countrys oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals. The dinner, honoring the champion drivers from stock car, open-wheel, short track, drag and road racing and touring series, will mark the official conclusion of AARWBAs 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Helton will share his important insights with AARWBA members and guests in Indianapolis one day after the annual NASCAR NEXTEL Cup awards ceremony in New York City. Helton has been a key leader in growing NASCAR into Americas No. 1 motorsports series and one of the countrys most popular mainstream sports attractions. Before becoming NASCAR president in late 2000, Helton had management positions at the Atlanta and Talladega tracks, and later was NASCARs vice president for competition and then senior VP and chief operating officer.

AARWBA members voted NASCARs founding France Family as Newsmaker of the Half-Century, the headline event of the 50th Anniversary Celebration. Lesa France Kennedy, president of International Speedway Corp., accepted the honor in May at the groups pre-Indy 500 breakfast meeting.

Im happy to accept AARWBAs invitation to speak at the All-America Team dinner, said Helton. AARWBA members have played an important role in the growth of NASCAR and motorsports in general. I look forward to this opportunity, and to join AARWBA in recognizing the champion drivers of 2005, and congratulating AARWBA on a successful 50th anniversary.

The All-America Team of drivers is elected by AARWBA members. The top vote-getter from the various classes will be announced at the dinner as winner of AARWBAs No. 1 honor, the Jerry Titus Memorial Award. IRL champion Tony Kanaan was the 2004 Titus winner and attended last Januarys Team dinner to accept.

Tickets, for the general public as well as media and sponsors, are available by contacting AARWBA President Dusty Brandel at 818/842-7005 or AARWBA@Compuserve.com. Information also is available at the aarwba.org web site, click on the banquet link, and discounted Hyatt room reservations can be made there.

###

For more information, please contact:

Dusty Brandel
President, AARWBA
818/842-7005
AARWBA@Compuserve.com

Michael Knight
Chairman, AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration
480/661-5240
SpinDoctor500@aol.com


AARWBA ALL-AMERICA TEAM DINNER MOVES TO INDY DEC. 3; WILL CONCLUDE 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

INDIANAPOLIS -- The American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association recently announced its 36th consecutive All-America Team dinner, honoring the top drivers from various series, will be Saturday night, Dec. 3, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. The event will officially conclude the 50th Anniversary Celebration for AARWBA, the country's oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals.

This is a change for AARWBA, which for several years has staged the dinner in California in January.

The All-America Team is selected by vote of AARWBA members and includes stock car, open wheel, drag racing, short track, road racing, touring series and at-large categories. The top vote-getter is honored with the Jerry Titus Memorial Trophy, which was won by IRL champion Tony Kanaan in 2004.

Other highlights will include a visual tribute to AARWBA's 50 years and presentation of the Jim Chapman Public Relations Award and Bob Russo Founders Award as well as several surprise announcements. The dinner will be staged in the Hyatt's atrium, providing a colorful and festive holiday setting.

Ticket and other information is available from AARWBA President Dusty Brandel at _aarwba@compuserve.com_ (mailto:aarwba@compuserve.com ) and soon will be posted on the aarwba.org web site. The Hyatt is offering discounted room rates for dinner guests.


click for high-resolution image
Lesa France Kennedy and AARWBA President Dusty Brandel. Photo by Ken Plotkin, motorsport.com (For high-resolution photo for media use only, please right-click on the picture)
FOR RELEASE: 10 a.m., EDT, Saturday, May 28, 2005

France Family Voted Newsmaker of the Half-Century
by AARWBA Members

Hulman-George Family Close Second for
Media Groups Top 50th Anniversary Honor;
Two Families Combine For 55 % of Total Record-Setting Vote

INDIANAPOLIS The France Family, whose vision and leadership turned NASCAR stock car racing from a loosely-organized Southern-based attraction into the countrys second-most popular sport, Saturday was named Newsmaker of the Half-Century by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association during the annual AARWBA members breakfast.

Newsmaker of the Half-Century, determined by vote of AARWBA members, is the most important event of AARWBAs 50th Anniversary Celebration. AARWBA is the countrys oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals.

The France family received 28.5 percent of the vote among 12 nominees for the award. A record number of AARWBA members participated, according to President Dusty Brandel. The Hulman-George family, owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and responsible for building the Indy 500 into the worlds largest single-day sporting spectacle, finished second in the voting with 26.3 percent. The Speedway is the site of the 89th Indy 500 on May 29, as well as the June 19 U.S. Grand Prix Formula One race, and the Aug. 7 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard NASCAR event.

The two families combined to capture almost 55 percent of the total vote. Lesa France Kennedy, president of International Speedway Corp, was present for the announcement. She accepted a specially commissioned painting, by artist Hector Cademartori, depicting the familys 50 years of achievement from Brandel and AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration Chairman Michael Knight. AARWBA also will donate $1,000 to Speediactrics at the Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., in honor of the France family.

William H.G. (Big Bill) France promoted the famous beach/road races in Daytona Beach and founded the stock car organization in 1947. He built Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. He died in 1992. His wife, Anne, was NASCARs first secretary and treasurer. She also died in 1992.

William C. (Bill) France succeeded his father as NASCAR president in 1972 while another son, Jim, became president of the family-founded International Speedway Corp. Bill steadily grew NASCAR into a true nation-wide series that even came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway starting in 1994. National TV exposure and prize money greatly increased. Bills son, Brian, succeeded his father as NASCAR chairman in October 2003 and quickly revolutionized the series by instituting the Chase for the Championship format in 2004. Bills daughter, Lesa France Kennedy, is a member of the NASCAR Board and president of ISC, which has built and acquired several major tracks in recent years, including California Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. Jim now serves as vice chairman of both NASCAR and ISC and his son, J.C., is a winning driver in the Rolex Sports Car Series.

On behalf of my entire family, I thank AARWBA and the media for this great honor, said Lesa France Kennedy. It is especially gratifying for us considering the others who were nominated. I know that my father, in particular, will be very happy. Im anxious for him to see this painting as soon as possible because it will mean a lot to him and bring back a lot of memories. I also appreciate AARWBA honoring our family with a charitable donation, and were proud to designate that to Speediactrics at the Halifax Medical Center.

My grandfather was a classic American success story in so many ways. He was a risk-taker in the sense he had a big vision that NASCAR and stock car racing could be a very popular sport throughout the United States, and with the support of my grandmother, worked day-after-day to make that a reality. My father worked very hard to build on that foundation and his leadership is what made NASCAR what it is today. My mother and uncle and others helped him along the way and now my brother and I have the opportunity to continue to grow the sport and the business and we are fully committed to doing exactly that.

Mario Andretti was third in the voting, with 8.2 percent. Roger Penske and the late Dale Earnhardt tied for fourth, each with 6.7 percent. Also nominated were: Kenny Bernstein, John Force, A.J. Foyt, Jeff Gordon, Dan Gurney, Wally Parks and Richard Petty.

AARWBA congratulates the France family for being chosen Newsmaker of the Half-Century, said Brandel. The process began with a list of 50 great American auto racing newsmakers, from which our Board of Directors selected 12 nominees, for a final vote. AARWBA members have written about, broadcast and photographed the most memorable racing people and events since 1955 and so are the best qualified to make this selection. Many members told me how difficult it was to choose from among these legendary names. It is a tribute to the Frances that they came out first from among this prestigious list.

Knight added, The story of the France family, and the Hulman-George family, is in many ways the American story. Their entrepreneurial spirit and bold, innovative leadership has defined the growth of American motorsports during the last 50 years. It is almost impossible to imagine what racing would be like without them. This is clear when you see that these two families, combined, earned almost 55 percent of the total vote.

To learn more about AARWBA, please visit the AARWBA.org web site. A membership application form can be downloaded from the site. Official AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration sponsors are: Porsche Cars North America, NASCAR, Toyota Motorsports, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy Racing League, Valvoline, Honda, Champ Car World Series, Fernandez Racing, Budweiser, BMW, NHRA, American Le Mans Series and Ford Racing.

###

For more information on AARWBA's 50th anniversary, please contact: Dusty Brandel
President, AARWBA
818/842-7005
AARWBA@Compuserve.com
Michael Knight
Chairman, AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration
602/315-3900 (cell phone)
SpinDoctor500@aol.com


AARWBA Founders Award Named for Bob Russo

INDIANAPOLIS, May 26, 2005 - The American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association, Inc., today announced a new Founders Award Named to honor the late racing journalist/publicist/historian Bob Russo.

The award will be presented annually to a member who has worked diligently to further the organization in its goals to represent the media who cover the sport of motor racing throughout the United States.

AARWBA is celebrating its 50th anniversary this May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Russo was the initiator in organizing the Association. In 1955, he felt there was a definite need for such a group to help in its coverage of all forms of auto racing. Often at that time communication between the track promoters and the media was very limited.

Russo brought together several of the leading motor racing writers of that era on August 16, 1955, and the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association was formed. It since has become the largest organization of its sort in the United States.

The First Bob Russo Founders Award will be announced today and again Saturday at the annual AARWBA Breakfast on the day before the 89th annual Indy 500. Individual plaques will be presented yearly at the breakfast.

The recipient will be cited for his/her profound interest, tireless efforts and undying dedication to auto racing exemplified by Russo throughout his lifelong career. Russo died September 17, 1999, at the age of 71.

A large plaque bearing Russo's likeness has been commissioned to Metal Dcor of Springfield, Il. It will include plates for 50 winners in the coming years. It will be on display in the Speedway Media Center.

Sponsors of the Bob Russo Founders Award are Gary and Collene Campbell. They are the sister and brother-in-law of the late Mickey Thompson.

"They are doing this because of Bob's efforts in racing and his work with Mickey Thompson Enterprises and Mickey would have sponsored it were he here," said Former Board Member Bill Marvel, who pushed through the Bob Russo Award idea.

The first recipient is the 50th anniversary chairmen Michael Knight.


AARWBA Newsmaker Announcement Reset for May 28

May 10, 2005

INDIANAPOLIS -- The announcement and presentation of the Newsmaker of the Half-Century award by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 28, at the annual AARWBA breakfast in Indianapolis. AARWBA already has revealed that the top-five vote-getters (in random order) are: Dale Earnhardt, Mario Andretti, Roger Penske, the France family and the Hulman-George family. AARWBA, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is the country's oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals.


Dusty Brandel and Sam Schmidt
AARWBA President Dusty Brandel with Meijer/Coca-Cola team owner Sam Schmidt at the May 16 Sam Schmidt Foundation fundraiser in Indianapolis. AARWBA donated four tickets to the annual breakfast for the event's auction.


AARWBA Display at Indy
AARWBA's display in the IMS media center included the Jerry Titus Memorial Award, historic photos, and the 50th anniversary logo.


AARWBA Reveals Top 5 Newsmakers

Andretti, Earnhardt, France, Hulman-George, Penske Get Most Votes for Media Group's Top 50th Anniversary Honor; Winner to Be Announced May 15 in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS - The American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association revealed today the top-five vote-getters for its Newsmaker of the Half-Century Award, the most important event of AARWBA's 50th Anniversary Celebration.

They are (in alphabetical order): Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, the France family, the Hulman-George family and Roger Penske.

AARWBA President Dusty Brandel also said the Newsmaker of the Half-Century will be announced at a public ceremony Sunday afternoon, May 15, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The winner will receive a specially commissioned painting and AARWBA will make a donation to the recipient's favorite charity.

A record number of AARWBA members voted, according to 50th Anniversary Celebration Chairman Michael Knight, choosing from 12 nominees selected by the group's Board of Directors from an original list of 50 newsmakers. AARWBA is the country's oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals.

The top five Newsmaker of the Half-Century choices represent the wide diversity of American racing and their achievements include making headlines on-and-off the track:

* Andretti is regarded by many as one of the country's most versatile drivers ever, with victories in the Indy 500, NASCAR's Daytona 500 and Sebring 12 hours. He was the 1978 world Formula One champion. He retired in 1994 with four Indy Car championships and 52 race wins, earned over a record four decades, the last at a record 53-plus years old. He finished with Champ Car records for starts, poles and laps led and was voted Driver of the Quarter-Century in 1992.

* Earnhardt was a seven-time NASCAR Cup champion, tying Richard Petty' s record, and achieved legendary status as "The Intimidator." He won 76 Cup races, including the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400, and earned over $41 million in Cup prize money alone. The team he founded, DEI, has fielded winning cars for several drivers, including son Dale Earnhardt Jr. His death on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 was headline news around the world.

* The France family has led NASCAR to a position as the No. 2 sport in America, behind only the NFL. William H.G. ("Big Bill") France promoted the famous beach/road races in Daytona Beach and founded the stock car organization in 1947. He built Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. He died in 1992. His wife, Anne, was NASCAR's first secretary and treasurer. She also died in 1992. William C. ("Bill") France succeeded his father as NASCAR president in 1972 while another son, Jim, became president of the family-founded International Speedway Corp. Bill steadily grew NASCAR into a true nation-wide series that even came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway starting in 1994. National TV exposure and prize money greatly increased. Bill' s son, Brian, succeeded his father as NASCAR chairman in October 2003 and quickly revolutionized the series by instituting the "Chase for the Championship" format in 2004. Bill's daughter, Lesa Kennedy, is a member of the NASCAR Board and president of ISC, which has built and acquired several major tracks in recent years. Jim now serves as vice chairman of both NASCAR and ISC and his son, J.C., is a winning driver in the Rolex Sports Car Series.

* The Hulman-George family is responsible for making the Indianapolis 500 "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" and the world's largest single-day sporting event. Anton ("Tony") Hulman purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1945, and quickly began to upgrade the facility, which was in disrepair after World War II. In the following three decades he continued an aggressive program of track improvements and worked to build-up the now-traditional month of May activities surrounding the race. Hulman also was involved in the founding of the U.S. Auto Club. He died in 1977 and wife Mary Fendrich Hulman assumed the title as chairman. She died in 1998. Their daughter, Mari Hulman George, was named chairman in 1988. The winner's purse exceeded $1 million for the first time in 1989.

Anton ("Tony") H. George, Tony Hulman's grandson, became Speedway president in 1990. He continued the on-going track improvement effort leading up to his historic decision to bring NASCAR to the Speedway for the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994. In 1996, George launched the Indy Racing League, then constructed an infield road course to stage the Speedway' s first U.S. Grand Prix Formula One race in 2000. IMS helped develop the groundbreaking SAFER barrier system and was the first to install it in 2002. George's stepson, Ed Carpenter, is an IRL driver.

* Penske is the winningest car owner in Indianapolis 500 history, with 13 victories, and his team has been the most successful ever in U.S. open-wheel competition with 11 championships and more than 120 wins. He was one of America's top young road racers before retiring in 1965 to concentrate on business. Since 1966, Penske's team has won in every type of racing it entered, including NASCAR, Formula One, and various sports car series for an additional seven titles. He has employed some of history's greatest drivers, including Mark Donohue, Rick Mears, Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Al Unser Jr., Emerson Fittipaldi, Danny Sullivan, Bobby Allison and Rusty Wallace.

Penske Cars has designed and built numerous championship machines. Penske is widely regarded as racing's foremost entrepreneur, owned or built tracks such as Michigan Speedway and California Speedway, and was a co-founder of CART. Also nominated for the honor were: Kenny Bernstein, John Force, A.J. Foyt, Jeff Gordon, Dan Gurney, Wally Parks and Richard Petty.

"I have been told by many members how difficult it was to choose just one of the 12 legendary names for Newsmaker of the Half-Century," said Brandel. " That's part of the fun of this award and what we believe will make it extremely prestigious for the winner. AARWBA members have written about, broadcast and photographed the most memorable racing people and events since 1955, and are the best qualified to make this decision."

Knight added, "The high-level of participation by our members in the voting process reinforces the fact that the Newsmaker of the Half-Century Award is the most important event of AARWBA's 50th Anniversary Celebration. The presentation to the winner on May 15 certainly will be one of the highlights of the entire motorsports season, and there is no better place to do this than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where so much news and history has been made." To learn more about AARWBA, please visit the AARWBA.org web site. A membership application form can be downloaded from the site.

Official AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration sponsors are: Porsche Cars North America, NASCAR, Toyota Motorsports, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy Racing League, Valvoline, Honda, Champ Car World Series, Fernandez Racing, Budweiser, BMW, NHRA, American Le Mans Series and Ford Racing.


Michael F. Hollander and Les Unger - Russ Cugno photo for AARWBA
AARWBA Western Vice-President Michael F. Hollander presents the 50th Anniversary sponsorship plaque to Les Unger of Toyota Motor Sales. Photo by Russ Cugno for AARWBA.
Barry Bronson and Lewis Franck - Dusty Brandel photo for AARWBA
AARWBA Eastern Vice-President Lewis Franck presents the 50th Anniversary sponsorship plaque to Barry Bronson of Valvoline. Photo by Dusty Brandel.
Dusty Brandel and Mike Helton - Michael F. Hollander photo for AARWBA
NASCAR President Mike Helton receives the 50th Anniversary sponsorship plaque from AARWBA President Dusty Brandel. Photo by Michael F. Hollander.

Fernandez logo
Fernandez Racing Backs Return Of AARWBA Straight Shooters Award

Fernandez Racing Sponsors 'Straight Shooters'
AARWBA 50th Anniversary Chairman Michael Knight, Adrian Fernandez, Tom Anderson, AARWBA Eastern VP Lewis Franck and AARWBA Southern VP Mike Harris celebrate Fernandez Racing's sponsorship of AARWBA's 50th Anniversary and the Straight Shooters Award

The "Straight Shooters" Award, in memory of photographers Art Flores and Ron Hussey, will be presented by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association for the next three years with support from Fernandez Racing of the Indy Racing League. AARWBA, the countrys oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The "Straight Shooters" Award is intended to recognize an individual or group who show care for others in the racing photographers community or for special achievement. It was the idea of Flores, the late AARWBA photo committee chairman, and was first presented three years ago. Flores, who died last year, and Hussey, who died in 2000, were both long-time award-winning motorsports photographers. Fernandez Racing driver-owner Adrian Fernandez, and team co-owner Tom Anderson, suggested renaming the honor in recognition of Flores and Husseys contributions to racing.

The winner will be chosen by an AARWBA committee. A plaque and $250 prize will be presented to the recipient at AARWBAs annual members breakfast meeting May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"On behalf of all our members, I want to thank Adrian and Tom for this wonderful idea," said AARWBA President Dusty Brandel. "Their support allows AARWBA to remember two distinguished photographers. This also enables us to acknowledge our gratitude to those who give special help to the photo community, or show special achievement behind the lens, in the spirit of Art and Ron." Adrian Fernandez won three IRL races in 2004. The team has announced plans to field Honda-powered cars for veteran Scott Sharp and 04 League Rookie of the Year Kosuke Matsuura in the full 05 IndyCar season.

To learn more about AARWBA, please visit the AARWBA.org web site. A membership application form can be downloaded from the site.

###

For more information on AARWBA's 50th anniversary, and official 50th Anniversary Celebration sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Dusty Brandel
President, AARWBA
818/842-7005
_AARWBA@Compuserve.com_ (mailto:AARWBA@Compuserve.com)

Michael Knight
Chairman, AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration
480/661-5240
_SpinDoctor500@aol.com_ (mailto:SpinDoctor500@aol.com)

Fernandez Racing contact:
Tamy Valkosky
949/459-9172
_pr@fernandezracing.com_ (mailto:pr@fernandezracing.com)


12 Newsmaker of the Half-Century
Nominees Announced by AARWBA
 
Andretti, Bernstein, Earnhardt, Force, Foyt, France,
Gordon, Gurney, Hulman-George, Parks, Penske, Petty
Make List for Media Group's Top 50th Anniversary Honor
 
     POMONA, Calif. -- Twelve of the greatest names in U.S. motorsports 
history were announced Saturday night as nominees for the American Auto Racing 
Writers and Broadcasters Association's Newsmaker of the Half-Century Award, the 
most important event of AARWBA's 50th Anniversary Celebration.

 

     The dozen nominees (in alphabetical order) are: Mario Andretti, Kenny 
Bernstein, Dale Earnhardt, John Force, A.J. Foyt, the France family, Jeff 
Gordon, Dan Gurney, the Hulman-George family, Wally Parks, Roger Penske and Richard 
Petty.
 
      The announcement was made at AARWBA's annual All-America Team dinner at 
the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel by AARWBA President Dusty Brandel and 50th 
Anniversary Celebration Chairman Michael Knight. AARWBA is the country's oldest and 
largest organization of motorsports media professionals. 

 

     The nominees were selected by AARWBA's Board of Directors from an 
original list of 50 newsmakers. The full AARWBA membership will now vote for one of 
the 12 as Newsmaker of the Half-Century and their choice will be revealed at a 
public ceremony this May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the days 
leading up to the 89th Indy 500. The winner will receive a specially commissioned 
painting and AARWBA will make a donation to the recipient's favorite charity. 

 

     The Newsmaker of the Half-Century nominees represent the wide diversity 
of American racing and their achievements include making headlines on-and-off 
the track:
 

     * Andretti is regarded by many as one of the country's most versatile 
drivers ever, with victories in the Indy 500, NASCAR's Daytona 500 and Sebring 
12 hours. He was the 1978 world Formula One champion. He retired in 1994 with 
four Indy Car championships and 52 race wins, earned over a record four 
decades, the last at a record 53-plus years old. He finished with Champ Car records 
for starts, poles and laps led and was voted Driver of the Quarter-Century in 
1992.     

     * Bernstein captured six NHRA drag racing titles, four in the Funny Car 
class and two in Top Fuel, but perhaps is best known as "The King of Speed" 
after becoming the first driver to make a 300 mph quarter-mile pass in 1992. He 
retired after the 2002 season, but returned in '03 to sub for injured son 
Brandon, and won four times to bring his career total to 69 victories. He earned 
a reputation as a pioneer in the business of motorsports with 26 consecutive 
years of Budweiser sponsorship and other ventures. His teams also won the Indy 
500 pole and NASCAR Cup and CART races.    

     * Earnhardt was a seven-time NASCAR Cup champion, tying Richard Petty's 
record, and achieved legendary status as "The Intimidator." He won 76 Cup 
races, including the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400, and earned over $41 million 
in Cup prize money alone. The team he founded, DEI, has fielded winning cars 
for several drivers, including son Dale Earnhardt Jr. His death on the last lap 
of the 2001 Daytona 500 was headline news around the world. 



     * Force won his 13th NHRA Funny Car championship in 2004, a total which 
includes a streak of 10 consecutive titles from 1993-2002. Five victories in 
'04 brought his career total to a record 114 wins in 180 final-round 
appearances. He's a four-time winner of the U.S. Nationals, the series' biggest event. 
Recognized by media as one of the most colorful interview subjects in any 
sport.  

     * Foyt  was viewed as an American racing icon, for his exploits on dirt 
and paved tracks, even before he became the first four-time Indianapolis 500 
winner in 1977. He earned a record seven Indy Car championships and won a 
record 67 Indy-type races before his retirement in 1993. He also has five titles in 
other series plus victories in the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans and 1972 Daytona 
500 to his credit. Foyt made a fifth trip to victory lane at the Indy 500 as a 
car owner in 1999 and fielded the IRL championship team in 1996 and 1998.  

     * The France family has led NASCAR to a position as the No. 2 sport in 
America, behind only the NFL. William H.G. ('Big Bill') France promoted the 
famous beach/road races in Daytona Beach and founded the stock car organization 
in 1947. He built Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. 
He died in 1992. William C. ('Bill') France succeeded his father as NASCAR 
president in 1972 while another son, Jim, became president of the family-founded 
International Speedway Corp. Bill steadily grew NASCAR into a true 
nation-wide series that even came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway starting in 1994. 
National TV exposure and prize money greatly increased. Bill's son, Brian, 
succeeded his father as NASCAR chairman in October 2003 and quickly revolutionized 
the series by instituting the 'Chase for the Championship' format in 2004. 
Bill's daughter, Lesa Kennedy, is a member of the NASCAR Board and president of 
ISC, which has built and acquired several major tracks in recent years. Jim 
now serves as vice chairman of both NASCAR and ISC and his son, J.C., is a 
winning driver in the Rolex Sports Car Series.   

     * Gordon raced his way from short tracks as USAC midget and Silver Crown 
champion to the top of NASCAR's Cup series in the 1990s and was hailed as 
'NASCAR's Tiger Woods' as he helped elevate the sport to a higher level of 
popularity and interest in the mainstream media by hosting shows such as Saturday 
Night Live and Live with Regis and Kelly. He won the historic inaugural 
Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis in 1994 and has gone on to claim that event a record 
four times, including 2004. He is a four-time NASCAR Cup titlist and has twice 
won the Daytona 500 in his total of 69 Cup victories.     

     * Gurney is considered by many to have been America's greatest 
international road racer. He competed in the world Formula One championship for many 
years and scored a satisfying victory in the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix in an 
All-American Racers Eagle of his own design and construction. He also teamed with 
Foyt to win Le Mans that year. Gurney won important NASCAR, sports car and 
Indy-type races before his retirement after the 1970 season. He forever influenced 
Indy  racing by helping to convince Lotus Formula One team owner Colin 
Chapman to build a lightweight, Ford-powered rear-engine car for the Indy 500 in 
1963. He owned the 1975 Indy winning car, driven by Bobby Unser, and successful 
CART and IMSA teams.    

     * The Hulman-George family is responsible for making the Indianapolis 
500 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing' and the world's largest single-day 
sporting event. Anton ('Tony') Hulman purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 
1945,  and quickly began to upgrade the facility, which was in disrepair 
after World War II. In the following three decades he continued an aggressive 
program of track improvements and worked to build-up the now-traditional month of 
May activities surrounding the race. Hulman also was involved in the founding 
of the U.S. Auto Club. He died in 1977 and wife Mary Fendrich Hulman assumed 
the title as chairman. She died in 1998. Their daughter, Mari Hulman George, 
was named chairman in 1988. The winner's purse exceeded $1 million for the first 
time in 1989. Anton ('Tony') H. George, Tony Hulman's grandson, became 
Speedway president in 1990. He continued the on-going track improvement effort 
leading up to his historic decision to bring NASCAR to the Speedway for the 
inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994. In 1996, George launched the Indy Racing League, 
then constructed an infield road course to stage the Speedway's first U.S. Grand 
Prix Formula One race in 2000. IMS helped develop the groundbreaking SAFER 
barrier system and was the first to install it in 2002. George's stepson, Ed 
Carpenter, is an IRL driver.  

     * Parks was the driving force behind the creation of the National Hot 
Rod Association in 1951 and built the drag racing sanctioning organization into 
a successful governing body with Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock 
Motorcycle professional classes. He started in the late 1930s with the 
Southern California Timing Association, which focused on conducting land speed record 
events, and in the late 1940s became the first editor of Hot Rod magazine. He 
later was editorial director for all the Petersen auto magazines. He 
stepped-down as NHRA president in 1984 but remained chairman. Now in his 90s, Parks is 
still on the NHRA Board and is chairman of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports 
Museum in Pomona, Calif.  

     * Penske is the winningest car owner in Indianapolis 500 history, with 
13 victories, and his team has been the most successful ever in U.S. open-wheel 
competition with 11 championships and more than 120 wins. He was one of 
America's top young road racers before retiring in 1965 to concentrate on business. 
Since 1966, Penske's team has won in every type of racing it entered, 
including NASCAR, Formula One, and various sports car series for an additional seven 
titles. He has employed some of history's greatest drivers, including Mark 
Donohue, Rick Mears, Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Al Unser Jr., Emerson 
Fittipaldi, Danny Sullivan, Bobby Allison and Rusty Wallace. Penske Cars has 
designed and built numerous championship machines. Penske is widely regarded 
as racing's foremost entrepreneur, owned or built tracks such as Michigan 
Speedway and California Speedway, and was a co-founder of CART.    

     * Petty set the standard for success in NASCAR with a record 200 Cup 
victories and seven championships before his retirement after the 1992 season. 
His historic 200th win came at Daytona in the July 1984 Firecracker 400 and was 
witnessed by President Ronald Reagan. He also holds the record for Cup starts 
and poles and wins in a season, 27, in 1967. His fan and media friendly 
personality helped earn him the title 'The King' and he made the No. 43 NASCAR's 
most famous car. He won the Daytona 500 a record seven times.  He remains active 
in NASCAR as owner of the Petty Enterprises car. 
     
     "It is difficult to imagine a more impressive and prestigious list of 
names than the 12 nominees for AARWBA's Newsmaker of the Half-Century Award," 
said Brandel. "It was very difficult to choose just 12 from the original roster 
of 50 top newsmakers and it will be even more difficult for AARWBA members to 
select one as THE Newsmaker. However, our members have written about, 
broadcast and photographed the most memorable racing people and events since 1955, 
and are the best qualified to make such a judgment. Congratulations to the 
nominees, and I can't wait to find out who wins." 

 

     Knight added, "The achievements of the 12 nominees have defined the 
history of the last 50 years of American motorsports. That news, often thrilling 
and sometimes tragic, has firmly positioned racing -- as sport, entertainment 
and business -- in the mainstream of popular interests in the U.S. Whoever the 
AARWBA members vote as Newsmaker of the Half-Century will be most deserving and 
will have made yet more headlines."

 

     To learn more about AARWBA, please visit the AARWBA.org web site. A 
membership application form can be downloaded from the site. 
 
     Official AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration sponsors are: Porsche Cars 
North America, NASCAR, Toyota Motorsports, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy 
Racing League, Valvoline, Honda, Champ Car World Series, Fernandez Racing, 
Budweiser, BMW, NHRA, American Le Mans Series and Ford Racing.
 
Doug Stokes Wins Jim Chapman Award
 
     POMONA, Calif. - Doug Stokes, Irwindale Speedway director of 
communications, is the recipient of the 2004 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in 
motorsports public relations. 

 

     The announcement was made Saturday night at the 35th annual American 
Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's All-America Team dinner at the 
Sheraton Fairplex Hotel. AARWBA is the country's oldest and largest 
organization of motorsports media professionals. AARWBA is celebrating its 50th 
anniversary this year and, with the permission of the Chapman family, has resumed the 
Chapman Award.

 

     The honor is named in memory of Chapman, the legendary Detroit-area PR 
executive, who was a confidant of Babe Ruth and  best remembered by many as 
director of racing for CART series sponsor PPG Industries from 1981 through his 
retirement in 1992. Chapman, who also orchestrated the annual Driver of the 
Year ceremony, died in 1996 at age 80. The Chapman Award was presented throughout 
the 1990s for PR achievement in the CART series but was on hiatus in recent 
years. AARWBA expanded eligibility to PR representatives from all forms of 
motorsports and Stokes was selected by an AARWBA blue-ribbon committee.
 
     Stokes has played a key role in making Irwindale Speedway, a one-half 
mile paved oval near Los Angeles that opened in 1999, into one of the country's 
best-known short tracks. In addition to its own regular series, Irwindale 
hosts major national events, such as the USAC Thanksgiving Night Midget Grand Prix 
and the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. Prior to joining the Irwindale 
staff, Stokes' worked on the L.A. Vintage Grand Prix and at Perris Auto Speedway. 

 

     The Chapman Award was presented to Stokes by Los Angeles Times Hall of 
Fame sportswriter Shav Glick, and introduced by AARWBA 50th Anniversary 
Celebration Chairman Michael Knight, winner of the first Chapman Award in 1991. Both 
Glick and Knight were close friends of Chapman. Other previous winners were: 
Tom Blattler, 1992; Deke Houlgate and Hank Ives, 1993-1994; Kathi Lauterbach, 
1995; Marc Spiegel, 1996; Mike Zizzo, 1997; Tamy Valkosky, 1998.
 
     "Doug Stokes is a great friend of AARWBA and a perfect choice to win the 
Jim Chapman Award, especially at the start of our 50th anniversary year," 
said AARWBA President Dusty Brandel.

 
###
 
For more information on AARWBA's 50th anniversary, and official 50th 
Anniversary Celebration sponsorship opportunities, please contact:
 
Dusty Brandel                                                    
President, AARWBA                                                             
     
818/842-7005                                                     
AARWBA@Compuserve.com
 
Michael Knight
Chairman, AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration
480/661-5240; cell phone (Jan. 15-16), 602-315-3900
SpinDoctor500@aol.com
Champion Drivers to Attend AARWBA All-America Team Dinner

POMONA, CA At least seven champion drivers from the 2004 racing season plus a motorsports legend have confirmed they will attend next Saturdays (Jan. 15) 35th annual American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association s All-America Team dinner, at the Sheraton Suites Fairplex in Pomona, the first event of AARWBAs 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Tony Kanaan (IRL), John Force (NHRA), Ron Fellows (ALMS), Scott Pruett and Bill Auberlen (Grand-Am), Bobby East (USAC midgets) and Thiago Medeiros (IRL Pro Series) will be present to personally accept their awards as members of the All-America Team. The team is elected by AARWBA members, the countrys oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals. The top vote-getter from the various classes will be announced at the dinner as winner of AARWBAs No. 1 honor, the Jerry Titus Memorial Award.

Kenny Bernstein, six-time NHRA champion, also has confirmed he will attend to accept AARWBAs 'Pioneer in Racing' honor for life-long achievement. AARWBA is awaiting RSVPs from other members of the All-America Team. Tickets, for the general public as well as media and sponsors, are available by contacting AARWBA President Dusty Brandel at 818/842-5005 or email to AARWBA@Compuserve.com.

The evening begins with a reception at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum at 6:15, followed by dinner and ceremonies at the Sheraton, starting at 8 p.m.

Other highlights will include the announcement of the 12 nominees for AARWBA s Newsmaker of the Half-Century award, the headline event of the 50th anniversary, and presentation of the Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations.


AARWBA to Present Jim Chapman PR Award

The Jim Chapman Award, for excellence in motorsports public relations, will be presented by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association as part of the organizations 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2005. AARWBA is the countrys oldest and largest group of motorsports media professionals. The honor is named in memory of Chapman, the legendary Detroit-area PR executive, who was a confidant of Babe Ruth and best remembered by many as director of racing for CART series sponsor PPG Industries from 1981 through his retirement in 1992. Chapman, who also orchestrated the annual Driver of the Year ceremony, died in 1996 at age 80. The Chapman Award was presented throughout the 1990s for PR achievement in the CART series but has been on hiatus in recent years. With the approval of the Chapman family, AARWBA is resuming the award, and expanding eligibility to PR representatives from all forms of motorsports. The winner will be chosen by an AARWBA blue-ribbon committee and announced at the organizations 35th annual All-America Team dinner, Jan. 15, in Pomona, Calif.

Information on tickets for media, sponsors and the general public is available at AARWBA.org or by calling 818-842-7005. "Presenting the Jim Chapman Award is one of the best things AARWBA can do as part of our 50th Anniversary Celebration," said AARWBA President Dusty Brandel. "Jim was a great friend and supporter of AARWBA and is lovingly remembered by many of our members. We are very grateful the Chapman family has given us permission to resume the award, to honor Jims memory, since he set the highest standards of professionalism in working with the news media." To learn more about AARWBA, please visit the AARWBA.org web site. A membership application form can be downloaded from the site.

###


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Saturday, November 13, 2004

NHRA, Honda, Budweiser, Fernandez, BMW
AARWBA 50th Anniversary Sponsors

Kenny Bernstein to Receive Pioneer Award At All-America Team Dinner in Pomona January 15

NHRA AARWBA 50th Anniversary
(L-R)AARWBA 50th Anniversary Chairman Michael Knight, Budweiser King Racing Owner and former Jerry Titus Memorial Award winner Kenny Bernstein, AARWBA President Dusty Brandel and NHRA Vice President Jerry Archambeault at the announcement of Budweiser and NHRA's sponsorship of the Anniversary Celebration. The announcement was made at the 40th NHRA Auto Club Finals at Pomona Raceway on Saturday, November 13, 2004. AARWBA photo by Michael F. Hollander

POMONA, Calif. -- The National Hot Rod Association, American Honda, the Budweiser brand of Anheuser-Busch, Fernandez Racing (three-time IRL race winner in 04 with owner-driver Adrian Fernandez) and BMW have become official sponsors of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Associations (AARWBA) 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2005, it was announced Saturday at Pomona Raceway, prior to the NHRAs season finale. AARWBA is the countrys oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals.

It also was announced that NHRA legend Kenny Bernstein will receive AARWBAs Pioneer in Racing award at the organizations 35th annual All-America Team dinner, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2005, at the Sheraton Hotel in Pomona. Bernstein captured six championships during his career and is the only driver to earn titles in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes. He became the first driver to make a 300 mph pass in 1992. Although he retired at the end of the 2002 season, Kenny returned in 03, following injury to son Brandon. Bernstein-owned teams also won in the NASCAR Cup and CART open-wheel series.

AARWBA presents the Pioneer award to recognize life-long contributions to the sport. Among the previous recipients are Parnelli Jones, Dan Gurney, Andy Granatelli, Hershel McGriff and the Agajanian family.

Fourteen drivers, elected by AARWBA members from seven categories stock car, open wheel, road racing, drag racing, short track, touring series and at-large will be honored at the All-America Team dinner. The top vote-getter earns AARWBAs Jerry Titus Memorial Award. Information on tickets for media, companies and the general public, is available at AARWBA.org, or by writing to AARWBA, 922 N. Pass Ave., Burbank, CA 91505. Telephone: 818/842-7005.

Popular broadcaster Bob Jenkins will be Master of Ceremonies for the All-America Team dinner.

Another highlight of the evening will be the announcement of the 12 nominees for AARWBAs Newsmaker of the Half-Century award, the headline event of the 50th Anniversary Celebration. The AARWBA Board of Directors will select the nominees from an initial list of 50 of the greatest names from American motorsports. The dozen nominees will then be presented to the full AARWBA membership for a final vote, and the Newsmaker of the Half-Century will be announced at a public ceremony next May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in the days leading up to the 89th Indy 500.

Kenny Bernstein is a natural choice for the Pioneer award, said AARWBA President Dusty Brandel. Not only is his name found throughout the NHRA record book, he has been one of the sports greatest personalities and ambassadors, and has always been very cooperative with AARWBA members and all the news media.

Porsche Cars North America, NASCAR, Toyota Motorsports, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy Racing League, Valvoline and the Champ Car World Series were previously announced as official AARWBA 50th anniversary sponsors.

AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration Chairman Michael Knight said, We welcome NHRA, American Honda, Budweiser, Fernandez Racing and BMW to our growing list of prestigious companies who recognize the importance and value of participating in AARWBAs golden anniversary. I know all of our members appreciate this support. Our primary goals for the 50th anniversary are to increase the benefits AARWBA offers to current and prospective members, and to expand awareness of AARWBA within the motorsports industry, and this news is another important step in achieving those objectives.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will provide $10,000 in prize money for AARWBAs annual journalism contest, which includes writing, broadcasting and photo categories. The contest is open to all AARWBA members and entries are independently judged.

###

What Theyre Saying About AARWBA

Bob Carlson, manager, Automotive Media, Porsche Cars North America: For the past 50 years, AARWBA's members have provided their readers, listeners, and viewers with exceptional motor sports journalism. Porsche Cars North America applauds these efforts and sincerely appreciates the professionalism and enthusiasm displayed by AARWBA and its members toward a sport we all cherish and respect.

Les Unger, National Motorsports Manager, Toyota: Toyota is proud to be a 50th anniversary sponsor of such a prestigious organization as AARWBA. No one has done more to advance motorsports over the last half-century than the members of the writers and broadcasters association.

Tony George, president, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and founder of the Indy Racing League: We are pleased to make this commitment to the future of AARWBA. During the last half-century, IMS and AARWBA share much in motorsports history. We are pleased to play a role in recognizing the best work of the men and women who cover our sport.

Jim Rocco, senior vice president and designated NASCAR team owner, Valvoline: "Congratulations to AARWBA and all its members on this milestone anniversary and its long-time advocacy for the working press. Valvoline was synonymous with racing when AARWBA was formed 50 years ago and we will continue to be a ground breaking sponsor and technical innovator when your 100th anniversary rolls around."

Dick Eidswick, president, Champ Car World Series: The many prestigious members of the AARWBA have played a key role in the success of Champ Car for many, many years. The AARWBA has helped turn many of our past stars into racing legends and keeps our series in the forefront of the motorsports world still today. We could not be happier to help the AARWBA celebrate its 50th anniversary and want to extend our wishes for another successful and influential 50 seasons for all of its members.

Kurt Antonius, senior manager of public relations, American Honda: "The entire American Honda family would like to congratulate AARWBA on its 50th anniversary. The hard work of AARWBA and its members has played an incalculable role in the growth of American motorsport over the past half-century, and we at Honda are proud to recognize this by serving as a sponsor of AARWBA's 50th anniversary celebration."

Tom Anderson, co-owner and managing director, Fernandez Racing: "We are very happy to be a part of AARWBA's 50th Anniversary Celebration. It is a small way for us to say 'thank you' to the many writers, photographers and broadcasters that have helped to promote our sport over the years and build the images of our drivers. We are pleased to call many of AARWBA's members 'friends'. We congratulate AARWBA on its 50th anniversary mark, and thank its members for their passion and support of auto racing."

Tony Ponturo, Vice President, Global Media & Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc.: "Anheuser-Busch is proud to be a part of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's 50th anniversary in 2005. The organization's hundreds of influential media professionals cover all forms of motorsports, and over the years they've written about many of the racing circuits that we support through our Budweiser, Bud Light and BUSCH brands. We salute the AARWBA and its participating members on 50 great years."

Tom Compton, president, NHRA: "NHRA is certainly proud to be an official sponsor of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2005. Throughout the years AARWBA has certainly given great recognition to the sport of NHRA Drag Racing by honoring our drivers' accomplishments on the quarter-mile. We applaud the excellent work done in both electronic and print mediums by the membership of this outstanding media organization."

Rob Mitchell, manager, corporate communications, BMW: Competition-proven success has been at the very foundation of BMW from its beginnings in 1916 to present-day. The popularity of the very first BMW automobile, the 1929 Dixi 3/15, was a direct result of winning the grueling five-day Alpine Rally, only weeks after the cars launch. Motorsports is in the DNA of every BMW and the story of BMW motorsports is the story of the brand. BMW of North America, LLC is proud to support the AARWBAs legacy of commitment to motorsports in the U.S.

Kenny Bernstein: It is a great honor to be the recipient of the AARWBA Pioneer in Racing award and to be among the 50 candidates being considered for the Newsmaker of the Half-Century award. We are very indebted to the AARWBA members for all they do and have done through the years to generate publicity for not only our team but all of motorsports in general. We have been fortunate to have been a member of the All-America team six times and are happy to say we have forged life-long friendships with many AARWBA members across the country. We want to thank all the AARWBA members for this fantastic honor.

Carl Haas: "I am honored to be included in this distinguished group of individuals (Newsmaker list of 50) and I am proud that my love of motorsports is being recognized in this fashion."

Scott Atherton, president, American Le Mans Series: "We are very pleased to help support the 50th Anniversary celebration of AARWBA. We have a great deal of respect for AARWBA and what it stands for, and many members are old friends. Media coverage has played a large part in the growth of our series over the last six years and we look forward to many more years of AARWBA leading the way in motorsports media."

Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology: "We're pleased to be able to support AARWBA as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. There's a lot of reasons that auto racing has grown to be as popular as it has become, but media coverage is certainly among the most important reasons. Coverage of the sport -print, electronic and the web - has allowed the public to get to know the great stories, the technological development, the incredible passion, and the heroes that make racing what it is."


Knight to Speak to Turf Publicists

Michael Knight, chairman of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Associations 50th Anniversary Celebration, has been invited to be a panelist at horse racings Turf Publicists of America annual workshop, Dec. 8, in Tucson, Ariz. About 200 publicists and industry executives are expected to attend the workshop, which is part of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Programs 31st annual Symposium on Racing. Knight will share experiences from his 25 years in full-time motorsports PR and communications management.
###


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, October 14, 2004

Champ Car World Series New AARWBA 50th Anniversary Sponsor

The Champ Car World Series has become an official sponsor of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Associations 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2005.

AARWBA is the countrys oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals. Several special activities are planned to commemorate the 50th anniversary, starting with the 35th annual All-America Team dinner, January 15, in Pomona, Calif. Information on tickets for media, sponsors and the general public is available at AARWBA.org.

The many prestigious members of the AAWRBA have played a key role in the success of Champ Car for many, many years, said Champ Car World Series President Dick Eidswick. The AAWRBA has helped turn many of our past stars into racing legends and keeps our series in the forefront of the motorsports world still today. We could not be happier to help the AARWBA celebrate its 50th anniversary and want to extend our wishes for another successful and influential 50 seasons for all of its members.

The headline event of the 50th Anniversary Celebration will be selection of the Newsmaker of the Half-Century by AARWBA members. The 12 nominees will be announced at the All-America Team dinner. Champ Car team owner Carl Haas is among 50 of the sports greatest names eligible for the honor.

AARWBA extends its thanks to the Champ Car World Series for helping us mark this special occasion in style, said President Dusty Brandel. Many of our member writers, broadcasters and photographers have covered Champ Car races right from the organizations start and will continue to do so in 2005 and for many years to come.

AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration Chairman Michael Knight, who was Champ Cars first director of communications from 1980-1983, added: We welcome Champ Car to our growing list of prestigious companies who recognize the importance and value of participating in AARWBAs golden anniversary. I know all of our members appreciate this as well as Dick Eidswicks good wishes.

To learn more about AARWBA, please visit the AARWBA.org web site. A membership application form can be downloaded from the site.

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, Oct. 2, 2004

IMS, IRL to SUPPORT AARWBA 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Speedway Underwrites Journalism Contest; Newsmaker Award to be Presented at IMS in May

Dusty Brandel and Tony George Dusty Brandel, President of American Auto Racing Writers, Broadcasters Assn, and Tony George CEO/President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League with new 50th Anniversary logo.
(L-R)Retired driver Rick Mears of Penske Racing, AARWBA president Dusty Brandel, Les Unser of Toyota and Tony George of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway help celebrate the unveiling of the AARWBA 50th anniversary logo(L-R)Kurt Antonius of Honda, AARWBA President Dusty Brandel, retired driver Michael Andretti of Andretti-Green Racing and Tony George of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway help celebrate the unveiling of the AARWBA 50th anniversary logo

FONTANA, Calif. -- The American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) Saturday announced major support from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and Indy Racing League (IRL) for its 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2005. The Speedway will provide $10,000 in prize money for the annual AARWBA journalism contest and also will host presentation of AARWBAs Newsmaker of the Half-Century award next May as part of events leading up to the 89th Indianapolis 500.

The writing and broadcasting competition has been a tradition since AARWBAs early years. IMS intends to continue its support through 2007. The contest, which is independently judged, is open to members of the countrys oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals.

The Speedway will be site of the announcement and presentation of AARWBAs Newsmaker of the Half-Century award, the headline event of the 50th Anniversary Celebration. The AARWBA Board of Directors will select 12 nominees, from an initial list of 50, and those dozen names will be announced at the 35th annual AARWBA All-America Team dinner Saturday, Jan. 15, 2005 in Pomona, Calif. Information on dinner tickets for media, companies and the general public, is available at AARWBA.org. Those 12 nominees will then be presented to the full AARWBA membership for a final vote. The date of the ceremony, in May 2005, will be announced later.

This is important news for AARWBA, which was founded just one mile from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, President Dusty Brandel said at an announcement at the California Speedway. The journalism contest is very popular with our members and this support from the Speedway will add to its prestige. The contest results will continue to be announced at AARWBAs annual breakfast meeting at IMS the day before the Indy 500.

Brandel added, There can be no more appropriate place than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the site of so much racing history reported on by AARWBA members, to announce and present the Newsmaker of the Half-Century award.

We are pleased to make this commitment to the future of AARWBA, IMS President Tony George said. During the last half century, IMS and AARWBA share much in motorsports history. We are pleased to play a role in recognizing the best work of the men and women who cover our sport.

IMS and the IRL will be official sponsors of AARWBAs 50th Anniversary Celebration, joining a list that includes Porsche Cars North America, NASCAR, Toyota Motorsports, Valvoline and Honda. Additional official sponsors will be announced soon.

AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration Chairman Michael Knight said IMS and the IRL also will provide other support, such as helping to bring attention to the groups activities. Our primary goals for the 50th anniversary are to increase the benefits AARWBA offers to current and prospective members, and to expand awareness of AARWBA within the motorsports industry, said Knight, a longtime racing communications specialist. This multi-year and wide-ranging cooperative agreement with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League is very significant in moving this process forward. We are grateful for the participation of all of our official sponsors, which is key in making AARWBAs 50th Anniversary Celebration a great success.

AARWBAs 50th anniversary logo also was unveiled at the announcement.

###

NOTE TO MEDIA: A membership application form can be downloaded from AARWBA.org or obtained from Dusty Brandel at AARWBA@Compuserve.com

For more information on AARWBA's 50th anniversary, and official 50th Anniversary Celebration sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Dusty Brandel
President, AARWBA
818/842-7005
AARWBA@Compuserve.com

Michael Knight
Chairman, AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration
480/661-5240
SpinDoctor500@aol.com

IMS Media Contact: Ron Green, 317/492-6780, rgreen@brickyard.com

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AARWBA MEMBERS to SELECT 'NEWSMAKER OF THE HALF-CENTURY'

Award Will be Highlight of 50th Anniversary Celebration

BURBANK, CA - Selection of the 'Newsmaker of the Half-Century' will be the headline event of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association?s 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2005, it was announced today. AARWBA, founded in August 1955, is the country?s oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals.

Fifty of racing's most famous names (list below) from the last half-century will be considered by AARWBA's Board of Directors, who may also nominate people not on the original list. Each director will choose 12 prospective finalists and the top dozen newsmakers will be put to the full membership for a vote.

The 12 nominees will be announced by AARWBA President Dusty Brandel and 50th Anniversary Celebration Chairman Michael Knight at the AARWBA All-America Team awards banquet, Saturday, Jan. 15, in Pomona, Calif. Champion drivers from 2004 will be honored at the 35th annual dinner, which is open to the media, racing officials and sponsors, as well as the public. Ticket information is available at the AARWBA.org web site.

The Newsmaker of the Half-Century will be named, and presented with a specially-commissioned painting, at a major race during the 2005 season.

"The Newsmaker of the Half-Century Award is the perfect way for AARWBA to recognize racing?s great personalities and their achievements," said Brandel. "AARWBA's member journalists have described and photographed some of America?s most important and historic athletes and sports events. This award will give the media an opportunity to reflect on the news and the fascinating people who have made headlines for 50 years."

Porsche Cars North America, NASCAR and Toyota Motorsports are official sponsors of AARWBA?s 50th Anniversary Celebration. Additional sponsors will be announced soon. For more information on official sponsorship opportunities, please contact Michael Knight at SpinDoctor500@aol.com.

List of 50 -- AARWBA 'Newsmaker of the Half-Century' (in alphabetical order. All are drivers unless otherwise noted):

  • Bobby Allison
  • Mario Andretti
  • Michael Andretti
  • Kenny Bernstein
  • George Bignotti (Indy 500 winning chief mechanic; car builder)
  • Craig Breedlove
  • Richard Childress (NASCAR championship team owner)
  • Mark Donohue
  • Dale Earnhardt
  • Bill Elliott
  • John Force
  • A.J. Foyt
  • The France family (NASCAR and International Speedway Corp.)
  • Don Garlits
  • Jeff Gordon
  • Andy Granatelli (car owner; builder; promoter; sponsor)
  • Dan Gurney
  • Carl Haas (CART/SCCA championship team owner; sanctioning body executive; importer)
  • Jim Hall (driver; CART/SCCA championship team owner; builder; innovator)
  • Hurley Haywood
  • Rick Hendrick (NASCAR championship team owner)
  • Phil Hill
  • Al Holbert
  • The Hulman-George family (Indianapolis Motor Speedway)
  • Jim Hurtubise
  • Ned Jarrett
  • Junior Johnson (driver; NASCAR championship team owner)
  • Ted Johnson (World of Outlaws founder)
  • Parnelli Jones
  • Steve Kinser
  • Rick Mears
  • Shirley Muldowney
  • Wally Parks (NHRA founder)
  • David Pearson
  • Roger Penske (driver; winningest Indy 500 team owner; track owner; executive)
  • Richard Petty
  • Don Prudhomme
  • Fireball Roberts
  • Johnny Rutherford
  • Carroll Shelby (driver; sports car championship team owner; builder)
  • Danny Sullivan
  • Mickey Thompson (driver; builder; promoter)
  • Al Unser
  • Al Unser Jr.
  • Bobby Unser
  • Darrell Waltrip
  • Rodger Ward
  • The Wood Brothers (NASCAR team owners)
  • Cale Yarborough
  • Smokey Yunick (chief mechanic; designer; builder)

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FOR MORE INFORMATION ON AARWBA's 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Dusty Brandel
President, AARWBA
818/842-7005
AARWBA@Compuserve.com

Michael Knight
Chairman, AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration
480/661-5240
SpinDoctor500@AOL.com


NASCAR, Porsche 1st AARWBA 50th Anniversary Sponsors

BURBANK, Calif. - (August 18, 2004) - NASCAR and Porsche Cars North America are the first two official sponsors of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Associations 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2005.

AARWBA is the countrys oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals. Several special activities are planned to commemorate the 50th anniversary, starting with the 35th annual All-America Team dinner, January 15, in Pomona, Calif.

"NASCAR and Porsche are two of the most respected and successful companies in racing," said AARWBA President Dusty Brandel. "On behalf of the AARWBA members, I thank them for stepping-up so quickly and committing to support us for our Golden Anniversary celebration." Additional sponsors will be announced soon.

Michael Knight, long-time motorsports communications specialist and publicist and chairman of AARWBAs 50th Anniversary Celebration, said a variety of benefits are being offered to official corporate sponsors. More information is available by contacting Knight at SpinDoctor500@AOL.com.

To learn more about AARWBA, please visit the AARWBA.org web site. A membership application form can be downloaded from the site.

###

For more information on AARWBA's 50th anniversary, and official 50th Anniversary Celebration sponsorship opportunities, please contact:
Dusty BrandelMichael Knight
President, AARWBAChairman, AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration
818/842-7005480/661-5240
AARWBA@Compuserve.comSpinDoctor500@AOL.com


PLANNING BEGINS FOR AARWBA 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION IN 2005

Knight Appointed Advisory Committee Chairman;
'Official' Sponsor Status Available

INDIANAPOLIS -- The American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) will mark its 50th anniversary in 2005, and President Dusty Brandel Saturday announced planning has begun to celebrate the occasion, as well as the 35th year of AARWBA's prestigious All-America Racing Team.

Speaking at AARWBA's annual breakfast meeting at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the day before the 88th Indy 500, Brandel announced she has appointed long-time AARWBA member and motorsports communications specialist Michael Knight as chairman of the AARWBA 50th anniversary advisory committee. In this role, Knight will consult with Brandel on ways to grow, strengthen and promote AARWBA during its golden anniversary year.

Brandel and Knight said official AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration sponsorship opportunities will be available to companies involved in the sport. A variety of benefits will be offered as part of the official sponsorship package. Knight, a former AARWBA eastern vice president when he started his career at the Philadelphia Daily News and now head of SpinDoctor500 Communications Management, will lead this effort.

In addition to the group's annual Indy 500 breakfast gathering, a highlight of AARWBA's 50th year will be the 35th All-America team dinner, scheduled for next January in Pomona, Calif. AARWBA is the country's largest organization of motorsports media professionals, and its members vote each season to honor 14 top drivers from various racing series by electing them to the All-America team.

Other special 50th anniversary activities will be announced later.

"Since AARWBA's first meeting was held about one mile from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1955, it's appropriate to make the announcement of our 50th anniversary plans today at our annual Indy 500 breakfast," said Brandel. "We are proud of the fact that AARWBA's status within the sport has grown over the years. In 2005, we'll commemorate our accomplishments and honor those who have made great contributions to AARWBA, plus expand our membership and stature within the motorsports community."

For more information on AARWBA's 50th anniversary, and official 50th Anniversary Celebration sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Dusty BrandelMichael Knight
PresidentChairman, AARWBA
AARWBA50th Anniversary Committee
818/842-7005480/661-5240
AARWBA@Compuserve.comSpinDoctor500@AOL.com

For more information on AARWBA, Write to AARWBA or send U.S. Mail to:


American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association
922 North Pass Avenue
Burbank, CA 91505-2703
U.S.A.
Telephone (818) 842-7005
Facsimile (818) 842-7020
Email: aarwba@compuserve.com

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