LANGHORNE, PA December 23, 2008 . . . Six-time National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, winner of 53 top fuel events during his career, was voted the Al Holbert Memorial Eastern Motorsport Press Association National Driver of the Year. He will receive his award at the 41ST annual EMPA Convention being held at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Trevose, PA, January 23-25, 2009.
Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Modified Champion Billy Decker will be honored the same weekend as the Richie Evans EMPA Northeast Driver of the Year. Decker won 25 feature races in his run to the championship.
Legendary super modified racer Bentley Warren will top a list of seven well known names in the sport being inducted into the EMPA Hall of Fame.
Joining Warren will be sprint car and super sportsman racer Smokey Snellbaker, colorful dirt track modified racer Carl Van Horn, Tony Ferraiuolo (owner of modifieds that won the Syracuse Super DIRT Week race three times), C.D. Coville (one of the most exciting racers in New York stock car racing history), the late Red Kirsch (an outstanding photographer and one of five founders of the EMPA), and Warren Ruffner (the famed voice of the Reading Stock Car Association).
The John Blewett III Young Guns Award presented by New England Racing Fuels will go to 19-year-old sprint car racing sensation Cody Darrah.
Veteran sprint car racer Craig Keel will receive the Junie Donlavey Spirit of the Sport Award while the Art McHugh Memorial Award will be presented to popular racing photographer Dave Dalesandro.
The winners of the prestigious Frank Blunk Memorial Journalist Award and the Ace Lane Memorial Photography Award will be announced at the NASCAR/EMPA Hall of Fame Dinner taking place on Saturday, January 24th.
The three day EMPA Convention will include a series of press conferences, driver appearances and other events with more than 100 professional media that cover the sport on a regular basis in attendance. Winners of a variety of writers and photography contests will be announced during the weekend.
Support of the annual convention comes from Valvoline, NASCAR, NHRA, IRL, Pocono Raceway, SPEED, ESPN, World Racing Group, Brice Auto Supply Inc. and others.
The convention offers great opportunities for speedways, organizations, sponsors and others to gain exposure in front of the many media in attendance. It is also a great opportunity for organizations and speedways to have their promotional materials distributed to the media.
For information on the convention telephone organization president Ernie Saxton at 215.752.7797 or e-mail him at Esaxton144@aol.com.