BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. – The members of the Eastern Motorsport Press Ass’n have completed their annual awards balloting, with six standouts selected to gain membership in the EMPA Hall of Fame.
Previously announced “lock-ins” chosen for induction by the EMPA Hall of Fame committee included driver Tony Siscone, car owner Lou Cicconi Sr. and driver/promoter Stan Friesen. They’ll be joined by ballot winners Paul Kuhl, the colorful promoter of the Flemington Fair Speedway, longtime car owner Ken Tremont Sr. and sprint car driving star Doug Wolfgang.
A number of other awards were determined by vote of the videographers, photographers and writers who make up the EMPA, including the Northeast and National Drivers of the Year. For 2012, the Richie Evans Northeast Driver of the Year was Brett Hearn, while Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski was voted the Al Holbert Memorial National Driver of the Year.
Another young NASCAR star, also a kingpin in open wheel action, was named winner of the John Blewett III Young Gun Award presented by New England Racing Fuels. The honoree will be K and N Pro Series East champion Kyle Larson, who seemingly won in everything he drove during the season.
The EMPA’s T. Wayne Robertson Newsmaker of the Year Award will be presented to NASCAR Sprint Cup championship owner Roger Penske, who was nominated well before claiming the title for his announced switch from Dodge to Ford for the 2013 season. The Junie Donlavey Spirit of the Sport Award will go to veteran announcer and writer Al Robinson.
The remaining association awards determined by the voting, including the Ace Lane Sr. Memorial Photography Award, the Jim Hunter Memorial Writers Award and the Art McHugh Memorial Service Award, along with the winners in the American Honda Motor Co. Video and Broadcast Contest, the Pocono Raceway Writers Contest and the Brice’s NAPA Photography Contest, will be announced during the EMPA’s NASCAR Hall of Fame Awards Dinner on January 5th.
The Eastern Motorsport Press Ass’n’s three-day convention will run from January 4-6 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in King of Prussia, Pa. It will be highlighted by a full slate of press conferences featuring various speedways and sanctioning bodies from across the nation, along with a variety of roundtable discussions and seminars and the always exciting judging of the Photography Contest.