NASCAR GDS: Awards Ceremony Closes Out the '98 Dash Season
12 January 1999ATLANTA, Ga.-The Goody's Dash Series put the bow on their 1998 season Saturday night with their annual Awards Banquet held at the Airport Hilton in Atlanta, Ga. More than 200 people, including drivers, sponsors, families and friends attended the event hosted by Portland Speedway's Craig Armstrong.
Robert Huffman, 1998 Goody's Dash Series champion was the evening's guest of honor, joined by Car Owner and wife, Ashley Huffman and Crew Chief, David Flynn as well as much of the White House Apple Juice Race Team and sponsors. Huffman also carried home the lion's share of the winnings, receiving an extra $31,942 in post season awards to bring his 1998 total awards to $87,322 including race winnings.
Robert's post season winnings came in the form of checks that included $2,500 from Gatorade for the first ever Gatorade Front Runner Award, $950 from Goodyear Tires, $4,000 from Series Title Sponsor, Goody's Pharmaceuticals, $6,750 from Pontiac Racing, $2,000 from STP Oil Treatment and $18,742 from the NASCAR Point Fund. Not to mention a very special, one of a kind, 50th Anniversary diamond ring.
Receiving what is probably the second most cherished award presented over the course of the evening, Shelby, N.C.'s Scott Weaver was named the Series Most Popular Driver. Weaver brought the house down when accepting his honor by congratulating his good friend, Huffman, on his fine year and then adding, "But everybody likes me".
Huffman was able to return the barb later, noting that "Scott's the only driver who will stick you in the wall on Saturday night and call you Sunday morning offering to put on a new nose clip. What a guy."
Donnie Apple, in receiving his 1998 Rookie of the Year Award, surprised the crowd by announcing that he would not be able to return for the full 1999 season, citing a lack of sponsorship to run the entire year. Long John Silvers restaurant chain, Apples main sponsor in '98, had already announced earlier in the year that they would not be able to return in 1999.
Jake Hobgood was presented with the first ever Bud Pole Award and a check for $2,500 from Anheuser-Busch for his, Series high, five pole starting positions over the year. Hobgood won the honor by setting the pole speed at the last event of the season at Homestead, Fla. to edge out Huffman for the award.
Other awards given out for special achievement in the 1998 season included the Most Improved Driver Award, given to Rookie of the Year runner-up Chris Hall, the Goody's Dash Series Dedication Award presented to Series Chaplain, Randy Claypoole and the Sportsmanship Award went to George Crenshaw.
The Goody's Dash Series Family Auxiliary also made several presentations during the evening. Auxiliary Pres., Faye Parnell recognized Robert Huffman, Jake Hobgood, Randy Claypoole and Tommy Torbert for their special contributions to the Series over the course of the 1998 season.
The 1998 award winners will have only about four days to enjoy their honors before loading up to head for Daytona International Speedway for test sessions that begin on Friday.
The 1999 Goody's Dash Series season, the 25th consecutive year of Dash Series competition, gets kicked off on Feb. 12 at Daytona with the running of the 21st Annual Discount Auto Parts 200 Presented By AC Delco Rapidfire.