More than one million dollars in award money was doled out at the National Motorsports Press Association's Myers Brothers luncheon Thursday in New York City. And of that million dollars, I recognized about 50-grand.
I certainly understood what Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s “Chex Most Popular Driver Award” stood for. I grasped the concept behind Denny Hamlin’s $50,000 “Raybestos Rookie of the Year” honor, and I knew what the Hendrick Motorsports engine department had done to win the $107,000 “Clevite Engine Builder of the Year” Award.
On a couple of fronts, however, I willingly declare my complete and total ignorance.
Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 team received a $105,000 check for the “Checker's/Rally's Double-Drive Thru Pit Award” Thursday, and I haven’t a clue why. What, exactly, is the “Checker's/Rally's Double-Drive Thru Pit Award?” I haven’t the foggiest idea. And what about the $75,000 Sunoco Diamond Performance Award, also won by Johnson? Not a clue there, either.
Tony Stewart pocketed $100,000 for winning the “USG Improving the Finish Award.” Kasey Kahne bagged $101,000 for my favorite award of all; the “Commit Lozenges Commit to Win Award.”
Commit to Win? Don’t they all do that?
And why $101,000? Is an extra grand now necessary to get people’s attention?
Apparently, Matt Kenseth ran the fastest lap of all in 2006, as evidenced by his acceptance of the $75,000 “Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Award.” And Kevin Harvick won the $100,000 “Mobil 1 Command Performance Award;” presumably by performing a dead-on rendition of the Village People's classic, “YMCA” at a local karaoke bar.
At least that’s my guess.