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2007 NHRA Powerade Awards Banquet
It was Cheers and Tears during the star-studded award banquet held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel situated in Downtown Los Angeles on Monday evening, the day after the Auto Club NHRA Finals were successfully concluded in early November. It was a black tie event and with the ladies in posh frocks and cocktail dresses it all added to the overall glitter. After a stunning meal consisting of filet mignon, Asian prawn, pancetta wrapped herb incrusted halibut, wild mushrooms, custard potatoes and asparagus. Bob Frey entertained with the introductions to each Champion and award winner. There were moving video tributes to both Wally Parks, the founder of the NHRA who died in late September and to Eric Medlen who died as a result of injuries sustained in a Funny Car testing accident after the Gatornationals in March of this year.
The 2007 NHRA POWERade Champions were Tony Schumacher in Top Fuel, Tony Pedregon in Funny Car, Jeg Coughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Tony Schumacher gained the Top Fuel Championship with six event wins this year and made it his fourth consecutive title.
"I am truly blessed to represent my family and the U.S. Army" he stated of his wife, kids and sponsor. "I was up against a guy
(Bob Vandergriff Jr.) who has been to nine or ten finals and not won – this would have been a bad time for him to figure it out",
Schumacher added talking of how he had just managed to wrap up the Championship, beating Rod Fuller to the award on the
last run of the last race of the series.
Matt Smith took the Pro Stock Motorcycle title on the Torco Racing Fuels Buell on the last run of the last race of the year he had
a total of four wins during the sixteen event series. "I thought it was over for us coming into the last two events but when Andrew
(Hines) lost the door was open for us" he stated of his last minute charge through the finals.
The NHRA Lucas Oil Sportsman Champions had earlier been presented with their awards and they were Bill Reichert (Top Alcohol Dragster), Frank Manzo (Top Alcohol Funny Car), Frank Aragona Jr. (Comp), Darren Smith (Super Stock), Michael Iacono (Stock), Shawn Langdon (Super Comp) and in Super Gas Sherman Adcock. The evening then went on to party the night away.Feature ©Eurodragster.com.
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