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IHRA Crowns Champions

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Travis Reynolds

IHRA: 419-660-4225


Larger Photos Available





NORWALK, Ohio (January 20, 2004) – IHRA hosted its 33rd annual Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series awards banquet Saturday in Covington, Ky., crowning its 2003 world champions and special award winners from the season. IHRA President Bill Bader also announced Mr. Gasket Group as series sponsor of the Pro-Am Tour.


Clay Millican was awarded his third consecutive IHRA Top Fuel World Championship, accompanied by a first-place check for $200,000. The highlight of the year for the Werner Enterprises-sponsored team was breaking the IHRA record for most career Top Fuel wins, a mark formerly held by Don Garlits. Team owner Peter Lehman was honored for the accomplishment with a plaque displaying the green light off the christmas tree when Millican broke the record. Millican was awarded the other green light after the race.

Pro Modified world champion Mitch Stott saw his lifelong dream fulfilled when he was honored for his accomplishments. After a hot start early in the season, the Mill Spring, N.C.-native held on for the championship in his Radiac-sponsored Corvette, outlasting his older brother Quain. During his acceptance speech, Stott's son Donovan accompanied him on stage, jaws flapping on a piece of gum while Dad addressed the crowd at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.


Canadian Rob Atchison was awarded the first world championship of his young career. An early season event win at Grand Bend Motorplex sparked the season for Atchison, as he brought the Funny Car crown back to Canada since Todd Paton in 1995. Escorted by his fiancé Julie Evans, he was also voted "Pro Driver of the Year." Father and crew chief Bob Atchison won "Crew Chief of the Year" honors.


Lucasville, Ohio-native Brian Gahm became the first back-to-back Sunoco Pro Stock world champion since Rickie Smith in 1989. During his acceptance speech, Gahm praised his family, his trusty Ford Mustang, and his crew chief Cliff Moore, calling him his "crew chief of the year."


Two Summit SuperSeries world champions were crowned: Tom Cable and Steve Doornbosch.


Cable, who won the Box (Electronics) category of the class, raced this season at Maryland International Raceway. Many thanks went out to family and friends, especially his parents, best friend and crew chief Danny Watt, girlfriend Susan and son Anthony. Cable won a turnkey Worthy Race Cars dragster, a Kafko parts cleaner, and a check from Summit Racing Equipment for $55,500. Cable plans to race the dragster, which he painted himself, in the Top Dragster category this season at select IHRA national and divisional races.


Winner of the No Box (No Electronics) category, Doornbosch was crowned world champion for his accomplishments at Grand Bend (Ontario) Motorplex. The Canadian won a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP, a Reher-Morrison engine, a Ray Price Harley-Davidson Buell Blast, a Kafko parts cleaner, and a check from Summit Racing Equipment for $55,500.


Joe Aluise, Jr. was awarded the GM Performance Parts Top Stock world championship, a welcomed prize after a year of abusing his 1963 Belvedere, pushing it to the limit every race.


Marco Abruzzi was crowned Top Sportsman world champion. The former motorcross racer was accompanied by his wife Kim. Nick Folk was awarded the Top Dragster world championship. The 23-year-old from Durand, Ill., whose older brother, Brian, races IHRA as well, accomplished this feat in only his second year racing IHRA.


Jeremy Mudd was awarded the Super Stock world championship, thanking among others, his father Jamie. The Stock world championship went to Michael Beard, of Madison, Ohio. A long time weekend racer, this marked his first season chasing a national championship, and was voted "Sportsman Rookie of the Year" also.


Britt Cummings was awarded the Quick Rod world championship and voted "Sportsman Driver of the Year." He highlighted his speech by calling IHRA official Howie Dalton on stage and cutting off his ponytail, fulfilling a bet from earlier in the season. The Super Rod world championship went to Almont, Michigan’s-John Vineyard. He was accompanied by his wife Suzie. Tony Fuller was awarded the Hot Rod world championship. The 23-year-old split his time between winning a world championship and earning a marketing degree from the University of Central Florida.


Of the seven Sportsman classes, all world champions were first-time IHRA champs.


Hooters Restaurants’ Vice President of Marketing Mike McNeil accepted the "Sponsor of the Year" award.


Other 2003 IHRA awards recipients included:


Moroso Grand Champion: Ricky Adkins


Most Improved Sportsman Driver: Ken Langlois


Most Improved Pro Driver: Frank Gugliotta


Track of the Year – Summit: Michelle Maynor, Alaska Raceway Park


Track of the Year – National: Joel Thompson, US 131 Motorsports Park


Track Operator of the Year: "Beaver" Bob McCardle, Beaver Springs Dragway


Track Promoter of the Year: Bob Harris, Piedmont Dragway


International Leadership: Juan Kock, International Raceway Park (Aruba)


Service Award: Bill Guthery, Marion County International Raceway


Sportsman Rookie of the Year: Michael Beard


Crew Chief of the Year: Dave Levatino (Britt, Slate and Larry Cummings and Manny Sousa) and Bob Atchison (Rob Atchison)


Lifetime Achievement: Bob Motz


Sportsman Driver of the Year: Britt Cummings


Pro Driver of the Year: Rob Atchison


IHRA Man of the Year: Bob Neubauer


Sportsman of the Year: Mark Horton


During an IHRA team breakfast held Sunday morning, the following received recognition awards from IHRA President Bill Bader.


Team Member of the Year: Tom Kreager


Outstanding Performance: Wendy Tysinger


Team Player Award: Steve LeTempt


Customer Service Award: Arlene Parker and Sam Kearns


Most Improved: Satch Gragg


The Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series is part of Clear Channel Entertainment's Motor Sports division.

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