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Fri, 19 Sep 2008, 01:34 PM

Jegs ProMod Challenge Announces Steve Engel Award
Courtesy of Scott "Woody" Woodru





DALLAS -- On the eve of the JEGS ProMod Challenge event to be held at this weekend's 23rd annual O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Nationals at the Texas Motorplex, series organizers have announced the creation of a new and perpetual award to honor the memory of Pro Mod racer Steve Engel, who died Sunday in Indianapolis.

Beginning this year, the Steve Engel "Big Man, Big Heart" Award will be handed out annually to the Pro Mod racer that best exemplifies Engel's gregarious spirit and generous nature. The award will be accompanied by a $10,000 cash prize that will be donated to the charity of the recipient's choice in Engel's name.

"Steve was a formidable racer, but he was an even better man," fellow driver Troy Coughlin said. "There are very few people that have the zest for life and the complete passion for drag racing that Steve exhibited every day.

"It is our intention to keep Steve's memory alive for many years to come with the Steve Engel 'Big Man, Big Heart' Award, which will be presented annually to the racer whom the rest of the Pro Mod community deems to show the same character and fortitude Steve did every day of his life. He was indeed a big man with a big heart, and we will never forget him."

Engel, a 49-year-old from the Cincinnati suburb of Shandon, Ohio, sustained six broken vertebrae during a high-speed accident at the 54th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. He was airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where, after two successful surgeries, he was recovering well with a prognosis of a long but ultimately, full recovery. He is survived by his wife Tonya and sons Stevie and Michael.

A racer in every sense of the word, Engel was having a career year on the JEGS ProMod Challenge, winning the national event in Bristol, Tenn., to solidify his top-10 ranking. He raced with great success in several different sanctions and was actively involved in building a drag strip near his home.

Renowned artist Dan Dreisbach, owner of Naked Sculpture of Baltimore, Ohio, will create the Engel trophy. A fabricator at Rahal-Letterman Racing, Dreisbach has created trophies and sculptures for a wide variety of clients over the years, including the JEGS ProMod Challenge. He utilizes steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, all hardwoods, carbon fiber, and titanium in his work.





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