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Tue, 16 Nov 2004, 08:45 PM

2004 NHRA POWERade World Champions Crowned in the Desert
Courtesy of NHRA Communications
Photo copyright 2004 Auto Imagery, Inc.


Tony Schumacher
Tony Schumacher headlined four world-championship-winning drivers crowned Monday evening during the 2004 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series awards ceremony at the spectacular Westin Mission Hills Resort near Palm Springs.

The three other NHRA POWERade world champions - John Force, Greg Anderson and 21-year-old Andrew Hines, the youngest champion in NHRA history -- also were presented checks and trophies for their achievements in their respective pro categories as the NHRA celebrated the 2004 season.

In a special moment during the ceremony, the late Darrell Russell was honored with a moving video tribute as those in attendance remembered the personable young Top Fuel driver. Russell died as a result of injuries sustained in a racing accident in June in St. Louis.

Schumacher, who raced to a category record 10 victories in his U.S. Army dragster, received a check for $400,000 for his second Top Fuel world championship from NHRA President Tom Compton and POWERade representative Katie Bayne, senior vice president of integrated marketing for Coca-Cola North America.

John Force
Force also received a check from NHRA and POWERade for $400,000 for winning a record 13th Funny Car crown in his Castrol GTX Start Up Ford Mustang. Anderson earned $200,000 for earning his second consecutive NHRA POWERade Pro Stock title in his Summit Racing Pontiac Grand Am, and Hines, rider of the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, was presented a $50,000 check from NHRA and POWERade for claiming his first Pro Stock Bike championship.

Pro Stock driver Jason Line headed the list of special award winners with the $20,000 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, which recognizes NHRA's rookie of the year. A distinguished panel of auto racing journalists selected Line, who won four races in eight final-round appearances and claimed two No. 1 qualifying positions en route to a second-place finish in the POWERade Pro Stock points standings behind the wheel of his KB Framers Grand Am.

The Drag Racing Association of Women (DRAW) was presented the Blaine Johnson Award for the organization's continued efforts to provide financial and emotional support to the drag racing community.

Pontiac was awarded the NHRA Manufacturers Cup for the eighth time, and the Newark (Ohio) Advocate was presented the NHRA Media Award.

The future stars of the sport, drivers in seven categories in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, also were recognized as 2004 champions: Mitch Myers (Top Alcohol Dragster); Cy Chesterman (Top Alcohol Funny Car); Dean Carter (Competition Eliminator); Larry Stewart Jr. (Super Stock); Lee Zane (Stock Eliminator); Lyndon Rutland (Super Comp) and Jonathan Womack (Super Gas).

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