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Thu, 9 Dec 1999, 02:11 PM

Force, Schumacher Headline AARWBA All-America Selections
Courtesy of NHRA Communications





GLENDORA, Calif. - John Force and Tony Schumacher were named first team selections in the drag racing category for the 1999 American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association All-America Auto Racing Team, as announced Dec. 8 by the Burbank, Calif.-based media association.

Force and Schumacher will be honored along with 10 other first team selections from other categories of auto racing on Jan. 15 at the AARWBA awards ceremony, held at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, Long Beach, Calif. In addition, they are among candidates nominated for the Jerry Titus Award, given annually by AARWBA members to the association's driver of the year.

Two-time Winston Top Fuel champion Gary Scelzi, five-time Winston Pro Stock champ Warren Johnson and three-time NHRA Federal-Mogul Dragster champion Rick Santos were honored by AARWBA as second team selections.

It is the seventh consecutive first team appearance for Force, and eighth overall. Force earned his way on the team by claiming 11 victories and closing out his decade of dominance with a ninth NHRA Winston Funny Car championship. The Yorba Linda, Calif. driver set national records for time (4.788 seconds) and speed (324.05 mph) in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang.

It is Schumacher's first AARWBA All-America team honor. The 29-year-old Exide Batteries dragster driver recorded one victory and earned his first NHRA Winston championship during the most competitive season ever in Top Fuel. In addition, he posted the fastest speed in the history of the sport, a 330-mph blast at Phoenix in late February. Schumacher's father, Don, was an honorable mention selection for his efforts in Funny Car in 1971.

Scelzi, driver of the Team Winston dragster and Winston points runner-up, was named to the second team following two years as a first team selection. Scelzi's season highlights included three victories and a win in the competitive $100,000 Big Bud Shootout at Pomona.

Johnson drove his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac Firebird to his fifth second team appearance. The Buford, Ga. driver earned seven victories, including the prestigious U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park, en route to his fifth Winston Pro Stock crown.

Santos, driver of the Oakwood Homes Federal-Mogul dragster, earned his first selection to the second team in the At Large category. The San Leandro, Calif. driver earned eight NHRA national event victories and five NHRA Federal-Mogul Series divisional victories to secure his third straight NHRA Federal-Mogul Dragster championship.

Other first team selections include NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Dale Jarrett and Tony Stewart (Stock Car); CART's Juan Montoya and IRL's Greg Ray (Open Wheel); SCCA Trans-Am champ Paul Gentilozzi and SCCA VW Gold Cup champ Elliott Forbes-Robinson (Road Racing); World of Outlaws champ Mark Kinser and NASCAR Busch Series champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Short Track); 60-year-old CORR off-road champ Walker Evans and Anthony Lazzaro, the Kool-Toyota Atlantic champ (At Large).



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