AUGUSTA, Maine – Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and Maine native Ricky Craven was presented with the 2013 Award Of Excellence on Friday, January 11, to highlight the 25th annual Northeast Motorsports Expo last weekend at the Augusta Civic Center.
“In my opinion, the Award Of Excellence is for somebody who has done a lot for motorsports in the state of Maine over the years,” said Northeast Motorsports Expo owner and promoter Steve Perry. “The things that Ricky Craven has done for the sport are really hard to put into words, but I think we all know what he’s meant to the racing community here.”
Craven, of Newburgh, Maine, won two Sprint Cup Series races in his career – at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway – and currently serves as an analyst for ESPN’s NASCAR coverage.
More than 100 awards were handed out to racers at every level of competition during the three-day expo which was attended by several thousand enthusiasts of stock car racing and other forms of motorsports in New England. The Heluva Good! 25 honoring the Top 25 most influential people in New England motorsports over the last quarter-century was also unveiled, with veteran Turner, Maine, racer Mike Rowe taking the top spot. Rowe is the career wins leader at Oxford Plains Speedway, where he is a multi-time champion, in addition to owning championships at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Wiscasset Speedway and in PASS-sanctioned Super Late Models.
Former Oxford Plains Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway owner Bob Bahre was No. 2 on the list, with Craven, four-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Andy Santerre and 9-time Oxford Plains champion Jeff Taylor rounding out the Top-5.
More than 20 teams over the course of the three-day Expo participated in the inaugural Last Chance Motorsports Pit Stop Challenge. The finals were held on Sunday afternoon in a tournament bracket format, with the PASS North Series championship-winning team of Benjamin Motorsports earning the victory and the $300 first prize.
“I really want to thank everybody involved, from Steve Park and Ricky Craven to our sponsors Team EJP, Quirk Auto, Heluva Good!, New England Racing Fuel and Mainley Motorsports, for making this a great weekend for Maine racing,” Perry said. “It was a fantastic weekend with a lot for fans to see and do, and we’re already looking forward to building up next year’s Expo and making it bigger and better than ever.”