Media group honors Darlington Raceway, Martinsville Speedway president

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While much attention will be focused on Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards, there were several prestigious awards handed out during Thursday’s annual Myers Brothers Luncheon at the Wynn Las Vegas resort.

Darlington Raceway was awarded the annual Myers Brothers Award for its efforts at rolling the clock back with its “Throwback Weekend” as the legendary Southern 500 returned after a 10-year absence to its former Labor Day Weekend spot on NASCAR’s race calendar.

Meanwhile, Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell received the 2015 Buddy Shuman Award, established in 1957 and named for racing pioneer Buddy Shuman.

The return of the Southern 500 to NASCAR’s first paved superspeedway (opened in 1950), known for its egg-shaped oval layout, “proved to be one of the most talked about, most popular events of the year,” according to a release by the National Motorsports Press Association, which sponsors the Myers Brothers Award.

“More than 30 cars in this year’s 43-car field featured throwback schemes, honoring everything from long-time sponsors to drivers and popular paint schemes from the early 1970s,” according to an NMPA release. “Several teams got in the act by wearing crew uniforms similar to those worn at the time; concession stand fare included items that were offered at the time and tickets in some sections were even priced similar to that specific time period.”

The award is named in honor of former NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers, recognizing individuals and/or groups “who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing.”

Darlington Raceway received the majority of votes in balloting by NMPA members. Also receiving votes were four-time Sprint Cup champ Jeff Gordon and 2015 Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch.

“We felt like if we could get eight or 10 teams on board to really showcase what we’re trying to accomplish, we felt like in 2016 we could get more, in 2017 we would get more and so on,” Darlington track president Chip Wile said in a statement. “But the response that we’ve gotten from everyone in the industry has been incredible. It was a fully integrated plan that made our event something special for the fans.”

As for Campbell, the Buddy Shuman Award is given to individuals that have played key roles in the growth of NASCAR racing. Past recipients have included Bill France Sr., Richard Petty, Rick Hendrick and broadcaster Ken Squier.

“I am quite honored to be among the list of recipients of this award,” said Campbell, who was named track president in 1988, succeeding his grandfather and Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles. “When I was young I remember seeing the passion people like my grandfather, Bill France Sr. and Richard Petty had for our sport. I got a lot of my passion for NASCAR from them and I just hope that I have been able to share it with others.”

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Here’s the list of all Myers Brothers Award winners:

2015, Darlington Raceway; 2014, Dale Earnhardt Jr.; 2013, Tony Stewart; 2012, Jeff Gordon; 2011, Drs. Joseph and Rose Mattioli; 2010, Jim Hunter.

2009, Barney Hall; 2008, T. Taylor Warren; 2007, Bill France Jr.; 2006, Benny Parsons; 2005, Rusty Wallace; 2004, Kyle and Patti Petty; 2003, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 2002, Mike Helton; 2001, Dale Earnhardt; 2000, Kyle Petty.

1999, Junie Donlavey; 1998, T. Wayne Robertson; 1997, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1996, Rick Hendrick; 1995, TNN: The Nashville Network; 1994, Brickyard 400/Indianapolis Motor Speedway; 1993, Goody’s Manufacturing Co.; 1992, Richard and Lynda Petty; 1991, Harry Gant; 1990; Dick Beaty.

1989, Bill France Jr.; 1988, Richmond International Raceway; 1987, ESPN; 1986, Hayride 500; 1985, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1984, Charlotte Motor Speedway; 1983, CBS-TV; 1982, MRN; 1981, Junior Johnson; 1980, STP and Champion Spark Plug Co.

1979, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1978, Busch Beer; 1977, First National City Travelers Checks; 1976, Junior Johnson; 1975, Bill France Sr.; 1974, H. Clay Earles; 1973, Wood Brothers; 1972, Winston Cigarettes; 1971, Richard Petty; 1970, Richard Howard.

1969, David Pearson; 1968, Wood Brothers; 1967, Richard Petty; 1966, Norris Friel; 1965, Ned Jarrett; 1964, Richard Petty; 1963, Marvin Panch; 1962, Hank Schoolfield; 1961, Ned Jarrett; 1960, Russ Catlin; 1959, Lee Petty; 1958, Bob Colvin.

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