FONTANA, Calif. – While their father was busy Sunday racing in Arizona, Brittany and Courtney Force and Adria Hight accepted the Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award, on his behalf. The annual award, presented in conjunction with the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, recognizes those who have made distinguished contributions to motor sports in the state of California,
From Firebird Raceway, where he was eliminated in the first round of Sunday’s 24th annual Checker/Schuck’s/Kragen Nationals, second race in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Series, Force acknowledged both Glick, the dean of American motor sports writers who last year succumbed to complications of melanoma, and the other nominees for the award.
“Being nominated for an award with Shav’s name on it is an honor by itself,” Force said, “but to be with people like Robert (E.) Petersen, Chris Pook and Jimmie Johnson, the NASCAR champ, makes it even more special. I wish I could have been there myself but I’m just glad my girls were able to accept it for me. It’ll go right in my museum.”
Johnson, the 2006 and 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, began riding 50cc motorcycles at age five. Before heading to NASCAR, he drove in the Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group Stadium Racing Series and won championships in the SCORE International Off-Road Series and SODA Winter Series.
Petersen, who died this year at age 80, was the founder of Hot Rod, Motor Trend and other magazine titles. He spent decades as the chairman of the board at Petersen Publishing, which at one time was America's leading publisher of special-interest consumer magazines and books.
As founder of the Long Beach Grand Prix, Pook created a formula for racing on city streets that has become the standard for such events in the United States
Glick was a long time motorsports writer for the Los Angeles Times and member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. He covered the drag racing events at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (the Winternationals in February and Auto Club Finals in November) for more than 30 years. The press room at that track bears his name.
“Shav was the first real writer to ever do a story on me,” said the loquacious Force, “and we stayed friends through the years. He was a great guy and it’s not the same to go to Pomona and not see him there.”
Force, who is battling back this year from serious injuries suffered in a Sept. 23rd crash in Dallas, Texas, is drag racing’s most prolific winner. In addition to a record 125 NHRA tour victories, he has won 14 series championships.
The winner of the Shav Glick Award was selected by a judging panel including national and California motorsports writers. Previous winners include NHRA founder Wally Parks, Rick Mears, Carroll Shelby, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones and 2007 winner Don “the Snake” Prudhomme against whom Force used to race on the NHRA circuit.
Adria Hight, Courtney Force and Brittany Force, left to right, the daughters of drag racing icon John Force, accept the 2008 Justice Brothters-Shav Glick Award on their father’s behalf from Ed Justice Jr., far left.
Courtney Force, left, Brittany Force, center, and Adria Hight, three of the daughters of drag racing legend John Force, accept the 2008 Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award from Ed Justice Jr., right.