IHRA recognized all of the 2014 Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series champions and handed out a number of special awards following a successful season that spanned eight months and 12 venues across the United States and Canada.
2014 Nitro Harley champion Mike Scott
“The 2014 Nitro Jam season provided plenty of drama, excitement and even a few record-breaking performances. It was a big year for the IHRA and IRG as we look to put this series back on the map,” said IRG Sports + Entertainment CEO Jason Rittenberry. “Congratulations to all of the 2014 Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series champions and special award winners. It was a historical season on a number of levels and we look forward to an even bigger and brighter 2015.”
Hosted by Rittenberry and six-time IHRA Top Fuel World Champion Clay Millican, the 2014 Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series Awards Celebration recognized world champions Jason Rupert (Nitro Funny Car), Cary Goforth (Pro Stock), Mike Scott (Nitro Harley), Ron Maroney (Nitro Altered) and Elaine Larsen (Jet Dragster), in addition to recognizing special award winners for the 2014 season. Each champion received a special edition Ironman and greeted the crowd filled with Nitro Jam drivers and teams.
Special award winners for the 2014 season include Jason Rupert (AMSOIL Top Performer), Cary Goforth (Driver of the Year), Jay Turner (Crew Chief of the Year) and Mark Sanders and Mike McIntire Jr. (Race of the Year).
2014 Jet Dragster champion Elaine Larsen
Rupert, who won the Nitro Funny Car championship after a dominating season that included four wins, six number one qualifiers and a new IHRA ET record, took home the evening’s biggest prize, the AMSOIL Top Performer Award for 2014. IHRA Driver of the Year was awarded to Goforth, who had three wins and won two championships this season with both the IHRA and the PDRA.
Additional special awards went to Turner, winner of Crew Chief of the Year after he helped put all three Jay Turner Racing bikes in the championship hunt with Mike Scott winning the title, and Sanders and McIntire, winners of the Race of the Year award. McIntire and Sanders met five times in competition this season, with their closest race of the year coming at the MOPAR Nitro Jam Nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex in June. Sanders defeated McIntire in that race with a 5.891 at 244.69 mph to McIntire’s identical 5.891 at 237.21 mph.
2014 Nitro Funny Car champion and AMSOIL Top Performer Jason Rupert
IHRA’s other major award, Sportsman of the Year awarded to the driver that contributed the most to the series both on and off the track, went to Dave Hough earlier in the weekend. Hough was instrumental in bringing the Nitro Altered class back to IHRA where they entertained fans for four incredible years with the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series.
The evening also included dinner, a special address by IHRA President Scott Gardner and a sneak peak at the first episode of the new Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series television show, airing on MAV TV on November 6.
Following a successful 2014 season, the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series will return to the track beginning with the Southwestern Nationals the weekend of February 6-7 in Tucson for the start of the 2015 season. Congratulations to all of the 2014 IHRA World Champions and special award winners.
2014 Pro Stock champion and Driver of the Year Cary Goforth
Opening ceremony featuring IRG CEO Jason Rittenberry, Clay Millican and Carissa Biele
2014 Crew Chief of the Year Jay Turner
2014 Race of the Year award winners Mike McIntire Jr. and Mark Sanders
Sportsman of the Year Dave Hough (awarded earlier)