Craven Receives Honor

NEW YORK - For his efforts in raising funds for charity, driver Ricky Craven has been named the recipient of the NASCAR USG Person of the Year Award for 2003.

The announcement was made Friday morning during the Myers Brothers Breakfast, sponsored by the National Motorsports Press Association, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

Craven, who drives the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet for PPI Motorsports in NASCAR's top series, was honored for his work on the annual Ricky Craven Charity Snowmobile Ride, held each January in his home state of Maine.

In its six years of existence, the ride has generated more than $500,000, which has been distributed among a number of charitable organizations, including The Marrow Foundation, the Children's Miracle Network, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Travis Roy Foundation and Give Kids the World.

"I'm extremely honored by this recognition, but there's a lot of people I want to share it with," Craven said of the award. "I want to give credit to everyone who has assisted us with the charity ride these past six years. It takes a lot of people giving of their time, energy and money to make the ride a success. This award really should go to all the volunteers who have helped us so selflessly, to my family and friends, and to the drivers and all the race fans who've helped us raise money for these wonderful charities."

USG, the Official Building Products Supplier of NASCAR, is in its first year as sponsor of the NASCAR USG Person of the Year program. The award is designed to honor drivers, not only for their accomplishments on the track, but for their community service contributions and charitable efforts.

For the purpose of determining the NASCAR USG Person of the Year Award winner, the NASCAR Winston Cup season was divided into four quarters in which drivers were nominated for their off-track efforts. Craven was named the First Quarter USG Person of the Year, with drivers Elliott Sadler, Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon receiving the honor during the following quarters. A select group of panelists then chose Craven as the NASCAR USG Person of the Year from among the four quarterly finalists.

In addition to the award, Craven was presented with a prize of $100,000, which was supposed to be divided evenly between the driver and the charity or charities of his choice. Craven immediately donated his half of the prize money to the charities he supports through the charity ride.

"I can't say enough about USG's generosity," Craven said. "That's such a wonderful gesture on their part. I want to thank them for offering such a significant amount of money. This award will push the amount of money donated over the years to a total of well over $600,000, which is a great feeling."

Craven says plans are well underway for the Seventh Annual Ricky Craven Charity Snowmobile Ride, which will be held on Saturday, January 31, 2004, in Maine.

"The event keeps getting bigger and bigger every year, thanks to the efforts of everyone who donates their time and money," Craven said. "I think this year's ride will be the best ever. I'm very lucky to be associated with so many great people, and I'm honored to be able to use my position as a driver to help people. It's definitely one of the neatest parts of my job."

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2003, Ricky Craven

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