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Drag Illustrated Announces Inaugural DI Awards Nominees

Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings champion Ryan Martin leads the list of nominees for the Racer of the Year Award in the inaugural Drag Illustrated Awards, the magazine announced today. The other nominees for the award are NHRA Pro Stock world champion Greg Anderson, PDRA Pro Boost driver and tuner Todd Tutterow, NHRA Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence, and NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Matt Smith.

“It was hard enough to even settle on five nominees to consider for this first-ever DI Racer of the Year Award,” said Wes Buck, founder and editorial director, Drag Illustrated. “But we believe the five racers we selected represent the best racers drag racing has to offer at its highest levels. These five drivers excel on the biggest stages and in the most competitive environments. We want to recognize their accomplishments through our new DI Awards.”

Along with the Racer of the Year, Drag Illustrated will reveal the winners in 14 other categories during the DI Awards show streamed live on Thursday, February 3 at 6:30 p.m. Central on the Drag Illustrated Facebookand YouTube pages. The winners will also be featured in the new Racer of the Year Issue launching in early February.

“Our editorial team spent a lot of time narrowing down these categories and choosing the most deserving nominees,” Buck said. “We tried to cover as many bases as possible by highlighting the people, places, and experiences that made 2021 such an incredible year for the sport of drag racing.”

2022 DI Awards Nominees

Racer of the Year: Ryan Martin, Greg Anderson, Todd Tutterow, Steve Torrence, and Matt Smith

Sportsman Racer of the Year: Luke Bogacki, Jeff Serra, Tyler Bohannon, Sean Bellemeur, and Christopher Dodd

Outlaw Racer of the Year: Manny Buginga, Stevie Jackson, Tim Essick, Ken Quartuccio, and Rob Goss

Breakout Racer of the Year: Lyle Barnett, Kyle Koretsky, Dallas Glenn, Josh Hart, and Justin Swanstrom

Pass of the Year: Brittany Force’s 3.637 at 335 mph in Top Fuel at Texas NHRA FallNationals, Todd Tutterow’s 3.58 at 211 mph in Outlaw Pro Mod at U.S. Street Nationals, Daniel Pharris’ 3.49 in Radial vs. the World at Lights Out, Manny Buginga’s 5.75 in Outlaw vs. Extreme at World Cup Finals, and John DeFlorian’s 4.000 in Extreme Pro Stock at PDRA World Finals

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Race of the Year: NHRA Texas FallNationals/Stampede of Speed, PDRA World Finals, 50th Annual Snowbird Outlaw Nationals, NHRA Gatornationals, and World Doorslammer Nationals

Crew of the Year: Fireball Racing, KB Racing, GALOT Motorsports, the “Capco Boys,” and Elite Motorsports

Tuner of the Year: Jeff Pierce, Brandon Switzer, Steve Petty, Bobby Lagana, and Jake Hairston

John Force Showmanship Award: Scott Palmer, Alex Laughlin, Stevie “Fast” Jackson, Matt Hagan, and Lyle Barnett

Special Award for Ambassadors to the Sport of Drag Racing: Dr. Jamie Meyer, Brian Lohnes, Clay Millican, Ron Capps, and Jim Hughes

Promoter of the Year: Andy Carter, Victor Alvarez, Tyler Crossnoe, Bill Bader, and Sam Korkis

Track of the Year: Texas Motorplex, Bradenton Motorsports Park, Summit Motorsports Park, Virginia Motorsports Park, and Bandimere Speedway

Moment of the Year: Bruno Massel vs. Mason McGaha Staging Duel at Topeka, Lyle Barnett Wins in NHRA Pro Mod at Dallas, Justin Kirk Wins in XPS at Bowling Green, John and Brittany Force Win Together at Topeka, Troy Coughlin Jr. Defeats Greg Anderson at Las Vegas, and JR Todd’s Throttle Whack to Stage at Indy

Rivalry of the Year: Matt Smith Racing vs. Vance & Hines, John Force vs. Matt Hagan, Jim Halsey vs. Tommy Franklin, KB Racing vs. Elite Motorsports, and Justin Swanstrom vs. Everyone but Team X

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Social Media Influencer of the Year: Justin Swanstrom, Alex Taylor, Clay Millican, Leah Pruett, and Alex Laughlin

This story was originally published on January 18, 2022. Drag Illustrated

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.