Phillips under consideration for Hall of Fame award
Former longtime High Point Enterprise sports editor Benny Phillips was one of the most respected journalists while covering NASCAR racing in a career that included almost 50 years for the paper, 27 years for Stock Car Racing magazine and 12 years for cable television outlet TBS.
Because of that work, he’s being considered for a spot in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Phillips is among eight nominees for this year’s Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. The winner will be honored during Hall of Fame Induction festivities in January and will have a place in an exhibit with other Squier-Hall winners.
The award is named for television announcer Ken Squier and radio announcer Barney Hall.
Other nominees are newspaper reporters Tom Higgins (Charlotte Observer), Bob Moore (Daytona Beach News-Journal and Charlotte) and Shav Glick (Los Angeles Times), ESPN announcer Bob Jenkins, pioneer journalists Russ Catlin and Norma Brandel, and photographer T. Taylor Warren.
The winner will be announced Friday at Daytona International Speedway before qualifying for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400.
BIG WEEK AT CARAWAY
One of the biggest events of the year at Caraway Speedway is on tap Friday.
It will feature the 171-lap Rusty Harpe Memorial race for Late Models and a 150-lap NASCAR Southern Modified Tour race.
The Harpe race is named for a former driver who was well-respected by other drivers and was killed in a farming accident. The event has typically drawn a number of the better late model drivers from throughout the region, including NASCAR national weekly-track champion Lee Pulliam.
George Brunnhoelzl III and Andy Seuss are favorites in the Southern Modified Tour race.
Brunnhoelzl has 10 Caraway wins, including the last two events on July 4 week. Suess has nine Caraway victories and is gunning for his fourth straight after winning two races last year and the season opener this year.
They have combined to win 11 of the last 14 Caraway races.
Suess holds the lead in series standings by five points over Brunnhoelzl, who is gunning for a fourth straight title.
Terry Labonte and Bobby Labonte return to the track this weekend at Daytona. Terry is in Frank Stoddard’s No. 32 Ford for the Coke Zero 400 while Bobby is entered in Circle Sports Racing’s No. 33 Chevrolet. If they are not fast enough in qualifying, the brothers are guaranteed starting spots on owners points since both teams are series regulars . . . .No racing is scheduled at Bowman Gray Stadium this Saturday as the track takes its usual hiatus for the July 4 weekend. . .Happy Birthday to racing legend Richard Petty, who turned 77 on Wednesday. . .Richard Childress Racing announced COO Torrey Galidia now holds the title of president, the first time someone other than team founder Richard Childress has held the office. Childress remains Chief Executive Officer and adds the title of Chairman. Galida is a former Ford marketing executive. . . Saturday’s race at Kentucky generated just a 2.3 rating for TNT, the lowest for a Cup race since Dover and New Hampshire got 2.2 ratings on back-to-back weekends in September of 2012. . .This year’s Cup awards banquet is set Dec. 5 in Las Vegas.