By Richie Murray – USAC Media
SPEEDWAY, IN-MPI Wheels, one of the leading designers and manufacturers of state of the art steering wheels used in various forms of motorsports, will reward USAC National racing’s top Rookie drivers for their performances throughout the 2023 season.
USAC’s 2023 Rookie of the Year drivers in the AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship and Silver Crown National Championship will receive a custom trophy and custom steering wheel courtesy of Max Papis Innovations (MPI) during USAC’s Night of Champions at the conclusion of the campaign in December.
“One of the core principles of MPI and myself is supporting young racers in their growth as people and competitors,” said Max Papis, President and Co-Founder of MPI. “These values are reflected in USAC and in these rookie awards. We are looking forward to following the growth of the sport through this new generation of drivers. The possibilities are endless, and the future looks very bright.”
USAC’s most recent Rookies of the Year include Emerson Axsom (Sprint), Mitchel Moles (Midget) and Gregg Cory (Silver Crown), and over the years, recipients of the award have included the likes of Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Bryan Clauson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Christopher Bell, Buddy Kofoid, Tim Richmond, Tony Stewart and Ed Carpenter, just to name a few.
In addition to its involvement in the USAC National series, MPI has also announced a recognition awards program for the 2023 NASCAR Youth Series Presented by Cook Out national season. The MPI “Up On the Wheel” award recognizes a driver at each of the NASCAR Youth Series national events based on such qualifiers, including but not limited to, overcoming adversity in a race, raced his or her way from the back of the field or made the biggest leaps coming from one of the lower mains to the A-Main all while displaying sportsmanship to officials and peers.
Additionally, MPI is introducing the “Inspiring Driver of the Year” award for the NASCAR Youth Series. This award will recognize one driver that is nominated by a local, regional or national club official. The driver does not have to be the fastest or winningest driver, but rather a driver who sets a good example for others and exhibits attributes of leadership and character. To be considered, a driver must display the five core values of DRIVE: Determination, Respect, Integrity, Volunteer, Extraordinary. These values should be displayed on and off the track and in his/her school and community. Nomination forms can be found at NASCAR Youth Series. Deadline to submit nominations is November 3, 2023.
MPI Wheels, located in Mooresville, N.C., was founded in 2009 by Max and Tatiana Papis. Both Max and Tatiana come from a rich history of motorsports as Max began racing professionally at 12 years old and has raced at the highest levels of motorsports from Formula 1, Champ Cars, IndyCar, IMSA and all three of NASCAR’s elite touring divisions including the premier class of Cup competitions. Tatiana is a savvy and successful CEO using her motorsports background and passion to inspire young entrepreneurs. She is a proud member of the North Carolina Motorsports Advisory Council. For more information on MPI, visit www.maxpapisinc.com.
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