CONCORD — Rockingham Dragway owner Steve Earwood and NASCAR Hall of Fame team owner and Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs were among those honored Tuesday night (April 19) at the North Carolina Motorsports Industry Ceremony presented by Fifth Third Bank at the Embassy Suites Ballroom.
The annual gala hosted by the North Carolina Motorsports Association, which was postponed from Jan. 25, recognizes companies and individuals who have made significant contributions to the $6 billion Carolina motorsports industry.
Gibbs, who won NFL Super Bowl titles with three different quarterbacks (Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien) and NASCAR Cup titles with three different drivers (Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch), was presented the association’s Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award.
Earwood, the NHRA’s first national media relations director and a member of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, accepted the NCMA Industry Award from Executive Director David Miller for his impact on Carolina motorsports over the last 31 years as Rockingham Dragway’s owner and a former member of the Governor’s Motorsports Advisory Council. Earwood was introduced by three-time NHRA Top Fuel Champion Shirley Muldowney.
“It’s a humbling experience to be on the same podium with someone of Joe Gibbs’ stature,” Earwood said, “but it’s also a tremendous honor to be recognized for whatever perceived contributions I might have made to the industry and to the state.
“To me, this is simply recognition for all those employees at The Rock, past and present, who have shared my passion for motor racing and who were willing to do whatever was required to get the job done.”