LINCOLNTON â€“ BRAKES, the nonprofit organization founded by drag racer Doug Herbert that promotes safe and responsible driving, was honored at the 2009 NCMA Industry Awards on Monday, Jan. 26, by receiving the Safety Innovation Award from the North Carolina Motorsports Assocation.
The Safety Innovation Award, which was sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and SME Education Foundation, recognizes safety products, devices or programs used in motorsports. BRAKES was chosen as the 2009 recipient for the work the foundation has done to raise awareness about the importance of safe driving, as well as for the programâ€™s ability to use motorsports to transfer safety to the streets.
â€œIt was an honor for BRAKES to win this award,â€ said Herbert, who lost his two sons in a tragic car accident on Jan. 26, 2008. â€œIt has been exactly a year since I lost Jon and James and everything I do for BRAKES is because I want to honor my sons and their memory. We are working hard to continue to grow the Teen Pro-Active Driving School. I am sure that Jon and James would be proud of this award and everything that BRAKES has accomplished. I could not have done it without the support of all the BRAKES board members, my friends and family.â€
The third annual awards banquet, which was held in Concord, N.C., honored companies and institutions whose effects in 2008 greatly impacted the motorsports industry in North Carolina. The NCMA, which is the voice of the motorsports industry in North Carolina, recognized 30 finalists for this yearâ€™s awards in 10 motorsports industry categories, and announced the winners at the banquet.
â€œThe NCMA congratulates BRAKES on winning the 2009 Safety Innovation Award,â€ said Shawn Stewart, Marketing/Membership Director for the NCMA. â€œAlthough past winners have been products that keep racers safe, we felt the NCMA membership voted for BRAKES because of its significant contribution in showing how much the motorsports industry cares about community and safety, even off the track. There is nothing more precious than our youth and BRAKES has done a tremendous job working to save young lives.â€
NCMA members, approximately 200 companies and organizations, chose amongst the three nominees in each category and submitted their votes to select the winners. Nominated alongside BRAKES for the Safety Innovation Award were inthinc and Randy La Joieâ€™s Safer Racer Tour. The BRAKES organization joins 2007 winner La Joie of Seating and 2008 winner Safety Solutions as recipients of the NCMA recognition.
â€œIâ€™m honored that we were a part of this night,â€ said Herbert, who also served as a presenter at the banquet and bestowed Marcus Smith with the Event Facilities Award for zMAX Dragway. â€œThis award focuses on safety innovation in motorsports, and we spend a lot of time working with teens involved in racing, especially encouraging them to keep the racing on the track and off the streets. For me, the cool thing about this is that our efforts extend beyond motorsports, to all young drivers, and the message we try to send, although often promoted through motorsports, has the ability to reach any teenager.â€