FOX announcer Tommy Kendall wins Shav Glick Award

(From left) Ed Justice Jr. presents the Shav Glick Award to Tommy Kendall.

Russell LaBounty

FOX Sports analyst Tommy Kendall is the 2015 winner of The Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award. The legendary former Sports Car racer was presented the award at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California before Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

The award is named in honor of legendary Los Angeles Times sports writer Shav Glick and presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to motorsports in California. Kendall, a Santa Monica native, is a four- time SCCA Trans-Am Series champion who dominated the series from 1995 through 1997. Since retiring from full-time driving in 1998, he has worked in racing as a TV announcer for FOX and FOX Sports 1 and test driver, sharing his commentary and analysis in a witty and informative manner.

“To be honored with the Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award is quite incredible with all the history behind it,” Kendall said. “Parnelli Jones and Dan Gurney were my heroes before I got into racing and were my heroes when I was in the sport. My admiration for both of them only grew greater as I drove for a longer period of time and continued to learn about them and the sport.

“If you reflect on the Shav Glick tie-in to this award, he wrote a piece on me for the L.A. Times when I was just 19 years old, which was my breakout year when I won the GTU Championship and the Firehawk Championship at the same time in 1986. I‘m very grateful for the light that Shav shown on me. He was a real gentleman and a great journalist who is missed by those in the sport.”

Kendall dominated the SCCA Trans Am Series in the 1990s, capturing four driving titles in the first eight years of the decade (1990, ‘95, ‘96, ‘97). From 1995 to 1997, while piloting Jack Roush-owned Ford Mustangs, Kendall reined supreme, claiming 16 wins and 27 poles in 38 races. In 1997, on his way to his fourth and final Trans Am title, Kendall scored wins in the first 11 of 13 races of the season. In addition to his superb Trans Am career, Kendall also made 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts, mostly on road courses, and made two appearances in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2015 he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

“One of the things about California is the roots of racing go way, way, back and that obviously applies to the Justice Brothers in California,” Kendall said. “In this day and age you can have huge companies created almost overnight, but the one thing they don’t have is heritage. You can’t match the heritage that Justice Brothers has in motorsports. Kudos to Ed Justice for keeping that heritage alive by supporting this award. History is an important part of getting young folks involved in the racing.”

One of those legendary California drivers that Kendall patterned himself after was Parnelli Jones, the 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner and four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner.

“I’m very happy to see that Tommy Kendall is the 2015 recipient of the Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award,” Jones said. “Tommy was a hell of a driver and a great personality in the sport. It seemed like no one could beat him in Trans Am for years and years when he was at the top of his game. I always had fun watching him race. He really knew what he was doing behind the wheel.”

For the 16th year, The Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award recognizes motorsports personalities who have made distinguished contributions to motorsports in California. The award is named after legendary sports writer Shav Glick, who delivered countless stories on auto racing during his 45 years at the Los Angeles Times. Glick, who passed away in 2007, was a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

Ed Justice Jr., president and CEO of Justice Brothers, presents the award annually during the pre-race ceremonies at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 race.

Previous recipients of The Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award:

2014 – Bill Simpson

2013 – Mickey Thompson

2012 – Jeff Gordon

2011 – Robert E. Peterson

2010 – Kenny Roberts

2009 – Frank Kurtis

2008 – John Force

2007 – Don Prudhomme

2006 – Phil Hill & Carroll Shelby

2005 – J.C. Agajanian

2004 – Les Richter

2003 – Rick Mears

2002 – Parnelli Jones

2001 – Wally Parks

2000 – Dan Gurney

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