The 2019 Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli season races to a close next month, and teams and drivers are already looking ahead to the Nov. 16 year-end celebration at Daytona Beach, Florida’s Ocean Center.
Always a glittering occasion, the annual event unites champions from the National, West Coast, Northern and Southern Cup championships to receive their official Trans Am Series Crystal Sensations awards (photo above).
This year, gala evening will feature Motorsports’ Hall of Famer Tommy Kendall as master of ceremonies.
Kendall, who hosted the 50th Anniversary Trans Am dinner in Detroit in 2016, returns to the mic to honor Trans Am champions and award winners.
Kendall won four Trans Am title, first in 1990, and then three straight 1995-’97) in a Jack Roush-prepared Mustang. One of his claims to fame was his 11-race winstreak in ’97. Kendall remains one of the most decorated drivers in Trans Am history with 96 starts, 28 wins, 45 poles, 28 fastest race laps, 59 podium finishes, 70 top-five finishes and 80 top-10 finishes.
He returned to the driver’s seat briefly in 2014, competing for four races in a TA2 Dodge Challenger.
“I’m looking forward to returning to emcee the Trans Am awards banquet next month,” said Kendall. “Obviously, the Trans Am Series is near and dear to my heart; but I’m particularly excited by the quality of talent and racing that was on display this year. There were some battles this year amongst old and new names in TA that remind me of the series’ glory days, and I look forward to celebrating those performances in Daytona Beach.”
All the tables will have custom-designed center pieces courtesy driver Tomy Drissi and Drissi Advertising, Inc., while, for the second straight year, Pirelli and Sunoco will contribute to the Honors Ceremony.
The Donohue Spirit Award presented by Sunoco will recognize the Trans Am participant that best emulates the Trans Am great, Mark Donohue.
Pirelli will supply 15 wind tunnel model-sized tires for prizes given away during the banquet.
“We are honored to have Tommy Kendall return as our emcee for the evening,” said Trans Am Company President John Clagett. “Tommy has a rich history in Trans Am, and we are eager to hear the stories he will share during the evening. The awards that Crystal Sensations designs are absolutely stunning. Our relationship dates back since 2012 and every year they continue to impress me with their one-of-a-kind craftsmanship.
“The Pirelli tires are always highly-coveted swag and we are so glad to have their continued support,” continued Clagett. “Lastly, we are extremely pleased with the Honors Centerpieces that Leilani Morales and Tomy Drissi designed for us. They took our design template and made an awesome piece to complement our table settings.”
Trans Am will take to the iconic banks of Daytona International Speedway Nov. 14-16 for the final two races of 2019, closing out what has been a fantastic season of America’s Road Racing Series.
Following an exciting day at the track, drivers and their crews will trade out race suits for sports coats, celebrating their successes and accomplishments throughout the season for an evening of style on Saturday night.