INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 13, 2016) — Continental Tire the Americas' General Tire brand presented its inaugural Spirit Award to Brad Smith during the annual ARCA Racing Series awards banquet, held Dec. 10 in Indianapolis.
General Tire established the award to recognize someone in the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) who has persevered through major challenges and demonstrated good sportsmanship both on and off the track. The award included a custom-painted helmet and $5,000 that was split evenly between Mr. Smith and his designated charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit.
Mr. Smith returned to the track this season after an injury in 2015 at Talladega International Raceway left him sidelined for mostof the 2015 campaign. Upon his return, Mr. Smith logged his best season to date, finishing sixth in championship driver points. His previous career-high points finish was 11th in 2014.
Outside of racing, Mr. Smith has become a volunteer and mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit. He will feature the club's logo on the side of his car during the 2017 season.
"Brad's story is a perfect example of what this award represents," Travis Roffler, director of marketing for General Tire, said. "Brad could have easily allowed his injury last year to end his driving career, but he fought back and was able to experience a new level of achievement in his racing career."
Mr. Smith said he was "humbled" to be the first recipient of the General Tire Spirit Award.
"Receiving the General Tire Spirit Award is a humbling and gratifying experience," Mr. Smith said in the news release.
"Humbling, because I know how many deserving recipients General Tire had to consider for the award. Gratifying, because this is ultimately a team sport and being recognized by General Tire is an accomplishment for the entire Hylton Motorsports team."
General Tire is a supporter of ARCA, Best in the Desert Racing Series, Lucas Oil—Off Road Racing Series, Late Model Dirt Series, Pro Pulling League, Modified Series, Drag Boat Racing Series and ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series among others. Additional information about the brand, its offerings and sponsorships is available online.