First quarter NMPA Pocono Spirit Award winner announced
The National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) has presented the Pocono Spirit Award annually since 1992, to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, as well as sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.
The 2016 first quarter recipient of the Pocono Spirit Award is Chris Osborne, spotter for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Matt Kenseth and driver Daniel Suarez in NASCAR’s XFINITY Series and the Camping World Truck Series. Osborne suffered a compound fracture of his right leg when he and his family were hit head-on by another driver on December 17, 2015. Osborne’s wife Melissa and son Austin also suffered significant injuries.
Although he had originally hoped to return to his spotter duties when the season got underway at Daytona International Speedway in February, Osborne was not cleared to return to work until the series traveled to Martinsville Speedway in Virginia in April for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ sixth event.
Osborne told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that it had been “a lot of tough days and nights and healing," prior to his Martinsville arrival. "The mindset was to get back at Daytona, but the physical part of it and the reality was, there just wasn't enough healing time,” he said.
“Definitely good to have him back, not just from a selfish standpoint but from a performance standpoint as well … to see him get back and be able to do that was good,” Kenseth said following Osborne’s Martinsville return.
Osborne received approximately 80 percent of the votes cast by the NMPA membership. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson also received votes for the first-quarter award.
The National Motorsports Press Association consists of qualified members of the media who report on the sport of auto racing through affiliations with print, radio, television and/or Internet news gathering organizations. Members of the NMPA are dedicated to maintaining high journalistic standards, providing information fairly, accurately and without prejudice.Information for this article provided by the NMPA