Drag Illustrated will honor 2021’s most outstanding racers, tuners, promoters, moments and more when it unveils the winners of the inaugural DI Awards on Thursday, February 3, 2022. The winners will be revealed on the DI Awards show streamed live on the Drag Illustrated Facebook and YouTube pages at 6:30 p.m. Central. The winners will also be featured in the new Racer of the Year Issue launching in early February.
“I’ve labored over this for a long time and spoken about it a lot, but it’s worth repeating: drag racing is hard,” said Wes Buck, founder and editorial director, Drag Illustrated. “This is an extremely competitive sport with some of the highest of highs and lowest of lows – sometimes coming in the same weekend. You don’t see ‘undefeated’ drag racers. This is a sport where losing is simply part of the game, it’s part of the journey, and, honestly, I think that is why this community is full of such incredible human beings…because that’s what this sport, this level of competition, oftentimes produces.
“All that said, the hustle-and-grind of drag racing being such a well-known thing,” Buck continued, “we felt it was important that we do everything we can to honor and validate that effort – that’s what the Drag Illustrated Awards are all about.”
The headlining category in the DI Awards will be Racer of the Year. The award will go to a racer whose performance in 2021 exceeded the expectations of even the most successful and accomplished racers; who embraces the responsibility of being an ambassador to and a champion of the sport of drag racing.
“The Drag Illustrated Racer of the Year award will be among our sport’s highest honors,” Buck said. “This will undoubtedly be a career-defining accomplishment for anyone to whom it is awarded.”
Additional categories for the inaugural DI Awards include Sportsman Racer of the Year, Outlaw Racer of the Year, Breakout Racer of the Year, Pass of the Year, Race of the Year, Crew of the Year, Tuner of the Year, the John Force Showmanship Award, a special award for Ambassadors to the Sport of Drag Racing, Promoter of the Year, Track of the Year, Moment of the Year, Rivalry of the Year, and Social Media Influencer of the Year. Drag Illustrated will also induct the first five members of its new Hall of Fame.
Members of Drag Illustrated’s editorial and production team will individually select five nominees for each category, while the winner will be chosen by the group.
“At our core, Drag Illustrated is a collection of storytellers and creators,” Buck said. “That’s what we live to do – tell stories, create memories, and experiences – and we feel the DI Awards will be an incredible way to do that.”
Unlike other mainstream sports awards shows that have traditionally passed over drag racers, the DI Awards will focus entirely on drag racing.
“The drag racing community deserves this,” Buck said. “That’s the bottom line. The Drag Illustrated Awards, the coveted Racer of the Year award, our new Hall of Fame, these are things we believe drag racing needs and, again, deserves to have.”
Drag Illustrated will reveal the 2022 DI Awards nominees on Monday, January 17, 2022.