CRA officials have announced that Howe Racing will sponsor the Howe Racing Rookie Award Program with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts for the quickly upcoming 2011 season and that the 2011 series Rookie of the Year Award will honor legendary crew chief Howie Lettow who passed away last year after a valiant battle with cancer.
The Howie Lettow Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Howe Racing will be awarded to the highest finishing registered rookie in the final 2011 Howe Racing Rookie Award Program points with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts.
“We are honored to have the Rookie of the Year Award named for Howie,” remarked his wife Cheryl. “It’s a great way for him to be remembered.”
Howie Lettow was a respected and successful crew chief in the old ASA National Tour and with the now defunct ASA Late Model Series. Few individuals had the credentials of Lettow and his outstanding ability to mold and work with some of the finest short track stock car drivers in the country, especially his ability to work with rookie drivers. He worked primarily in the old ASA National Tour with the potent teams of Baker Enterprises, All-Star Racing, Herzog Motorsports and WalTom Racing as a crew chief and team manager.
The first of the impressive list of drivers Lettow guided to ASA Rookie of the Year honors was his good friend and fellow Watertown, Wisconsin resident Pat Schauer. Schauer was tragically killed in a racing accident at Winchester Speedway in Indiana in 1981, his rookie season in ASA. The top rookie award was given to Schauer posthumously that season, and from that year forward, the award was named in Schauer’s honor for that series.
Drivers who worked with Lettow and earned Rookie of the Year Titles in ASA included NASCAR Superstar Jimmy Johnson, Ken Lund, Ted Musgrave, Scott Hansen, Steve Holzhausen, Steve Carlson, Ricky Johnson and David Stremme. Other drivers who benefitted from having Lettow call the shots for them in ASA included Bobby Dotter, Mark Dismore, Jr. and Toby Porter.
Lettow won the 1996 ASA National Tour Championship as the crew chief for Tony Raines. He also guided WalTom Racing in the ASA Late Model Series, winning the Challenge Division championship in 2005 with driver Stephen Leicht and in 2006 with Kelly Bires. TD Racing Development purchased the team, and with Lettow calling the shots from the same shop, won the 2007 championship with Travis Dassow.
Lettow will long be remembered for his quiet, studious approach to every aspect of what he did. Nothing too trick, nothing too elaborate, but always well-prepared and fast. Lettow was universally respected and revered by his competitors. He turned down several offers to move to Charlotte and work in NASCAR, to stay in Wisconsin, to enjoy fishing and time with his family when not racing.
"I am grateful that Howie’s family has allowed us to have his name on this award to remind us all of this exceptional man,” stated Chas Howe of Howe Racing. “Howie represented the finest character that racing has ever had to offer. I cannot think of anyone that could better symbolize what a young driver should strive to be. He was the best at his trade while remaining humble and genuine. Howie had a quiet confidence that let him listen to everyone and think for himself."
The Howie Lettow Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Howe Racing winner will receive their choice of a bare Howe Late Model Chassis or a $1000 cash bonus from Howe Racing. The rookie of the year will also receive a jacket from Howe Racing. Howe Racing will award the second place finisher in rookie points with a $100 Product Certificate and the third place finisher with a $50 Product Certificate.
The Howe Racing Rookie Award Program will also include the Howe Racing Rookie of the Race Award, which will consist of a $100 cash bonus awarded to the highest finishing registered rookie at each JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts event during the 2011 season. Howe Racing will also be a Contingency Award Sponsor with the series, awarding the seventh and 12th place finishers at each event with $50 Product Certificates and the seventh and 12th place finishers in final series points will receive $100 Product Certificates.
Howe Racing Enterprises was founded in 1971 by legendary Mid-west racer Ed Howe. Located today in a 45,000 square foot building in Beaverton, Michigan, the company is in the capable hands of his son, Howe Racing President Chas Howe. Howe Racing sells serious race products including Chassis’s, Radiators, Steering Components, Suspension Components, Cock Pit Equipment, Braking and Exhaust Components that will help racers get to victory lane. By choosing Howe Racing products, racers are equipped with products that have been race-tested, that can be bought with confidence. Howe Racing is also a distributor for other leading racing products including Five Star Racecar Bodies, Quarter Master, Aeroquip, ATL Fuel Cells, Penske Shocks, Pro Shocks, Bassett Racing Wheels, AP Racing products and Hawk Performance products. Additional information on Howe Racing is available at www.howeracing.com or contact them toll free at 888-484-3946.
Drivers interested in registering for the Howe Racing Rookie Award Program should contact Glenn Luckett at the CRA office prior to the season opening event on April 23rd at Toledo Speedway. To be considered, a driver must have very limited experience behind the wheel of a late model and cannot have won any events driving a late model. More information on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts is available at www.craracing.net.