SPEEDWAY, IN (Dec. 4, 2023) — The NASCAR Youth Series Presented by Cook Out and MPI
Wheels, one of the leading designers and manufacturers of state of the art steering wheels used
in various forms of motorsports, announced the three finalists for the inaugural MPI “Inspiring
Driver of the Year” award. The winner will be announced Friday, Dec. 8 at the NASCAR Youth
Series awards banquet.
This award recognizes a driver that was nominated by a local, regional or national club official.
To be considered, a driver must have displayed the five core values of DRIVE: Determination,
Respect, Integrity, Volunteer, Extraordinary. These values must have been displayed on and off
the track and in his/her school and community.
The three finalists are: Bill Smith of Seguin, TX., Jeffry Strawley of Pottstown, Pa., and Emma
Chorney of Langley, BC, Canada.
Bill, 13, known locally as Rowdy Bill, was nominated by his home club - Lone
Star QMA. Rowdy Bill is known as a mentor to the younger racers at Lone Star
QMA, volunteers to help before and after a race with various club duties and
when involved in an on-track incident always makes sure all other drivers are ok
and apologizes first if the incident was his fault. He has been racing quarter
midgets since the age of 9. Away from the race track, Rowdy Bill competes in the
4-H Ag Mechanics program and enjoys hunting, fishing and dirt biking.
Emma, 16, is a member of both I-5 QMC and Langley QMC and was nominated
by I-5. She has always shown respect to her competitors, adults and race
officials. Emma has been racing since she was 5. She volunteers at the track
whenever help is needed and has even sang the American and Canadian
national anthems at several racing events over the years. She is a mentor to
several young drivers at the track. Emma won the 2023 Heavy Honda Western
Series regional championship.
Jeffry was nominated by the Northeast Titan Quarter Midget Series and is a
member of Honeybrook Speedway (DQMRC). This 16-year-old is known as a
friend to everyone at the track. He’s a role model for all of the younger drivers
and his competitors. Throughout this season, Jeffry went above and beyond
during regional events; from taking the initiative to make sure he and his fellow
heavy drivers were weighed, in the staging area to cheer on other drivers and
even worked all night on his car to offer it up to a fellow driver to race when that
driver’s car was unable to compete.
In addition to their involvement in the NASCAR Youth Series, MPI sponsored the 2023 Rookie
of the Year awards for the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, USAC NOS
Energy Drink Midget National Championship and the USAC Silver Crown National
MPI Wheels, located in Mooresville, N.C., was founded in 2009 by Max and Tatiana Papis. Both Max and Tatiana come from a rich history of motorsports as Max began racing professionally at 12 years old and has raced at the highest levels of motorsports from Formula 1, Champ Cars, IndyCar, IMSA and all three of NASCAR’s elite touring divisions including the premier class of Cup competitions. Tatiana is the daughter of famed open-wheel champion Emerson Fittipaldi. For more information on MPI, visit www.maxpapisinc.com.
NASCAR Youth Series presented by COOKOUT