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“World's Hottest Athlete", Ashley Force, to Receive 2008 "Female Athlete of the Year Award" at Jim Murray Memorial Foundation Awards Dinner

NHRA Funny Car Rookie-of-the-Year one of six honorees at JMMF 10th Anniversary gala

October 2, 2008

LOS ANGELES [October 2, 2008] – On Thursday, October 30, 2008, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Ashley Force will receive the 2008 Female Athlete of the Year Award from the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation (JMMF) at its Tenth Anniversary “Tribute to Living Legends of Sports and Media” Awards Dinner.

Ashley Force, the 25-year-old daughter of drag racing icon John Force, showed enough promise at the wheel of her 8,000 horsepower Castrol GTX® Ford Mustang to win the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Road to the Future Award as the 2007 Rookie-of-the-Year in the NHRA POWERade pro series.

On April 27, 2008, Force earned her first ever NHRA professional win, defeating her father in the final round, and becoming the first woman to earn a win in the Funny Car class at the NHRA Summit Southern Nationals held at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia.

Other honorees include 2008 “Great Ones” Award recipient, Olympic gold medalist and boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard; Sportswriter of the Year Award recipient; Los Angeles Times sports columnist Helene Elliott, the first woman to be inducted into the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame (2005); and Howard Bingham, legendary sports photographer whose works have been published in magazines, books and periodicals including: Life, Look, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, People, Ebony, TASCHEN, and others.

“We are very excited about our line-up of honorees on this 10th anniversary event,” said Linda McCoy-Murray, President & Founder of the JMMF. “Each honoree is deserving of an award that bears Jim Murray’s name.”

The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation was established in 1998 by McCoy-Murray. As of 2008, the JMMF has awarded 63 journalism scholarships totaling $332,500.00.

The 2008 scholarship winners are Kyle Austin, Syracuse University; Kyle Goon, University of Maryland; Ryan Haney, Trinity College-Hartford; Alex Herbach, University of Southern California; Bill Oram, University of Montana; Michael Sanserino, Indiana University; and Mark Viera, Penn State University.

For more information on the October 30 awards dinner, please email or visit the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation website at

Press inquiries please contact Bill McCoy/Bernstein Entertainment, 310-915-0404,

Bill McCoy
VP of Talent Relations
Bernstein Entertainment
12581 Venice Blvd, Ste. 204
Los Angeles, CA 90066

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