The Frank Palumbo Memorial Trophy, presented by SterUclean Group, Morizzi Civil, and Solar Shine Australia, will not only appropriately remember a drag racing great, but also offer $5000 in additional prize money for the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship Series bracket, as well as a suite of impressive custom-made trophies.
Frank passed away on the 2nd of November in 2018 following a battle with brain cancer. That year, the East Coast Nationals were renamed in his honour.
“Dad dedicated a lot of time, money and passion to Australian drag racing, and the enthusiasm we have seen for this concept five years after his passing goes to show just how much he meant to the sport and those within it,” Ronnie Palumbo, Pro Slammer racer and son of Frank, said.
“Just how keen everyone has been to throw their support behind it has been fantastic and very moving – it really shows us how much he is missed.
“His impact on the sport is hard to put into words. He was a passionate racer, he was a member of Sydney Dragway, and he quite simply lived and breathed drag racing – whether that meant missing weddings, christenings, and the like, it was always all about drag racing, all the time.
“If there was ever anything he could do for the sport, it was never any question, he would just do it. He would be so pleased to see the money from the sponsorship of his trophy going to the racers and to see how it has brought sponsors to the sport. He would be just rapt – we certainly are.”
The winner of the Top Sportsman Frank Palumbo Memorial Trophy at the Sydney Nationals will receive $4000 on top of the NDRC prize money, as well as a custom trophy valued at $400 which has been donated by Solar Shine Australia.
The Top Sportsman runner-up will receive an additional $500 in prize money plus a custom trophy from Potenza Parts Art. In addition, the Top Sportsman racer who sets the best reaction time will receive $500 and a custom trophy from Potenza Parts Art.
All Top Sportsman competitors at the Sydney Nationals will carry special Frank Palumbo Memorial Trophy stickers on each side of their vehicle.
“The NDRC is so pleased to get behind the Frank Palumbo Memorial Trophy,” NDRC Co-Founder, Andy Lopez, said.
“We hope to see as many people as possible get behind the Top Sportsman bracket for the Sydney Nationals – let’s get those cars out of the garages and onto the track to make the best possible show we can in honour of an awesome man who gave so much to the sport and to the Top Sportsman class.”
The prize money and custom trophy package represents a large evolution from the first Frank Palumbo Memorial Trophy, which was run in 2022 and won by Steve Fowler.
“Since the East Coast Nationals were named in his honour in 2018, we hadn’t done anything formal since, although we had wanted to,” Ronnie Palumbo said.
“Then last year we decided as a family to put some cash together ourselves, offering $500 and a $100 Bunnings gift voucher with an off-the-shelf trophy, to create the first Frank Palumbo Memorial Trophy race in Top Sportsman at last year’s East Coast Nationals.
“To now have this concept taken to a whole new level thanks to the amazing support of the drag racing community, valued sponsors and the NDRC is just incredible and means so much to our entire family. We can’t wait to see how this will grow as an annual memorial race.”
For those who want to get involved with supporting the Frank Palumbo Memorial Trophy, there is still time. Contact [email protected] for more information.
As well as the Frank Palumbo Memorial Trophy, the Sydney Nationals at Sydney Dragway across October 27 and 28 will host the opening round of the NDRC Nitro Funny Car Championship, as well as racing from Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock and Pro Mod, and the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship categories including Super Comp, Performance Bike, Extreme Bike, Supercharged Outlaws, Super Sedan, Modified Eliminator, Modified Bike, Super Street, Real Street, Junior Dragster and Junior Bike. Competitor entries and spectator tickets are on sale now at www.ndrc.tv
Before the Sydney Nationals fire up, the NDRC and the Aeroflow National Sportsman Series will head to Benaraby Dragway (October 7) and Dragway at The Bend (Spring Nationals – October 21/22). For event information, visit www.ndrc.tv