The late Mick Atholwood – a legend of the sport of drag racing in Australia – will be honoured at Willowbank Raceway’s Fuchs Winternationals with a special memorial trophy to be awarded to the Top Fuel winner.
Atholwood – who passed away in March of this year – became an icon in the sport through his decades of racing and involvement with the sport through his race engine business.
In his honour, the winner of the Top Fuel category at the Fuchs Winternationals will be awarded the Mick Atholwood Trophy – a silver cup featuring a badge echoing his well-known business logo and nickname. The perpetual trophy will be kept at Willowbank Raceway on display while the winner will be given a miniature replica to take home.
Mick’s son Mick Atholwood Junior said his father would be honoured and humbled by the move.
“So many people come and go through life, and it is just a real honour to see that Dad will be remembered,” said Atholwood Jr.
“Dad played a big part in drag racing in Australia, he was a pioneer for the sport, and it means a lot to me and to my family to see the introduction of the Mick Atholwood trophy in his memory.
“I think he would be so humbled, he was the kind of bloke that would shrug off praise, but I think he would be very honoured and affected in a big way by this.
“I can’t thank Steve Bettes and his family, Willowbank Raceway and ANDRA enough for making this happen. When Steve told me the plans for the trophy, I just couldn’t believe it – dad meant everything to us, he is a legend, but it is great to see how much he meant to everyone else as well.”
Atholwood Jr will be joined by his mum Diane, sister Michelle and brothers Ron, Jeff and Glen on track at Willowbank Raceway on Monday June 11 2012 for the awarding of the trophy to the Top Fuel Fuchs Winternationals winner.
“There will be quite a few of us there, my mum, brothers, sister and some extended family, to see the trophy awarded,” said Atholwood Jr.
“It will be pretty emotional on the day I think, it is one of those things, you think you are going okay and then you see a photo or you hear something and you just go to pieces.
“He was such a well-respected person, and as a father and a son, while we had the usual moments, we never had a big disagreement – he was my best mate as well as my father, and I am just so glad to be able to be there to see him honoured at Willowbank Raceway.
“While there will be a lot of emotion on the day, it will be good emotion – he was a great man, and I only wish I could fill his shoes.
“I really can’t thank the Bettes family and the extended drag racing family enough, for all of their support over the past few months, it has meant a lot to us.”