DARLINGTON, S.C. – Chris Osborne, spotter for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Matt Kenseth, has been named the first quarter recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association’s Pocono Spirit Award.
The award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, as well as sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.
Osborne, who also works as a spotter for driver Daniel Suarez in NASCAR’s XFINITY Series (JGR) and the Camping World Truck Series (Kyle Busch Motorsports), suffered a compound fracture of his right leg when he and his family were hit head-on by another driver on Dec. 17, 2015.
Osborne’s wife Melissa and son Austin also suffered significant injuries.
Although he had originally hoped to return to his spotter duties when the season got underway at Daytona International Speedway in February, Osborne was not cleared to return to work until the series traveled to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in April for the Sprint Cup Series’ sixth points event.
Osborne told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that it had been “a lot of tough days and nights and healing,” prior to his Martinsville arrival. “The mindset was to get back at Daytona, but the physical part of it and the reality was, there just wasn’t enough healing time,” he said.
“Definitely good to have him back, not just from a selfish standpoint but from a performance standpoint as well … to see him get back and be able to do that was good,” Kenseth said following Osborne’s Martinsville return.
Osborne received approximately 80 percent of the votes cast by the NMPA membership. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson also received votes for the first-quarter award.
Members of the NMPA select quarterly recipients as well as an overall winner each year. The award is sponsored by Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and has been presented annually since 1992.