Established in 2016, the premier Lunniss Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Ron Malec, Car Chief of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet team for Hendrick Motorsports on Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race weekend.
The Brian Lunniss Lifetime Achievement Award is dedicated to the hardest working hands in racing - the unsung heroes of motorsports - those who possess exceptional drive and inspire the team to win. The Lunniss Award is reserved for mechanics in motorsports who demonstrate remarkable achievements during their career.
Malec was chosen as this year’s recipient in recognition of his outstanding achievements as a car chief in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™. Malec is the second individual to be recognized. The inaugural award, presented in 2016, was given to Brian Lunniss himself.
“He is a guy that wants to go out there and work and he doesn’t pull punches and he doesn’t hold grudges,” said Chad Knaus, Crew Chief of the No.48. “If you’re in a situation where you need to give somebody the ball, he’s the guy you’re giving it to.”
Malec’s passion for racing took form during his childhood. He and his brother RJ built and raced anything they could get parts for at the local junkyard growing up as kids. Many would say Ron Malec was destined to be the Car Chief of the No.48 with seven-time premier series champion driver Jimmie Johnson, and few would disagree that there’s a special connection unlike any other in the sport.
Johnson shared his sentiments regarding Malec stating, “Ron pursued this lifestyle out of his heart not because it can lead to something or lead to fame or lead to championship moments. Since I’ve been racing a fulltime schedule on the asphalt, Ron has been my head wrench - if you will - on all of my racecars.”
Brian Lunniss has dedicated his life to spinning wrenches and rolling out winning machines on race day. Brian created an atmosphere tuning for the likes of Donnie Hanson, Bob Hannah, Ricky Johnson, and Damon Bradshaw where he walked away with 11 championships from 1971 to 1997. His transition from two wheels to four first landed him in IndyCar as a suspension technician for Dan Gurney's All American Racers team. In 1999, Brian packed his tools and joined Joe Gibbs Racing where he won a NASCAR championship with Bobby Labonte in 2000.