HOUSTON, Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Submitting entries that showcased an enduring passion for all things automotive last fall, enthusiasts from across the country competed in the Shell V-Power ® " Ultimate Enthusiast" Contest. With an eye toward originality of the entrants' story, photo, and true demonstration of the contests' theme, the judges narrowed down the entries to the top three finalists, Paul Gabriel of El Cajon, Calif., Harold Craige of New Bern, N.C. and Ross Luzzader of Hyde Park, Utah.
Gabriel, a self-proclaimed lover of cars of all makes and models, has shared his passion with his two sons who accompany him to car shows, rallies, gatherings and also work with him on father-son restoration projects. "Paul has been a true inspiration to his son Nico, as he taught him the value of a dollar and encouraged Nico to save from a young age," said Roger Penske, founder and chairman of the Penske Corporation. "This has allowed Nico the opportunity to restore his own car and become a future 'Ultimate Enthusiast'!"
In his entry, Craige characterizes himself as an "old man who feels privileged to have lived and participated in the wonderful world of automobiles." In reviewing his submission, Tony Marini, executive director of Hot August Nights, marveled at the lifelong enthusiast's automotive passion: "When it comes to being an 'Ultimate Enthusiast' I would say Harold fits the bill. His love for automobiles started when he was a young boy and as he has grown, his love for cars has grown."Motorsports enthusiast Luzzader said that if money were no object, his love for sports car endurance racing would lead him to ownership of an automotive racing team, with duties as both driver and owner. "Being a driver and a team owner are both very challenging and each position would demand the most out of Ross," noted Penske. "Ross has done his due diligence in researching his chosen field and I am sure he would work hard to become a successful driver/owner."