Norma “Dusty” Brandel honoured for NASCAR coverage

A Practice race at the Daytona International Speedway, Thursday, June 29, 2017, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (John Raoux/AP Photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Longtime racing writer Norma "Dusty" Brandel has won the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR media excellence.

NASCAR officials made the announcement Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

Brandel has covered auto racing for more than six decades, becoming the first woman to report from inside the NASCAR garage when she covered her first race at Ontario Motor Speedway in 1972.

After starting her career in 1955 at the Hollywood Citizen-News, she worked at the San Fernando Sun and Valley View and Glendale News-Press. Her career also included several stints in press information at Southern California tracks, including Whiteman Stadium.

Brandel will be honoured during the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony in January and featured in an exhibit in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.

She was one of eight nominees for the Squier-Hall Award, which was created in 2012 and named after NASCAR broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall.