Trucker Hornaday Wins Third-Quarter Award
By Lewis Franck
Driver of The Year Award
Ron Hornaday Jr., proved that age is no barrier as the 51-year-old was voted for the third-quarter winner of the Driver Of The Year award.
Hornaday, who drives in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, was named on more ballots than any other driver who was considered for the honor.
He easily beat closest rival, Ryan Briscoe of the IndyCar Series. Hornaday amassed 99 points to 82 for Briscoe. It was the first time that a driver from the truck series won the quarterly voting.
Hornaday, who drove the No. 33 KHI (Kevin Harvick Inc.) Chevrolet Silverado, had five consecutive victories and was driving-points leader in the quarter ending Sept. 12th.
“This is a very big honor,” Hornaday said. “It’s pretty cool to be the one chosen out of so many candidates. There are a lot of great race car drivers throughout all the series that are eligible for this award.
“This has been an amazing year in the truck series for myself and the No. 33 team. I have to thank Kevin and DeLana (Harvick) for always giving me the best equipment and an opportunity to win week in and week out.”
Harvick, the 2007 Daytona 500 winning driver, said, “For Ron Hornaday, a full time truck series competitor, to win third quarter Driver of the Year says a lot for what he and his team have accomplished this season.
“Winning five consecutive races was truly an amazing achievement, as well as being in contention for his fourth series championship, when most guys arguably are at an age where they are considering retirement. He just seems to get better with age, like a fine wine. I think all of these factors combined really put his incredible season into perspective.”
Barry Schmoyer, president of the Driver of the Year Foundation, said, “What more can you add? I cannot recall someone of Ron’s age, running exclusively in the truck series, being a winner of this award. It confirms my pride in the panel to recognize the best drivers.”
In the voting, Hornaday took four first-place votes. Australia’s Briscoe, who drives the Penske Racing Dallara/Honda, also had four first-place votes.
NHRA Top Fuel driver Antron Brown was third in the voting with two first place votes and 63 points. Kyle Busch, who races in all three of the top NASCAR series, had three first-place votes and finished fourth with 54 points.
Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Donny Schatz and Mark Martin also received one first-place ballot.
A total of 18 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting.
In its’ 42nd year, the Driver of the Year award is unique and the oldest award of its type. A panel of 20 leading journalists from across the U.S. determines the winner.
In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 basis. Hornaday will receive a trophy and be presented with a Tissot wristwatch.
“We are a tight group and we work very hard. I’m very honored and cannot thank my team, Kevin and DeLana and all of our sponsors enough. This is really awesome” said Hornaday.
Information on the award may be obtained from Driver of the Year Foundation, PO Box 49827, Sarasota, Florida 34230 or from (941) 379-2318 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.No Comment