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Chris Economaki
Editor/Publisher, National Speed Sport News
Dr. Dick Berggren
Executive editor, Speedway Illustrated
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TV and Radio Broadcaster
Bob Jenkins,
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Ken Squier
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Steve Ballard
Writer, Indianapolis Star
Lewis Franck
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Steve Waid
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TV Broadcaster, Speed Channel
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Detroit Free Press
Nate Ryan
Writer, USA Today
Terry Blount
Writer, ESPN.com
Dustin Long
Writer, Landmark Newspapers,/ National Motorsports Press Association President
Tom Jensen
Senior NASCAR Editor, SpeedTV.com
Jenna Fryer
Motorsports Writer, The Associated Press
Home » Driver of the Year

Trucker Hornaday Wins Third-Quarter Award

Lewis Franck | , RacinToday.com Friday, September 25 2009
Hornaday becomes first trucker to win a Driver Of The Year award.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Hornaday becomes first trucker to win a Driver Of The Year award. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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: barrydoty@yahoo.com.

Lewis Franck | , RacinToday.com Friday, September 25 2009
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Quotes

“There is no higher compliment on your driving. Of all the awards, this one is special. The criteria go directly to your performance. It carries an awful lot of prestige.”
– Mario Andretti

“It’s an honor to be named Driver of the Year ... It’s something I take a lot of pride in, especially since one of the guys I’ve always looked up to in racing, A.J. Foyt, won this award back in 1975."
– Tony Stewart

“I said it in December, and I’ll say it again – this award is dedicated to our Army Strong soldiers Their teamwork and passion are inspiring and a huge part of our drive to be successful.”
-Tony Schumacher.

Previous Recipients

2011-Tony Stewart
2010-Jimmie Johnson
2009-Jimmie Johnson
2008-Tony Schumacher
2007-Jimmie Johnson
2006-Jimmie Johnson
2005-Tony Stewart
2004-Greg Anderson
2003-Ryan Newman
2002-Cristiano da Matta
2001-Jeff Gordon
2000-Bobby Labonte
1999-Dale Jarrett
1998-Jeff Gordon
1997-Jeff Gordon
1996-John Force
1995-Jeff Gordon
1994-Dale Earnhardt
1993-Nigel Mansell
1992-Bobby Rahal
1991-Michael Andretti
1990-Al Unser, Jr.
1989-Emerson Fittipaldi
1988-Bill Elliott
1987-Dale Earnhardt
1986-Bobby Rahal
1985-Bill Elliott
1984-Mario Andretti
1983-Bobby Rahal
1982-Darrell Waltrip
1981-Darrell Waltrip
1980-Johnny Rutherford
1979-Darrell Waltrip
1978-Mario Andretti
1977-Cale Yarborough
1976-David Pearson
1975-A.J. Foyt
1974-Bobby Unser
1973-David Pearson
1972-Bobby Allison
1971-Richard Petty
1970-Al Unser, Sr.
1969-Lee Roy Yarbrough
1968-Mark Donohue
1967-Mario Andretti