Power Wins 3rd Quarter DOTY
By Lewis Franck
Driver of the Year Panel
Open-wheel star Will Power’s breakout season now includes his selection as third quarter Driver of the Year by a narrow margin over NASCAR’s Kyle Busch.
Power, locked in a season-long battle for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship with Dario Franchitti, edged Busch by two points (109-107) in voting conducted by a national panel of 20 media members.
Power, 29, posted three victories and two second-place finishes during the quarter ending on Sept. 14. He received six first-place ballots and totaled 109 points under the DOTY’s scoring system which awards points on a declining 9, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 basis.
“It’s definitely an honor to be named as Driver of the Third Quarter by the top motorsports journalists,” said Power, driver of the No. 12 Dallara/Honda fielded by Team Penske. “We’ve had an awesome season at Verizon Team Penske and without a great third quarter we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in _ winner of the Mario Andretti Road Course Championship and battling for the overall IndyCar title.”
Power is in his first full season with the team headed by Roger Penske, who originally signed the Australian to sub for Helio Castroneves during his federal income tax trial last year. In August 2009, Power’s part-time job at Team Penske came to an abrupt halt when he slammed into the side of the stalled car of series rookie Nelson Philippe during practice at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Power suffered compression fractures in his back, and spent plenty of hospital sheet time pondering his future. Penske rewarded him with a fulltime ride, and Power since has emerged as IndyCar’s road-racing ace.
“I have to thank everyone at Team Penske and Verizon for all their hard work and support,” said Power, who will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch from DOTY. The fourth quarter vote is scheduled for Dec. 1, followed by the final/separate ballot for 2010 Driver of the Year.
Busch scored seven wins in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series en route to his runnerup position in the voting. Busch, of Joe Gibbs Racing, dominated Nationwide drivers during the quarter with four wins and a second and third en route to six first-place votes and 107 points.
Harvick, who drives for Richard Childress Racing in Cup, scored two victories during the quarter while leading the points chase. Harvick also posted a Truck Series victory to earn five first-place votes and 79 points.
Larry Dixon, the National Hot Rod Association’s points-leader in Top Fuel for Al-Anabi Racing, received two first-place votes and 73 points. Fifteen drivers scored points during the quarter.
In its 44th year, the Driver of the Year title is recognized as the oldest award for motorsports in North America. Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman from Sarasota, Fla., is president of the Driver of the Year Foundation. Further information on the award can be obtained by writing the foundation at PO Box 49827, Sarasota, Fla., 34230; by calling (941) 379-2318 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Lewis Franck is a member of the Driver Of The Year panelNo Comment