Carl Edwards Nabs Second Quarter DOTY Award
By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
Carl Edwards’ podium prowess in NASCAR’s Nationwide and Sprint Cup series this spring has earned the popular Roush Fenway Racing driver recognition as second quarter Driver of the Year.
Edwards posted three Nationwide Series victories and another three runner-up finishes in 10 events – and added a signature win in Cup’s non-points Sprint All-Star Race – during the period from April 16 to June 26.
Edwards received eight first-place ballots and totaled 98 points from the DOTY’s 21-member media panel to outscore NHRA Top Fuel ace Del Worsham, who drew five first-place votes and 88 points.
“It’s a huge honor and I’m very proud to have won the second quarter Driver of The Year,” said Edwards, who earned the fourth quarter DOTY in 2008. “Just to be up for an award like that is huge, so to win it is spectacular.
“The people who really have earned this are the guys that build these race cars and my team. We have turned things around from a year ago. I have to imagine we weren’t even in the running a year ago, so my sponsors Aflac, Fastenal, Ford, Scotts …the guys building these race cars, Doug Yates everyone, have come together and been working really well.”
Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Fastenal/Scotts Ford Mustang, posted Nationwide victories at
Nashville Superspeedway, Dover International Speedway and Michigan International Speedway – punctuating each with his trademark back-flip celebration. He also strung together consecutive runnerup results at Iowa Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway to dominate the series in which – per revised NASCAR rules – he is ineligible for the 2011 championship.
In Cup, Edwards won the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in his No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion; finished second at Darlington Raceway and third in the season’s first road-course event at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Eleven Cup races were run during the quarter, which ended with Edwards leading Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing by 25 points.
Worsham’s remarkable return to the NHRA’s Top Fuel ranks from Funny Car featured three victories, including two over Al-Anabi Racing teammate Larry Dixon, the three-time/reigning world champion. Driving the car Dixon wheeled to the 2010 championship, Worsham defeated Dixon in the second annual 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway at Charlotte, N.C., and at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas. Worsham also won the most recent national event at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
Worsham added a runnerup result to Spencer Massey at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., to end the seven-event quarter with a 61-point lead over the Texan. Massey posted back-to-back wins at Heartland Park Topeka and in Englishtown and added a runnerup finish at Norwalk in the Prestone/FRAM Dragster fielded by Don Schumacher Racing.
Dario Franchitti, the three-time/reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion, was third in the voting with 80 points and two first-place ballots. Franchitti, of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, won the first of two night races at Texas Motor Speedway last month and at The Milwaukee Mile. The Scotsman added a third-place result on the Streets of Long Beach during the seven-races contested in the period. Franchitti ended the quarter with a 20-point lead over Will Power of Team Penske.
In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. NASCAR’s Kyle Busch won the first quarter 2011 DOTY award in April with nine first-place votes and a 121-89 point margin over Edwards. Harvick placed third with 84 points. A total of 14 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting; 21 drivers were recognized during the second quarter. The final DOTY vote is determined by a secret ballot at season’s end. Five-time/reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports won the award for a record-tying fourth time in 2010. Jeff Gordon, Johnson’s HMS teammate, also is a four-time DOTY winner.
Edwards will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch later this season.
Barry Schmoyer is president of the award, which was first presented in 1967. Further information may be obtained from the DOTY Foundation, P.O. Box 49827, Sarasota, Fla., 34230; by calling (941) 379-2318 or via email at email@example.comNo Comment