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Gordon Earns First Quarter DOTY Award

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Wednesday, April 29 2009

Jeff Gordon named winner of Driver of the Year Award for first quarter.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Gordon named winner of Driver of the Year Award for first quarter. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

RacinToday.com

Jeff Gordon’s fast start, and return to victory lane, turned the tide as he was voted first quarter Driver of the Year 2009.

Gordon, a four-time NASCAR champion and the only four-time winner of the Driver of the Year Award, led the Sprint Cup standings as of the date of this year’s first ballot.

Although he won a single event, the Samsung 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway, his early performance impressed the elite panel of voters as he narrowly beat Kyle Busch 111-107 in the vote.

Gordon, who drives for Hendrick Motorsports, is a perennial favorite with the media because of his insight into the sport and his knack for saying the right thing at the right time.

“We’ve had a strong start to the season and it was nice to get that win in Texas,” said Gordon. “While it’s the ‘Driver of the Year’ award, the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet team gets a lot of the credit. They have given me strong cars every weekend and the pit crew has been solid.”

Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation, said “on or off the track Jeff is a true champion who exemplifies all the virtues of a great sports figure.”

In the voting Gordon took eight first-place ballots and he was on every ballot. But still Kyle Busch, who drives the No.18 M & M’s Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, was a close second-place only four points behind Gordon. He received seven first-place votes.

Ron Capps, who drives for Don Schumacher in the NHRA PowerAde drag racing series, scored one first place vote and was third in the voting with 66 points.

Donnie Schatz and Mark Martin each scored one first-place vote

A total of 17 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting.

In its’ 42nd year, the Driver of the Year Award title is unique. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. determine the winner.  In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Gordon will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at a later date.

President of the DRIVER OF THE YEAR Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Wednesday, April 29 2009
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