Voting Panel

Chris Economaki
Editor/Publisher, National Speed Sport News
Dr. Dick Berggren
Executive editor, Speedway Illustrated
Eli Gold
TV and Radio Broadcaster
Bob Jenkins,
TV Broadcaster
Ken Squier
TV Broadcaster
Steve Ballard
Writer, Indianapolis Star
Lewis Franck
Correspondent for Reuters
Mike Harris
Motorsports Editor, AP
Ed Hinton
Writer, ESPN.COM
John Sturbin
Senior Writer, RacinToday.com
Mike Vega
Writer, Boston Globe
Steve Waid
Vice President of Editorial Development, NASCAR Scene
Jim Pedley
Managing Editor, RacinToday.com
Bob Varsha
TV Broadcaster, Speed Channel
Mike Brudenell
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, NASCAR - Sprint Cup Series

Keselowski Voted Driver Of Year For Third Quarter

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Thursday, September 22 2011

Brad Keselowski is presented with his Driver of the Year Award for the third quarter of the 2011 season by panel members Ed Hinton of ESPN.com, Lewis Franck of Reuters, Mike Harris of RacinToday.com and Michael Vega of the Boston Globe. (Photo by Nigel Kinrade)

RacinToday.com

NASCAR’s Brad Keselowski emerged from a summer of mettle-testing pain to top balloting in third quarter Driver of the Year voting, leading a unique 1-2 sweep for team-owner Roger Penske.

Keselowski, who drives for Penske’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, earned 10 first-place ballots and 117 points under the DOTY voting system. Meanwhile, Will Power _a Penske teammate and championship leader in the IZOD IndyCar Series _ registered five first-place votes and 108 points.

The results marked the first time in the DOTY award’s 45-year history that one team-owner had two drivers from different series finish 1-2 in the voting.

“To have Penske Racing finish 1-2 in the third quarter Driver of the Year award voting is a pretty special feat for everyone back at the shop,” said Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger. “It’s an honor to accept this award on behalf of Penske Racing and everyone on this team. We’re not finished here. We want to be the team holding the trophy after Homestead.”

Penske Racing prepares its NASCAR and IndyCar teams at the same facilities in Mooresville, N.C.

The third quarter included 10 Cup races up to and including the event at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 10, when the 12-driver field for the Chase for the Sprint Cup was finalized. During that span, Keselowski recorded two wins, four top-five and seven top-12 finishes.

Keselowski’s victory at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 and a runnerup result on the road-course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on Aug. 15 were recorded within days of breaking his left ankle during a test session at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., on Aug. 3. Keselowski also finished third at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21 and won on Bristol Motor Speedway’s daunting half-mile on Aug. 27.

Combined with an earlier victory, Keselowski secured one of two wild card spots for the Chase, NASCAR’s 10-race postseason that began at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on Monday.

Racing in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series, Keselowski won at Kentucky Speedway on July 8 and at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis on July 30. A total of 11 NNS events were contested during the quarter.

“It’s nice to be recognized when you have put in a lot of hard work, and this team has worked as hard as any team that I’ve been around,” said Keselowski, 27, a native of Rochester Hills, Mich. “The driver puts in five percent of the effort, but gets 95 percent of the credit. The credit should go to (crew chief) Paul Wolfe and everyone on this team that didn’t settle for how we ran earlier in the year. As a result we now have three (Cup) wins, a spot in the Chase for the Championship and the third quarter Driver of the Year award.”

Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Honda, won three of six IndyCar Series events contested during the quarter _ on the Streets of Edmonton on July 24; on the natural terrain Infineon Raceway layout in Sonoma, Calif., on Aug. 28 and the new Streets of Baltimore circuit on Sept. 4.

A 30-year-old native of Australia, Power is locked in a battle with three-time/reigning IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2011 driver’s title.

Versatile NASCAR star Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing, the first quarter DOTY winner, received two first-place votes and was third overall with 67 points.

Greg Anderson, NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock ace and 2003 Driver of the Year, earned one first-place vote. Another first-place vote went to NASCAR’s Kevin Harvick _ who exited Chicagoland Speedway as the Chase points-leader.

Eighteen drivers were recognized during third quarter voting by a nationwide panel of 21 motorsports journalists. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis, while the overall DOTY vote is conducted via secret ballot at year’s end.

Chase contender Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing was voted second quarter DOTY winner.

Keselowski will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch during ceremonies at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., this weekend.

Barry Schmoyer, Florida-based businessman and sportsman, is president of the Driver of the Year Foundation. Information on the award may be obtained from the DOTY Foundation at P.O. Box 49827, Sarasota, Fla., 34230; by calling (941) 379-2318 or email at barrydoty@yahoo.com.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Thursday, September 22 2011
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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