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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
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Senior Writer, RacinToday.com
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Writer, Boston Globe
Steve Waid
Vice President of Editorial Development, NASCAR Scene
Jim Pedley
Managing Editor, RacinToday.com
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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, INDYCAR, NASCAR - Sprint Cup Series, NHRA

Power Wins First-Quarter Driver Of The Year Award

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Tuesday, April 24 2012

Will Power jumped to a narrow win in first-quarter voting for the prestigious Driver of the Year Award.. (INDYCAR/LAT USA)

RacinToday.com

The IndyCar Series’ Will Power was named winner of the Driver of the Year panel’s first-quarter award, it was announced Tuesday morning.

Power edged NHRA Funny Car driver Robert Hight by a single point to earn the award, which goes to the top driver in United States-based racing series. It is voted upon by a panel of 21 racing-media members.

Power, who drives a Chevrolet-powered Dallara DW12 for Team Penske, has won two of the first three races on the 2012 schedule. He won on the Barber Motorsports Park road circuit in Alabama and on the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach’s street circuit.

The Long Beach victory was earned despite the fact that all teams using Chevrolet engines were penalized 10 spots on the starting grid.

“I think my guys feel very confident no matter where we start now that it’s always possible,” Power said after his most recent victory at the Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach, California.

The Australian driver also won the pole for the season-opening IndyCar Series race in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Power will head to Sao Paulo, Brazil for this weekend’s race with the series points lead.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by such an elite panel,” Power said of winning the first-quarter DOTY. “This award is a testament to how hard the Verizon Team Penske crew has worked this year and we hope to keep it going for the rest of the season.”

Power had eight first-place ballots and totaled 99 points under the Driver of the Year voting system.

Hight, who drives the Auto Club Mustang for John Force Racing, also recorded eight first-place votes and totaled 98 points.

“I don’t recall such a close quarterly vote,” Barry Schmoyer, president of the Driver of the Year Foundation, said.

Power won the third quarter in 2010 by two points, Schmoyer said.

There has only been one tie in DOTY history – in 2002 when Cristiano da Matta (then in Champ Car) took the annual title in a tie-breaker over NASCAR’s Tony Stewart based on points earned in the quarterly tallies.

Greg Biffle, who led the Sprint Cup Series in points for the quarter – which ended with his victory at Texas Motor Speedway – finished third with two first-place votes and 78 points.

A total of 16 drivers scored points in the third quarter voting.

In its’ 46th year, the Driver of the Year Award is unique. The panel of 21 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. Votes are held quarterly. A year-end vote determines the overall Driver of the Year.

Panelists vote for six drivers in quarterly voting and points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 basis.

Power will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at a race weekend at to be determined.

“I certainly take pride in winning this award and want to thank everyone on the panel,” Power added.

Schmoyer is a businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Fla.

Further 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.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Tuesday, April 24 2012
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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