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,
Mike Vega
Writer, Boston Globe
Steve Waid
Vice President of Editorial Development, NASCAR Scene
Jim Pedley
Managing Editor,
Bob Varsha
TV Broadcaster, Speed Channel
Mike Brudenell
Detroit Free Press
Nate Ryan
Writer, USA Today
Terry Blount
Dustin Long
Writer, Landmark Newspapers,/ National Motorsports Press Association President
Tom Jensen
Senior NASCAR Editor,
Jenna Fryer
Motorsports Writer, The Associated Press
Home » Driver of the Year

Castroneves Wins Second Quarter DOTY Vote

| , Monday, July 13 2009
IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves is presented with his trophy for winning the second quarter Driver of the Year award by panelist Lewis Franck. The presentation was made  Friday in Toronto, site of this weekend's race.

IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves is presented with his trophy for winning the second quarter Driver of the Year award by panelist Lewis Franck. The presentation was made Friday in Toronto, site of this weekend's race. (©2009, Michael L. Levitt, USA LAT Photographic)

By Lewis Franck
Driver of the Year

Indianapolis 500-winner Helio Castroneves won a hotly-contested vote for the 2009 second-quarter DRIVER OF THE YEAR Award.

The native Brazilian, who won his third Indy 500 – from the pole – in May, narrowly edged NASCAR’s Tony Stewart, who is the co-owner and a driver for Stewart Haas Racing. The vote was 119-116 points in Castroneves’s favor.

It was the closest margin of victory since Stewart lost the overall award in a tie-breaker in 2002.

Castroneves, who drives a Team Penske Racing Dallara-Honda in the IndyCar series, backed up the Indy 500 win with a victory at Texas Motor Speedway in the quarter, which ended on June 21.

2009 IRL TorontoThe ebullient Castroneves, also known as Spiderman for his fence-climbing antics after his victories, said, “I’m really honored with the prestige to be included in such an incredible group of drivers.”

He continued, “honestly it’s an honor to be in an amazing group. Mark Martin is an incredible driver – nothing against Tony Stewart – I want to be like him (Martin) when I grow up.”

Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation, said “ I’m amazed at the coincidence that Tony Stewart was beaten again in such a close vote and that Stewart also is a fence-climber after a race win.”

In the voting Castroneves took eight first-place votes and was on every ballot. Stewart, who drives the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet, also garnered eight first-place votes.

The 50-year old Martin, who drives for No. 5 Kelloggs Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series was third in the voting with 42 points.

Kyle Busch received one first-place ballot.

A total of 19 drivers scored points in the first-quarter voting.

In its’ 42nd year, the DRIVER OF THE YEAR title is unique and the oldest award of its’ type. A panel of 20 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. Castroneves received a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch.

“I want to thank my Penske team,” he said. “Without them I couldn’t do what I’m doing. And I want to thank my loyal fans.” is the official news outlet of DRIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD PROGRAM.

Schmoyer is a businessman and sportsman living in 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 and email:

| , Monday, July 13 2009


  • Jim Pedley says:

    Yes. We will have an online ballot set up as the next vote approaches. That is, soon. We also plan a discussion board on the candidates. Stay tuned.
    Jim Pedley

  • Kurt Templeton says:

    Nice additions to the voting panel. So do fans get to vote this year?


“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