DETROIT (October 10, 2001) - Patrick Carpentier, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan of the FedEx Championship Series, Dan Wheldon of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship, and David Rutledge of the Toyota Atlantic Championship have been nominated as...
DETROIT (October 10, 2001) - Patrick Carpentier, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan of the FedEx Championship Series, Dan Wheldon of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship, and David Rutledge of the Toyota Atlantic Championship have been nominated as the finalists for the second annual Greg Moore Legacy Award.
The award, which honors the Canadian star and fan favorite who lost his life in the 1999 season finale, reflects the driver who best typifies Moore's legacy of outstanding talent on track as well as displaying a dynamic personality with fans, media and within the CART community. It is designed to encompass candidates from the FedEx Championship Series as well as its two development series, the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and Toyota Atlantic Championship. There is a minimum of one driver from each series represented for the award.
The winner will be announced at the CART FedEx Championship Series Awards Banquet on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Helio Castroneves of Marlboro Team Penske captured the inaugural award last season.
Carpentier, a 30-year-old Canadian with Player's Forsythe Racing, is in the midst of the most successful season of his five-year career. He earned his first career triumph at Michigan Speedway and has reached the podium in three other events. He was runnerup at Chicago, and third at Mid-Ohio and Germany. He currently is seventh in the FedEx Championship Series title race with 86 points and looking to finish among the top 10 for the first time in his career.
Franchitti, a 28-year-old Scot in his fifth season, is currently fifth in the FedEx Series championship with 105 points for Team KOOL Green. He captured the seventh win of his career at Cleveland and added runner-up finishes at Detroit, Michigan and Houston. Franchitti, a 1999 CART All Star, is pursuing his third top-three finish in the championship in the last four seasons.
Kanaan, a 26-year-old Brazilian in his fourth season, currently ranks ninth in the FedEx Series championship with 78 points for Mo Nunn Racing. He landed the second pole of his career at Chicago and has a season-best finish of third at Japan. He also has finished eighth or better in eight other events. He is looking to match or better his career-best finish of ninth in the championship, which occurred his rookie year in 1998.
Weldon, a 23-year-old Englishman with PacWest Lights, is enjoying an outstanding rookie campaign in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship. He is currently riding a two-race win streak - Gateway and Road Atlanta - and is tied for second in the championship with 123 points. He also added podiums at Long Beach (2nd), Mid-Ohio (2nd) and Milwaukee (3rd).
Rutledge, a 24-year-old Canadian with Lynx Racing, is currently second in the Toyota Atlantic Championship with 127 points. He has three wins - Long Beach, Montreal and Toronto - and each of those have come from the pole. He also has added podium finishes at Milwaukee, Trois-Rivieres and Houston.
The voting committee consists of the three series presidents, Joe Heitzler of the FedEx Championship Series, Roger Bailey of Dayton Indy Lights and Vicki O'Connor of Toyota Atlantic; Player's Forsythe Racing owner Gerald Forsythe; Bob Bexon, President and CEO of Imperial Tobacco Canada, Ltd.; Championship Drivers Association President Mauricio Gugelmin; and two annually rotating members of the media, one representing the print side and the other broadcast. This year's media representatives are Gordon Kirby of Autosport and ABC/ESPN race co-host Parker Johnstone.
Moore, the 24-year-old rising star from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, made his initial impact in Indy Lights, where he was the record-setting series champion in 1995. He registered a record 10 wins, including a record five in a row, and seven poles in 12 events. He spent three seasons in Indy Lights (1993-95) where he left as the series leader in career wins with 13.
He graduated to the FedEx Championship Series in 1996 with Player's Forsythe Racing and recorded five wins and five poles in his four-year career. He became the youngest driver to win an event in CART history when he notched his first career triumph at Milwaukee at the age of 22 years, 1 month and 10 days. He also finished among the top 10 in the series championship every season, including a career-best fifth in 1998.
Moore's Champ Car No. 99 was retired by CART, Dayton Indy Lights and Toyota Atlantic in November of 1999 to honor his memory.