DETROIT (October 5, 2000) - Helio Castroneves and Roberto Moreno of the FedEx Championship Series, Casey Mears and rookie Townsend Bell of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship, and Andrew Bordin of the Toyota Atlantic Championship have been nominated as the finalists for the inaugural 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.
The winner will be announced at the CART FedEx Championship Series Awards Banquet on Monday, Oct. 30 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.
Castroneves, a 25-year-old Brazilian, is enjoying a breakout season in his third season overall and first with Marlboro Team Penske. He registered the first victories of his career - winning at Detroit, Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca, respectively - as well as pushing his career pole position total to four with top spots at Portland, Toronto and Laguna Seca this season. He ranks eighth in the FedEx Series championship race.
Moreno, a 41-year-old Brazilian, has established several career firsts in his inaugural season for Patrick Racing and seventh overall. He captured the first pole and victory of his career when he went flag-to-flag at Cleveland. He has added four other podium finishes to help him to a third-place standing in the championship race. Moreno established another career first when he led the championship for the first time, leading from Round 8 through Round 11.
Mears, the 22-year-old nephew of legendary Rick Mears from Bakersfield, Calif., is third in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship, trailing leader Scott Dixon by five points with the season finale at California Speedway remaining. Mears, in his third full season and second for Dorricott Racing, earned his first career pole at Laguna Seca and followed with his first career victory - also from the pole - at Houston.
Bell, a 25-year-old from Costa Mesa, Calif., clinched the rookie-of-the-year honors at Houston and stands second in the championship race, 134-130, with a race remaining. He has two wins and two poles in 11 starts for Dorricott Racing. Bell's wins came at Mid-Ohio and Gateway, and his pole positions at Gateway and Portland.
Andrew Bordin, a 24-year-old from Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, finished third in the Toyota Atlantic Championship for PPI Motorsports in his third season in the series. He collected two wins and two poles in 12 starts. Both wins came from the pole, going flag-to-flag at Toronto and the season finale in Houston.
The award 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 voting committee consists of the three series presidents, Bobby Rahal 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; former CART Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach and two annually rotating members of the media, one representing the print side and the other broadcast. This year's media representatives are Robin Miller of the Indianapolis Star-News and Paul Page of ABC-TV.
Moore Legacy Award Finalists
A non-voting advisory panel consisting of Rena Shanaman, CART Vice President of Client Relations; Mike Zizzo, CART Group Manager of Competition Public Relations; and Adam Saal, Indy Lights Public Relations Director, assists the panel.
Moore, the 24-year-old 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.