American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association:
Racing press voting for 2002 Auto Racing All-America Team.
BURBANK, Calif - Ballots are in the mail to almost 300 members of the motorsports press to select the 12-driver 2002 Auto Racing All-America team.
Among those on the 2002 ballot are two former three-time Jerry Titus Award winners, John Force (1996, 1999, 2000) and Jeff Gordon (1995, 1998, 2001), plus the driver who has been All-American more than any other, Steve Kinser (19-times on the team, 14 as First Team). Also on the ballot seeking selection in one of six categories - Open Wheel, Stock Car, Road Racing, Drag Racing, Short Track and At Large - are 13 drivers who could be making their first-ever All-American appearance.
Members of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, have been sent their ballots to vote from among six drivers named in each category. Two from each category will be named to the first team, to be honored at the annual AARWBA banquet in January. The winner of the Jerry Titus Award will also be announced at the banquet. The Titus Award, much like college football's Heisman Trophy, honors the team's top driver - the one earning the most votes in the balloting regardless of category.
The balloting will also determine a second team of the drivers placing third and fourth in each category, and honorable mentions to all other drivers receiving at least 5 percent of the vote. AARWBA members have annually chosen an All-America Auto Racing Team since 1970.
The banquet is open to the public. Ticket information is available from AARWBA, 922 N. Pass Ave., Burbank, Calif. 91505, or call (818) 842-7005.
<pre> The drivers listed below are on the 2002 All-America ballot. Numbers in parentheses indicate previous times elected to first team/second team/honorable mention; *** indicates first time on ballot.
OPEN WHEEL RACING Patrick Carpentier (1/0/0) - Third in CART championship, two wins Helio Castroneves (0/1/0) - Won second straight Indy 500, IRL runner-up Cristiano da Matta (1/0/0) - CART champion, seven wins Gil de Ferran (2/1/0) - Third in IRL championship, two wins Sam Hornish (1/0/0) - IRL champion for second straight year, five wins Bruno Junquiera (***) - CART runner-up, two wins
STOCK CAR Kurt Busch (***) - Third in Winston Cup, four wins Jeff Gordon (8/1/0) - Fourth in Winston Cup, three wins Matt Kenseth (***) - Top winner (5) in Winston Cup, eighth in points Mark Martin (3/4/4) - Winston Cup runner-up, one win Ryan Newman (0/1/0) - Winston Cup rookie of the year, one win, sixth in points Tony Stewart (6/0/1) - Winston Cup champion, three wins, one truck series win
ROAD RACING Terry Borcheller (0/1/0) - Grand-Am SRP-II champ, 7 wins; 3 Grand-Am Cup wins Chris Dyson (***) - Grand-Am rookie of the year, SRP runner-up, five wins Ron Fellows (0/2/2) - American LeMans GTS champion, seven wins, won LeMans Tom Kristensen (***) - American LeMans LMP-900 champion, four wins, won LeMans Boris Said (***) - SCCA Trans-Am Champion, eight wins Didier Theys (0/1/1) - Grand-Am SRP champion, four wins
DRAG RACING Kenny Bernstein (7/1/3) - NHRA Top Fuel runner-up, four wins on retirement tour Jeg Coughlin Jr. (0/1/0) - NHRA Pro Stock champion, eight wins Larry Dixon (0/1/0) - NHRA Top Fuel champion, nine wins John Force (10/4/2) - Won 12th NHRA Funny Car title, eight wins (record now 106) Clay Millican (0/0/1) - IHRA Top Fuel champ (second straight), record 11 wins Tony Pedregon (***) - NHRA Funny Car runner-up, six wins
SHORT TRACK Greg Biffle (0/1/0) - NASCAR Busch Series champion, four wins Mike Bliss (0/1/0) - NASCAR Craftsman Truck champion, five wins Joey Clanton (***) - ASA champion, nine wins including five in a row Frank Kimmel (0/0/3) - Won fourth ARCA championship, 10 wins Steve Kinser (14/1/4) - World of Outlaws champion, 20 feature wins J.J. Yeley (***) - USAC Silver Crown champ, 2nd in Sprints & Midgets, 14 wins
AT LARGE Bill Auberlen (0/1/0) - Grand-Am GT class co-champion, five wins A.J. Foyt IV (***) - Inaugural IRL Infiniti Pro Series champion, four wins David Higgins (***) - SCCA Pro Rally champion, four wins Frank Manzo (0/0/1) - Won eighth NHRA Alky Funny Car championship, 10 wins Jimmy Rector (***) - IHRA Funny Car champion, seven wins Bryan Sellers (***) - SCCA Formula Ford 2000 Zetec champion, eight wins