BALLOTS ARE OUT FOR 2005 AUTO RACING ALL-AMERICA TEAM
BURBANK, Calif. - Voting has begun among almost 300 members of the motorsports press to select the 2005 Auto Racing All-America team.
Among those on the ballot are former Jerry Titus Award winners Tony Kanaan (2004) and John Force (1996, 1999, 2000, 2002), as well as the driver who has been All-American more than any other, Steve Kinser, who seeks his 23rd All-America selection. Also on the ballot seeking selection in one of seven categories -- Open Wheel, Stock Car, Road Racing, Drag Racing, Short Track, Touring Series and At Large -- are 28 drivers who could be making their first-ever All-American appearance.
The annual vote is conducted among the membership of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. Two nominees from each category will be named to the first team, to be honored at the annual AARWBA banquet Dec. 3 in Indianapolis. The winner of the Jerry Titus Award will also be announced at the banquet. The Titus Award 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, which also concludes AARWBA's 50th anniversary, is open to the public. Ticket information is available from AARWBA, 922 N. Pass Ave., Burbank, Calif. 91505, or call (818) 842-7005.
The drivers listed below are on the 2005 All-America ballot with information current prior to the Oct. 29-30 weekend. In endurance road racing, teammates sharing the same car are nominated as a single entity. Numbers in parentheses indicate previous times elected to first team/second team/honorable mention; *** indicates first time on ballot.
<pre> OPEN WHEEL Sebastien Bourdais (1/0/1) Champ Car champion, six victories Dario Franchitti (0/1/1) Fourth in IRL IndyCar Series, two victories Sam Hornish (2/1/0) Third in IndyCar, two victories Tony Kanaan (1/0/0) Second in IndyCar, two victories Oriol Servia (***) Currently second in Champ Car after subbing for injured Bruno Junqueira Paul Tracy (3/2/3) Fourth in Champ Car, two victories Dan Wheldon (0/1/0) IndyCar Champion, six victories including Indy 500 Justin Wilson (***) Third in Champ Car, one victory
STOCK CAR Greg Biffle (0/2/0) Fourth in Nextel Cup, five victories, won once in Busch Series Kurt Busch (1/1/0) Tied for eighth in Nextel Cup, three victories Carl Edwards (***) Fifth in Nextel Cup, two victories, won four times in Busch series Jimmie Johnson (1/1/1) Second in Nextel Cup, four victories Matt Kenseth (1/0/1) Tied for eighth in Nextel Cup, one victory, won once in Busch series Mark Martin (4/4/5) IROC champion with two wins, seventh in Nextel Cup, one victory, two Busch wins Ryan Newman (1/2/0) Third in Nextel Cup, one victory, won five times in Busch series Tony Stewart (7/0/0) Nextel Cup points leader, five victories, won once in Busch Series
ROAD RACING Max Angelelli/Wayne Taylor (*** - 0/1/0) Grand-Am Daytona Prototype points leaders, five victories Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro (0/1/0 - 0/1/0) American Le Mans Series LMP1 champions, four victories Ron Fellows/Johnny O'Connell (3/2/2 - 0/0/1) ALMS GT1 runners-up, 3 victories Oliver Gavin/Olivier Beretta (*** - 0/2/0) ALMS GT1 champions, six victories Klaus Graf (***) SCCA Trans-Am Champion and rookie of the year, four victories Greg Pickett (0/0/1) Trans-Am third place, one victory, won in each of four decades Scott Pruett/Luis Diaz (6/1/1 - ***) Second in Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes, three victories Randy Ruhlman (***) Second in Trans-Am, two victories
DRAG RACING Greg Anderson (0/2/0) NHRA Pro Stock champion, eight victories Ron Capps (0/1/0) Currently second in NHRA Funny Car, 2 points out of first, three victories John Force (12/1/0) Currently third in NHRA Funny Car, 28 points out of first, five victories Robert Hight (***) Fourth in NHRA Funny Car, leading contender for NHRA rookie of the year, 2 victories Clay Millican (0/2/2) IHRA Top Fuel champ (fifth straight), eight victories Gary Scelzi (3/1/0) NHRA Funny Car points leader, three victories Tony Schumacher (2/0/0) NHRA Top Fuel champion (second straight), eight victories Steve Spiess (***) IHRA Pro Stock champion, four victories
SHORT TRACK Steve Francis (***) Currently second in World of Outlaws Late Models, five victories Damion Gardner (***) Points leader, USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, 13 victories Levi Jones (***) Points leader, USAC National Sprint Car Series, 5 victories; Sprint Bandits TNT champion Chad Kemenah (0/0/1) All-Star Sprints champion, eight victories, one World of Outlaws win Steve Kinser (17/1/4) World of Outlaws champion for 20th time, 20 feature wins Billy Moyer (***) Points leader, World of Outlaws Late Models, five victories Dave Steele (0/0/1) USAC Silver Crown champion, four victories; also won in USAC Sprints (2) and Midgets (1), plus TBARA (8) Josh Wise (***) USAC Midget champion, 4 wins; second place Silver Crown, 1 win; fourth USAC Sprint Cars
TOURING SERIES Clint Bowyer (***) Currently second in NASCAR Busch Series, 2 victories Ted Christopher (***) Points leader, NASCAR Modified series, 7 victories, won inaugural Southern Modified race, one Busch race Benny Gordon (***) USAR Northern Champion, five victories; points leader in championship series, 1 victory Shane Huffman (0/0/1) USAR Southern champion, seven victories Frank Kimmel (1/1/4) Won seventh ARCA championship (six in a row), eight victories Ted Musgrave (***) Points leader, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, one victory Dennis Setzer (***) Currently second, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, four victories Martin Truex Jr. (1/0/0) NASCAR Busch Series points leader, six victories
AT LARGE Rob Atchison (***) IHRA Funny Car points leader, six victories David Haskell/Sylvain Tremblay (*** - ***) Champion, Grand-Am Cup Sport Touring class, five victories Patrick Long/Jorg Bergmeister (*** - ***) Champion, ALMS GT2 class, five victories Rob MacCachren (1/1/0) Points leader, SCORE overall and class 1/2-1600 and BitD Class 7300, six victories Carl Renezeder (***) Champion CORR Pro 2, runner-up CORR Pro 4, eight victories, won in Nissan Off-Road Nationals Jim Sickles (***) Currently second in IHRA Funny Car 5 points out of first, four victories Steve Torrence (***) Champion, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster, eight victories Charles Zwolsman (***) Champion, Toyota Atlantic Championship, three victories