BALLOTS ARE OUT FOR 2006 AUTO RACING ALL-AMERICA TEAM
BURBANK, Calif. - Voting has begun among more than 300 members of the motorsports press to select the 2006 Auto Racing All-America team.
The annual vote is conducted among the membership of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. Two nominees from each of seven categories will be named to the first team, to be honored at the annual AARWBA banquet Jan. 13 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.
Among those on the ballot is former Jerry Titus Award John Force (1996, 1999, 2000, 2002) who has been voted first team 13 times, plus two others who are among the top-10 with the most All-America first-team honors -- Tony Stewart (eight times) and Scott Pruett (seven times). 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 19 drivers who could be making their first-ever All-American appearance.
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.
The drivers listed below are on the 2006 All-America ballot. 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.
A.J. Allmendinger (1/0/0) - Third in Champ Car, five wins
Sebastien Bourdais (2/0/1) - Champ Car champion, seven wins
Helio Castroneves (0/2/0) - Third in IndyCar, four wins
Sam Hornish (2/1/1) - IndyCar champion, four wins including Indy 500
Dan Wheldon (1/1/0) - Second in IndyCar, two wins, also won Rolex 24 at Daytona
Justin Wilson (***) - Second in Champ Car, one win
Denny Hamlin (***) - Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year, third in points, two wins; fourth in Busch points, two wins
Kevin Harvick (1/0/1) - Busch Series champion, nine wins; fourth in Nextel Cup, five wins
Jimmie Johnson (2/1/1) - Nextel Cup champion, five wins including Daytona 500, Brickyard 400
Kasey Kahne (0/2/0) - Eighth in Nextel Cup, six wins (most in the series), two Busch wins
Matt Kenseth (1/0/1) - Second in Nextel Cup, four wins, three Busch wins
Tony Stewart (8/0/0) - Top non-Chase driver, five wins, one Busch win, IROC champion with two wins
Max Angelelli (1/0/0) - Third place Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes, one win
Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin (0/3/0 - 0/1/0) - ALMS GT1 champions, four wins, Le Mans class winner
Jorg Bergmeister (1/0/0) - Grand-Am Daytona Prototype champion, three wins; ALMS GT2 champion three wins
Colin Braun (***) - fourth place Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes, two wins (missed three races)
Rinaldo Capello/Allan McNish (*** - 1/0/0) - ALMS P1 champions, record eight wins
Scott Pruett/Luis Diaz (7/1/1 - 1/0/0) - Second in Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes, five wins
John Force (13/1/0) - NHRA Funny Car champion for record 14th time, three wins
Robert Hight (***) - Second in NHRA Funny Car, three wins
Doug Kalitta (0/1/1) - Second in NHRA Top Fuel, five wins
Jason Line (***) - NHRA Pro Stock champion, four wins
Clay Millican (0/2/3) - IHRA Top Fuel champ (sixth straight), four wins
Tony Schumacher (3/0/0) - NHRA Top Fuel champion (third straight), five wins
Jerry Coons Jr. (***) - Points leader, USAC National Midgets, three wins (one race left), two USAC Sprint wins
Bud Kaeding (***) - USAC Silver Crown champion, three wins, one USAC Sprint win
Danny Lasoski (1/2/0) - National Sprint Tour champion, 10 wins, two World of Outlaws wins
Tim McCreadie (***) - World of Outlaws late Models champion, two wins, also won Chili Bowl midget race
Donny Schatz (***) - World of Outlaws champion, 17 wins, also won Knoxville Nationals
Josh Wise (0/1/0) - USAC Sprint Car champion, 4 wins; second place USAC Midgets, two wins, sixth USAC Silver Crown, one win
Todd Bodine (***) - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, three wins
Benny Gordon (***) - USAR Northern Champion, five wins; second in championship series, 1 win
Eric Holmes (***) - NASCAR AutoZone West champion, 1 win; second (by 1 point) in NASCAR Southwest, 3 wins
Frank Kimmel (2/1/4) - Won eighth ARCA championship (seven in a row), four wins
Mike Olsen (***) - NASCAR Busch East Series champion, 2 wins
Clay Rogers (***) - USAR Hooters Pro Cup champion, 3 wins; USAR Southern champion, 3 wins
Troy Herbst (0/1/0) - SCORE Desert Series overall and Class 1 champion, four wins
J.R. Hildebrand (***) - Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 champion, 12 wins
Andy Lally/Marc Bunting (*** - ***) Grand-Am Rolex Series GT champions, 5 wins
Frank Manzo (1/1/1) - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car champion (his 10th), 6 wins; NHRA Div. 1 TAFC champion, 4 wins
Travis Pastrana (***) - Rally America champion, 2 wins; also won X Games Rally, one U.S. Rally Championship win
Carl Renezeder (0/0/1) - Champion CORR Pro 2, runner-up CORR Pro 4, 10 wins