In 2003, SPEED Channel will be the official presenter of the Driver of the Year, supporting the prestigious award with multiple program mentions and announcements of quarterly winners. In addition, SPEED Channel's Internet Web site --...
In 2003, SPEED Channel will be the official presenter of the Driver of the Year, supporting the prestigious award with multiple program mentions and announcements of quarterly winners. In addition, SPEED Channel's Internet Web site -- SPEEDTV.com -- will host online fan voting for the award.
"This is such a natural fit," said SPEED Channel President Jim Liberatore. "With SPEED Channel establishing itself as the premier motor sports network in North America, partnering with the Driver of the Year award was a real easy decision. SPEED looks forward to honoring a tradition that has such a rich history in racing."
The DOTY, an annual award given to the top driver in a North American racing series, enters its 37th year in 2003 with a list of winners that makes up a virtual Who's Who of motor sports. The first award, given in 1967, went to Mario Andretti. Andretti received a bronze trophy and a check for $7,500, edging out Bruce McLaren, A.J. Foyt and Richard Petty.
Selected by a media panel, the Driver of the Year vote is based on a 25-point system. Each panelist selects a top-six from the nominees, and points are awarded to the drivers as follows: nine points for first, six for second, four for third, three for fourth, two for fifth and one for sixth. In addition to the annual award, drivers also are recognized quarterly for their performances throughout the season.
The media panel added two new members in 2003 - SPEED Channel's Bob Varsha and Jim Pedley from the Kansas City Star. The other members include:
Chris Economaki, Editor, NSSN
Dr. Dick Berggren, Fox Sports
Eli Gold, TNN/MRN
Bob Jenkins, motor sports broadcaster
Steve Ballard, Indianapolis Star
Lewis Franck, Reuters
Mike Harris, AP
Mark Armijo, The Arizona Republic
Shav Glick, LA Times
Gary Long, Miami Herald
John Sturbin, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
Mike Vega, Boston Globe
Steve Waid, Winston Cup Scene/Illustrated
Dave Woolford, Toledo Blade
Chris Jenkins, USA Today
In addition to the 18-member media panel, a single ballot with the top-six vote getters from the fan voting site also is included in the final tabulation.
In 2002, a tie-breaker was needed for the first time in the award's history, as CART champion Cristiano da Matta topped 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon is the DOTY's only four-time winner, with Darrell Waltrip and Andretti each winning three times.
SPEED Channel, the nation's fastest growing sports cable network, is the first and only 24-hour cable network devoted exclusively to motor sports and the human fascination for speed. Currently seen in more than 55.8 million U.S homes and 4.5 million more in Canada, SPEED Channel was acquired by Fox Cable Networks Group in July 2001.