POMONA, Calif. - - NASCAR Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon has become only the third driver in history to win the Jerry Titus Memorial Trophy for a third time. He joins Mario Andretti and John Force as the only drivers named three times as the top driver of the year by the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) since the Auto Racing All-America Team was started in 1970.
Gordon was presented the Jerry Titus Memorial Trophy at the annual Auto Racing All-America awards banquet Saturday, January 12. The award goes to the driver who polls the highest number of votes on the All-America Team selected by the AARWBA membership. The overall voting was close, with just four votes covering the results for the top three drivers. The voting was not this close since 1976, when the top three were spread by only seven votes.
On the heels of his fourth NASCAR Winston Cup championship, Gordon dominated the Stock Car category in the voting and was elected First Team for his eighth time. He also was the Titus winner in 1995 and 1998.
Behind him, series runner-up Tony Stewart and Rookie of the Year Kevin Harvick received an identical vote tally to create a 13-driver First Team for only the third time in the 32-year history of the All America Team. Other First Team drivers honored at the banquet were Kenny Bernstein and John Force in Drag Racing; Sam Hornish Jr. and Gil de Ferran in Open Wheel; Paul Gentilozzi and James Weaver in Road Racing; Danny Lasoski and Dave Darland in Short Track; Townsend Bell and Rob MacCachren in At Large.
Special awards at the banquet were presented to land speed record-holder Craig Breedlove and auto racing innovator Andy Granatelli, both named to AARWBA's Legends in Racing Hall of Fame. The late J.C. Agajanian's family was saluted as "Pioneers" in Racing for their contributions to the sport over many years. Danica Patrick was presented with the Gorsline Award and scholarship for up-and-coming racing drivers.
The Jerry Titus Memorial Trophy honors the late motor sports journalist and racing driver, Jerry Titus, who was killed at Road America in 1970. Perhaps the single most unusual trophy in sports, the Titus Trophy consists of the driver's own helmet and portable typewriter mounted in a huge walnut base. Plaques are added to the award each year to recognize the winners.