Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Titlists Gurney, Fogarty Finalists For Economacki Champion of Champions Award
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 29, 2007) -- Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty are among 10 finalists for the 2007 Economacki Champion of Champions Award, presented by Rockett Brand Racing Fuel and National Speed Sport News.
The nomination for Gurney and Fogarty marks the third straight season that the Rolex Series Champions have been named finalists for the prestigious award. Max Angelelli, the 2005 co-champion, and 2006 champ Jorg Bergmeister were also among the 10 finalists in their respective championship seasons.
Gurney and Fogarty, the 2007 Daytona Prototype champions, scored a record seven races, earned 10 poles and started on the front row in all 14 races en route to claiming the series title by two points over Scott Pruett. All Champion of Champions finalists must have earned titles while racing in North America during the 2007 season and excelled on and off the track.
Driving the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley, the duo captured the season's second round at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, then rattled off three straight victories at Watkins Glen International, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Daytona International Speedway in June and July. A late July win at Barber Motorsports Park and races at The Glen and Infineon Raceway in August capped the championship in style.
NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion and defending Economacki Champion of Champions Award winner Jimmie Johnson -- who announced Wednesday he will share the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley entry with Gurney and Fogarty at the Rolex 24 At Daytona -- has also been nominated for the award. Also among the award's 10 finalists who have competed in the Rolex Series previously are IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti and Champ Car World Series titlist Sebastien Bourdais.
This year's winner will be announced at 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, during the 20th annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The proceedings will be officiated by Economaki and take place at the PRI Trade Show Press Room, located at the rear of the hall on the show floor.
"With the majority of the country's racing series finished for the season, a number of outstanding candidates for the award have emerged, said Corinne Economaki, publisher of National Speed Sport News. "Once again, we have a strong list of contenders, drawing from nearly 26 different champions, to bring us to our top 10.
"This award has quickly become a tradition at the end of the racing season, and we are again delighted to be able to recognize the incredible achievements each of these drivers has accomplished this year," Corinne Economaki added. "We look forward to making the announcement at the 20th Annual PRI Trade Show and having my father, Chris, deliver the good news to the driver we have selected."
J.J. Yeley was the inaugural Champion of Champions in 2003. Since then, Steve Kinser, Tony Schumacher and Johnson have received the honor.