Series drivers honored at AARWBA banquet

Grand-Am Rolex Series Trio Honored at AARWBA Banquet in Indianapolis INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 12, 2008) -- Defending Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty and series runner-up...

Grand-Am Rolex Series Trio Honored at AARWBA Banquet in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 12, 2008) -- Defending Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty and series runner-up Scott Pruett were honored by the nation's top motorsports press members Saturday night at the American Automobile Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's 38th annual banquet at the Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis.

The three Rolex Series drivers swept first-team accolades in the All America Team Road Racing category, the third straight season that the Rolex Series champions and runner-up have been honored with the top road racing nods. Gurney and Fogarty were the top vote earners in the All America Team's Road Racing category, while Pruett earned a first team selection for the fifth straight season.

While Gurney and Fogarty are first-time All America Team members, both drivers have past links to AARWBA's annual honor. Gurney's legendary father and American racing icon Dan Gurney was a Road Racing honoree on the 1970 All America Team.

Fogarty previously earned All America Team Honorable Mention honors in the At Large category following his 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship.

"For myself, it's great to be here," Fogarty said. "It's great to get the accolades from individuals who are so intimate and passionate about this sport as you are. I wouldn't be able to bask in those accolades if it wasn't for such a great support system behind me -- my team, my car owner Bob Stallings and Bob Stallings Racing. Grand-Am does a great job in providing an environment that makes a hard, competitive championship. Accepting this award is a great way to start off the 2008 season and gain some motivation."

For Pruett, it marked the ninth time the veteran racer had landed a first-team selection and his 11th overall selection to the team. He has been a first-team Road Racing selection each season since 2003, as well as earning the honor three straight seasons from 1986-1988 and again in 1990.

"There is nothing like this; the passion everyone here has," Pruett said. "I've been doing this going on 40 years now -- I started racing when I was 8 -- and I can't believe I've made a career out of this. I appreciate everyone's desire and support, and everyone who has made this possible over the years."

In the 2007 Rolex Series championship, Pruett led the standings for much of the season before Gurney and Fogarty surged ahead with one race remaining and held onto their first Rolex Series title by a slim two point margin.

The All America Team is annually selected by votes cast by the AARWBA membership that includes media and journalism professionals dedicated to increasing media coverage of motorsports at all levels. In addition to Gurney and Fogarty and Road Racing category runner-up Pruett, other 2007 All America Team members include GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona teammate and two-time reigning NASCAR Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon (Stock Car), Dario Franchitti and Sebastien Bourdais (Open Wheel), Tony Schumacher and Tony Pedregon (Drag Racing), Ron Hornaday Jr. and Frank Kimmel (Touring Series), Jerry Coons Jr. and Donny Schatz (Short Track) and Alex Lloyd and teammates Jaime Melo and Mika Salo (At Large).

Grand-Am's Max Angelelli was also recognized for his efforts in the 2007 season.

Franchitti of the IndyCar Series earned the Jerry Titus Award, honoring the top driver as chosen by AARWBA members.

-credit: garra

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Pedregon , Tony Schumacher , Mika Salo , Dario Franchitti , Jon Fogarty , Scott Pruett , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jimmie Johnson , Frank Kimmel , Dan Gurney , Sébastien Bourdais , Donny Schatz , Max Angelelli , Alex Lloyd , Jerry Coons , Bob Stallings