2004 Series Champion Sebastien Bourdais Heads Trio Of Champ Car World Series Stars Named On AARWBA All-American Team Ballot
INDIANAPOLIS (November 29, 2004) -- The 2004 season was full of achievements for the stars of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, and with the season behind them, it is the time of year for those achievements to be recognized by motorsports entities throughout the world.
Champ Car aces Sebastien Bourdais (#2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), Bruno Junqueira (#6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Paul Tracy (#1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) were among the first drivers in the series to receive accolades for their stellar 2004 campaigns Monday as they were selected to appear on the ballot for the prestigious Auto Racing All-American Team.
The All-American Team, which has been selected by the nearly 300 members of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) each year since 1970, honors drivers in seven different categories. The top two drivers in each category earn first-team All-American status, the third- and fourth-placed drivers are named to the second team, and any driver getting five percent of the vote earns honorable mention status.
In addition, the driver earning the most overall votes, regardless of category, is recognized with the Jerry Titus Award. Bourdais, Junqueira and Tracy were chosen for this year's balloting in the open-wheel category, along with Tony Kanaan, Buddy Rice and Dan Wheldon.
Bourdais heads the list after a record-setting season that saw him win his first Champ Car title. The Newman/Haas Racing driver scored seven wins and eight poles en route to the series championship and set a series record by qualifying in the top three for every race of the 2004 season. He led the series in wins, poles, laps led and qualifying average and also won the Bridgestone Passion For Excellence Award for the second consecutive season. He has made the AARWBA ballot in each of his two Champ Car seasons, earning honorable mention status last year.
Junqueira earns his first-ever spot on the AARWBA ballot after finishing second in the Champ Car standings for the third consecutive year. The Newman/Haas driver carried the championship fight all the way to the year's final race and ended his season with two wins and 10 podium finishes, including six in a row to close out the campaign.
Tracy will be looking for his fourth first-team berth after a year that saw the winningest active driver in all of North American open-wheel racing score two more victories on his way to a fourth-place finish in the points. The Forsythe Championship Racing pilot won three poles and moved into the top 10 on the all-time Champ Car lists in both poles and wins in 2004.
The awards will be given out at the AARWBA banquet to be held in Pomona, California on January 15. The banquet will also serve as the kickoff for the AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration, of which the Champ Car World Series is a sponsor. The results of the 2004 AAARWBA All-American Team voting will be made public prior to the banquet.