CHAMPCAR/CART: Tracy sweeps DOTY first quarter vote

Tracy sweeps 1st quarter Driver of the Year vote. Paul Tracy, who is three-for-three in the Champ Car World Series, says, "Momentum is everything." The experts agreed as Tracy dominated the vote for the first quarter Speed Channel presents...

Tracy sweeps 1st quarter Driver of the Year vote.

Paul Tracy, who is three-for-three in the Champ Car World Series, says, "Momentum is everything." The experts agreed as Tracy dominated the vote for the first quarter Speed Channel presents DRIVER OF THE YEAR 2003.

The 34-year old, Canadian-born Tracy, now residing near Las Vegas, has had the best start in his 13-year career, driving the Team Players Lola Ford-Cosworth in the CART series holding a substantial points lead after victories in St. Petersburg, Monterrey (Mexico), and Long Beach.

Explaining momentum he said "you have to take advantage of it when it comes. Because when good luck is shining upon you - and things are going right - if you don't take advantage of it, then you're a fool."

Tracy showed that the transition to a new team hasn't slowed him one bit, in fact it's had the opposite effect. "I can't say enough about the support that Team Player's has shown me since I joined and I'm happy that I was able to put together a string of victories this early in the season," he said.

That record earned him nine first place DRIVER OF THE YEAR votes, and a spot on every voting ballot for a total of 122 points.

Second place in the balloting, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., has had a roller coaster season up to this point. After crushing the competition in the preliminaries to the Daytona 500 winning everything but the pole; a DNF put him behind the eight ball.

Since then he's bounced back with one win in the NASCAR Winston Cup series and strong top ten finishes to the point where he's runner up in the season's standings. The driver of the Budweiser Chevrolet took three first- place votes and earned 79 points. Much of his first quarter charge towards the top occurred after nominations for the fan vote closed.

Matt Kenseth, who leads the Winston Cup Series championship in the DeWalt Ford Taurus, can be slightly amused that he ended up with five first place votes, including the first fan vote on Speed Channel, but still ended up five points behind in third place. Kenseth has one series victory.

A total of 23 drivers tallied points in the voting including fourth place Tony Pedregon from NHRA, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, and from the World of Outlaws, Steve Kinser.

"I'm extremely honored to have been selected," Tracy commented, "especially when you look at all the other drivers who were nominated. It's also rewarding because it takes into account all the major racing series in North America and because fans have their say in the voting."

In it's 37th year the DRIVER OF THE YEAR title is unique because it is the only award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. and a fan vote on Speedtv.com determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9,6,4,3,2,1 basis.

In recognition of this honor Tracy will receive a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix Swiss Watch.

Maurice Lacroix USA - the official watch of the DRIVER OF THE YEAR Award - is one of the fastest-growing Swiss watch manufacturers in America, with more than 400 quality jewelers representing the award-winning collection in the United States.

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 57.1 million U.S. homes and 4.5 million more in Canada, SPEED Channel was acquired by Fox Cable Networks Group in July 2001.

President of the DRIVER OF THE YEAR Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.

-doty-

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About this article
Series IndyCar , General
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Matt Kenseth , Tony Pedregon , Kurt Busch , Paul Tracy , Steve Kinser