Dixon, de Ferran, Taylor Earn AARWBA First Team Honors
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Dec. 15, 2003 -- Indy Racing League(R) drivers Gil de Ferran, Scott Dixon, Sam Hornish Jr. and Mark Taylor were selected to the 2003 Auto Racing All-America team, officials from the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) announced Dec. 13.
De Ferran, who won the 2003 Indianapolis 500 driving for Marlboro Team Penske, and Dixon, who won the 2003 IRL IndyCar(R) Series championship for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, were selected to the first team in the Open Wheel category. It was de Ferran's third first-team selection, while Dixon was selected to the first team in the at-large category in 2000.
De Ferran received the most votes, while Dixon tied with CART champion Paul Tracy for second place in the voting, causing three members to be selected to the first team.
Members of AARWBA vote on the annual awards. The AARWBA All-America Team will be honored Jan. 10 at the 34th annual AARWBA banquet in Pomona, Calif.
Dixon won the series championship by scoring three victories and finishing second five times en route to his first major auto racing championship. He led 14 races and 748 laps, more than any other driver.
In addition to winning the 87th Indianapolis 500 in May, de Ferran scored wins at Nashville and Texas and finished second in points despite missing a race at Japan due to injury. In August, he announced he would retire following the season, and he finished his career in spectacular style by winning from the MBNA Pole at Texas in his final race.
Taylor, who won the 2003 Menards Infiniti Pro Series championship for Panther Racing, was selected to the first team in the At-Large category. He dominated the Menards Infiniti Pro Series in 2003, scoring a record seven wins and clinching the championship with one race remaining.
Two-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. was selected to the second team in the Open Wheel category. He finished fifth in points in 2003 and scored three victories, including winning the fastest race ever, when he averaged 207.151 mph en route to a victory Sept. 21 at California Speedway.
The 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season begins with the Toyota Indy 300 on Feb. 29, 2004 at Homestead. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN.