Target Team's Dan Wheldon Nominated for ESPY Award
Indianapolis, IN, June 26, 2006-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dan Wheldon was announced as a nominee for a second consecutive year in the Best Driver category for an ESPY award on June 26th by ESPN. His nomination was based on the strength of his performance as 2005 IRL IndyCar series Champion when he won six of 17 races. This season, Wheldon also became the first driver to consecutively win three major North America racing titles by following up his 2005 Indianapolis 500 victory and IndyCar Series Championship with the Rolex 24 At Daytona. He is also the eighth driver to win both the Indianapolis 500 and the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The 2006 ESPY Awards will bring together athletes and entertainment celebrities to recognize top achievements in sports, relive the memorable moments and salute the best performers and performances. This year's ceremony will be hosted by cycling great Lance Armstrong.
Nominees for the 14th annual ESPY awards were announced for 20 "Best in Sport" categories, as well as 17 individual sport categories. It will be the third consecutive year that fans will determine the winners in each category. Voting has already begun at www.ESPYS.tv and will continue through July 8.
In addition, this year's nominees will be featured, discussed and debated on Tuesday, June 27th at 7 pm ET on ESPN during the ESPY Nomination Show from New York City's 40/40 Club. The special will be co-hosted by Stuart Scott and TV personality Melyssa Ford, including commentary by in-studio guests Lance Armstrong, Hines Ward and others, along with Jim Rome and Pardon the Interruption's Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.
Wheldon, who drives the No.10 Honda Dallara for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the Indy Racing League is in good company with fellow Best Driver category nominees Sam Hornish Jr., also up for the "Best Championship Performance" for his 2006 Indianapolis 500 victory, as well as Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart from NASCAR's NEXTEL Cup series, and the NHRA's Melanie Troxel.
"I am excited to be nominated again for the Best Driver category at this year's ESPY Awards," said Wheldon. "Even though I didn't manage to pick up the award last year, it was a great experience to be among so many talented athletes. The drivers nominated in my category are all exceptional competitors, and it is an honor to be recognized with them."
Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon was previously nominated in the same category in 2004 following his crowning as IRL IndyCar Series 2003 Champion.
The winners will be announced at the 2006 ESPY Awards from to take place in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 12, and then televised on ESPN Sunday, July 16 at 9 p.m. ET.