IRL: IMS' drivers receive AARWBA First Team votes

WHELDON, STEWART EARN 2005 FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICA HONORS INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2005 -- 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon and 2005 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Tony Stewart led the list of drivers who competed this year...

WHELDON, STEWART EARN 2005 FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICA HONORS

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2005 -- 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon and 2005 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Tony Stewart led the list of drivers who competed this year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway honored on the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association 2005 Auto Racing All-America team.

Wheldon, who also won the IRL IndyCar® Series championship in 2005, was one of two drivers named to the first team in the Open Wheel category. Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais, who finished 12th in the Indianapolis 500 in May, joined Wheldon.

Stewart, who is closing in on his second NASCAR championship this year, was named to the Stock Car first team. Fellow Allstate 400 at the Brickyard competitor Jimmie Johnson, who finished 38th in August at Indianapolis, also was named to the Stock Car first team.

Reigning NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr., who finished 42nd in his first Allstate 400 at the Brickyard start this year, was named to the first team in the Touring Series category.

All 17 members of the first team, selected across seven categories, are eligible for the prestigious Jerry Titus Award as the top driver of the year. That award will be presented at the 36th annual AARWBA annual All-America Team dinner presented by Sprint NEXTEL on Dec. 3 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.

Six veterans of IMS events in 2005 earned Second Team and Honorable Mention honors on the All-America team, selected by nearly 300 members of the AARWBA.

Tony Kanaan and Indianapolis 500 JPMorgan Chase Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick made the second team in the Open Wheel category, with Patrick earning that lofty spot as a write-in candidate. She also is the first to rise above honorable mention as a write-in. Indy standouts Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish Jr. received honorable mention status in Open Wheel.

Allstate 400 at the Brickyard competitors Carl Edwards and Mark Martin were named to the second team in Stock Car, while fellow IMS stock-car veterans Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman received honorable mention status in that category.

The 36th annual AARWBA dinner is moving from its longtime base in the Los Angeles area this year to Indianapolis. The dinner officially will conclude the 50th Anniversary Celebration for AARWBA, the oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals in America.

During the banquet, the Hulman-George family will receive the prestigious Dusty Brandel President's Award. The award honors the family's continual, longtime support of AARWBA since the organization was founded in 1955, with its first meeting taking place about 1 mile from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The banquet is open to the public. Ticket information is available from AARWBA, 922 N. Pass Ave., Burbank, CA 91505, or call (818) 842-7005.

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IMS tickets: To purchase tickets, camping or parking for the Indianapolis 500, United States Grand Prix, Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, Freedom 100 or Liberty Challenge, contact the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, (317) 492-6700 locally or log on to www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.

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Series IndyCar , NASCAR
Drivers Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Ryan Newman , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Jimmie Johnson , Dan Wheldon , Sébastien Bourdais , Martin Truex Jr. , Carl Edwards , Sam Hornish Jr. , Danica Patrick , Mark Martin