MELANIE TROXEL BECOMES FIRST WOMAN TO WIN QUARTERLY VOTING FOR DRIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD Melanie Troxel became the first woman, in the 40-year history of the DRIVER OF THE YEAR award, to win the quarterly title in voting by a panel of leading...
MELANIE TROXEL BECOMES FIRST WOMAN TO WIN QUARTERLY VOTING FOR DRIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Melanie Troxel became the first woman, in the 40-year history of the DRIVER OF THE YEAR award, to win the quarterly title in voting by a panel of leading journalists and broadcasters.
The 33-year-old driver of the Skull Shine/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster impressed the voters as well as her rivals as she made all-five final-round appearances in the quarter and took victories in Pomona and Las Vegas in her first full season.
"I am so honored just to be in the company of the drivers who have previously been in the running for this award and those who have won the award. It is also something special to me to be representing the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series at the same time," she said.
"Although two other NHRA drivers, John Force and Greg Anderson, have won the prestigious overall DRIVER OF THE YEAR, no female driver in any category has taken a quarter or been voted DRIVER OF THE YEAR," noted Barry Schmoyer, President of the Award.
"When you consider that this award has been in existence for 40 years, Troxel's selection by some of the most dedicated motorsports journalists and broadcasters shows that we have come a long way since the beginning of the award," he added.
Troxel was quite moved when she said "to be rewarded with this kind of honor in my first full season of Top Fuel competition is incredibly exciting. I have to thank (team owner) Don Schumacher for having the trust in me to put me into one of his cars, and to my crew chief Richard Hogan, who makes this car perform so well. I owe this success to them and to Evan Knoll, president/CEO/owner of Torco Gas."
Troxel took six first-place votes and tallied 82 points.
Second in the voting was the effervescent "Spiderman", Helio Castroneves, who notched two victories in the IndyCar Series. Castroneves got one first-place tally and totaled 68 points.
Jimmie Johnson, who won both the prestigious Daytona 500 and Las Vegas races in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series, was third in the vote with a total of 51 points and one first-place vote.
NASCAR's, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart, DRIVER OF THE YEAR 2005, also garnered first-place ballots.
A total of 14 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting.
In its' 40th year DRIVER OF THE YEAR is unique because it is the oldest award that encompasses all of the racing series in the
United States. A panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9,6,4,3,2,1 basis. A separate one-driver vote will determine the 2006 DRIVER OF THE YEAR.
Troxel will receive a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix wristwatch. The trophy presentation is set for Sunday May 7th at the Summit Nationals in Atlanta, GA.
President of the DRIVER OF THE YEAR Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.