FAIRFIELD, N.J. (November 19, 1999)-U.S. F2000 National Championship driver Dan Wheldon has been nominated as an At Large candidate for the 1999 Auto Racing All-America Team by the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA).
The 21-year old rookie sensation Wheldon achieved his first ever AARWBA nomination after capturing the 1999 Drivers' Championship, Road To Indy Oval Crown Championship and the Rookie of the Year honors.
Wheldon, driving the No. 5 Jayhard/Primus Racing Van Diemen Ford, had an impressive season in 1999. Wheldon won a series-leading six races, had 11 podium finishes and five pole positions in the 14-race season. En route to his 1999 Drivers' Championship, Wheldon collected $52,400 in prize money and led the championship in laps led (150 of 362).
"I'm very flattered to have been nominated for this award," said Wheldon. "Coming to America I had a lot of expectations, but to be recognized for my achievements by the AARWBA is a great pleasure. I really have to thank the U.S. Formula 2000 National Championship series and my team, Primus Racing."
Wheldon is the second U.S. F2000 National Championship driver to recieve an AARWBA nomination. The 1998 Drivers' Champion, David Besnard, was a First Team selection last year.
The AARWBA All-America Team annually recognizes the top 12 drivers in North American motorsports. The team is split into six catergories-Open Wheel Racing, Road Racing, Short Track, Stock Car Racing, Drag Racing and At Large. Votes are collected from the AARWBA membership to determine first team, second team, third team, fourth team and honorable mention (those receiving at least five percent of the vote) selections. The leading vote getter recieves the Jerry Titus Award as the All-America Team's driver of the year.
The AARWBA All-America Team honorees will be announced at the All-America Team Banquet on January 15, 20000 at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel in Long Beach,Calif. The banquet isopen to the public. Ticket information is available from AARWBA, 922 N. Pass Ave., Burbank, Calif. 91505, or call (818) 842-7005.