RALPH CAPITANI NAMED 'MOST INFLUENTIAL' IN SPRINT CAR POLL
KNOXVILLE, IOWA (April 23, 2006) - For the third year in a row, Ralph "Cappy" Capitani, director of racing at the Knoxville Raceway, has been named the sport's 'Most Influential Leader' by the North American Sprint Car Poll, an industry-wide voting panel of manufacturers, media members, sanctioning officials and promoters. Capitani, who guides weekly winged 360-cubic-inch and 410 c.i. sprint car racing at the self-proclaimed "Sprint Car Capital of the World", captured thirteen (13) of the 35 first-place ballots cast in the 2006 pre-season poll. Knoxville Raceway will also host its 46th annual Knoxville National Sprint Car Championships, which will be open-competition for the first time since 1977, on August 9-12.
20-time World of Outlaws (WoO) and 12-time Knoxville Nationals champion Steve Kinser of Bloomington, Indiana, a regular with the National Sprint Tour (NST) this year, is ranked second in the poll with eight (8) first-place votes. The legendary driver, like Capitani, is already an inductee in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Emmett Hahn, founder and president of the winged 360 c.i. American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) and non-winged Sprint Bandits tour, is ranked third with seven (7) first-place votes.
Those ranked fourth through sixth, respectively, among "Sprint Car Racing's 30 Most Influential Leaders" are Eldora Speedway owner Tony Stewart (one first-place vote), '360' Northern Sprint Tour (NST) and '410' National Sprint Tour (NST) president Fred Brownfield (two votes), and DIRT MotorSports vice-president Brian Carter (one vote). Additionally, recently named DIRT MotorSports president Tom Deery, Maxim Chassis president Chuck Merrill, and WoO Sprint Series point leader Donny Schatz each received one first-place vote.
Rounding out the 'top ten' are Rollie Helmling of the United States Auto Club (USAC), Alan Kreitzer of the Williams Grove and Lincoln Speedways, Steve Sinclair of SLS Promotions and the Interstate Racing Association (IRA), and John Padjen, respectively. Padjen is promoter of the Silver Dollar Speedway, the '360' California Sprint Car Civil War Series, and the '410' Golden State Challenge Series.
The top four new-comers to the poll are all affiliated with DIRT MotorSports and its WoO Sprint Series: CFO Brian Carter (6th), vice-president of race operations Shane Carson (13th), president Tom Deery (14th), and vice-president of public relations Chris Dolack (22nd).
The North American Sprint Car Poll is an official awards program of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum Foundation of Knoxville, Iowa.