JASON JOHNSON NAMED NORTH AMERICAN 360 SPRINT CAR POLL "DRIVER OF THE YEAR" FOR 2006 KNOXVILLE, IOWA (December 13, 2006) - For the first time ever, Jason Johnson of Eunice, Louisiana, was voted the 2006 "Driver of the Year" by...
JASON JOHNSON NAMED NORTH AMERICAN 360 SPRINT CAR POLL "DRIVER OF THE YEAR" FOR 2006
KNOXVILLE, IOWA (December 13, 2006) - For the first time ever, Jason Johnson of Eunice, Louisiana, was voted the 2006 "Driver of the Year" by the North American 360 Sprint Car Poll voting panel of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers. The "Ragin' Cajun", who racked up nine American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) national tour wins and another eight in ASCS regional competition in Gulf South, Sooner, Mid-South, Midwest and Northern Plains events, earned thirteen (13) of the twenty-two (22) first place ballots cast in the year-end poll. His car owners, Lanny and Al Row, also received the 2006 "Team of the Year" award for the first time.
Those drivers ranked second through fifth, respectively, are ASCS national tour titlist Gary Wright of Texas, United Sprint Car Series (USCS) point champion Terry Gray of Tennessee, United Racing Company (URC) point champion Curt Michael of Delaware, and ASCS Patriot Sprint Group (ASCS-PSG) point champion Chuck Hebing of New York. Rounding out the 'top ten' for the season are Civil War Series champion Andy Forsberg, Jesse Hockett, Danny Martin, Jr., Travis Rilat and Nick Smith, respectively. In addition to Johnson, others receiving first place votes were Wright (three), Gray, Michael, Hebing (two), and Forsberg (two).
According to poll founder Tom Schmeh, "The results of the '360' poll this year remind me of 2003, when Travis Rilat won the ASCS national title but voters honored Gary Wright as the 'Driver of the Year'. This time around, Wright won the ASCS national point title, but voters rewarded Jason Johnson with the top prize for his overall '360' racing efforts in '06."
Former DIRT Modified competitor and '06 Canadian Sprint Car Nationals winner Steve Poirier of Quebec, Canada, earned the "Rookie of the Year" title. Due to a tie in the voting, Brian and Jeannie Butler of ButlerBuilt Seats and Dan Gentrup and Bob Westphal of Wesmar Engines will share the "Builder/Manufacturer of the Year" honors for 2006. Emmett Hahn, who continues to add regions to his growing ASCS organization, received the "Promoter of the Year" honors for the fifth time overall. Doug Auld of Sprint Car & Midget magazine earned the "Media Member of the Year" award for the fifth time. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., claimed the "Wild Card Award" for his exciting sprint car performances in 2006, marking the first time since 2003 that one driver has claimed that honor in both the winged 360- and 410-cubic-inch sprint car polls in the same year. Current NASCAR driver Erin Crocker first performed that feat in '03.
The North American 360 Sprint Car Poll is an annual awards program of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Foundation, Inc., of Knoxville, Iowa. All awards will be distributed in the spring of 2007 at tracks throughout North America.
<pre> FINAL 2006 NORTH AMERICAN 360 SPRINT CAR POLL
rank, driver (first place votes), hometown, state, points
1. Jason Johnson (13) Eunice, LA 1518 2. Gary Wright (3) Hooks, TX 1113 3. Terry Gray (1) Bartlett, TN 572 4. Curt Michael (1) Ocean View, DE 420 5. Chuck Hebing (2) Ontario, NY 416 6. Andy Forsberg (2) Auburn, CA 237 7. Jesse Hockett Warsaw, MO 174 8. Danny Martin, Jr. Sarasota, FL 157 9. Travis Rilat Texas City, TX 156 10. Nick Smith Broken Arrow, OK 132 11. Jake Peters Sioux Falls, SD 124 12. Brian Brown Higginsville, MO 96 13. Ken Mackey Manitou Beach, MI 90 14. Chuck Swenson Watertown, SD 79 15. Kenny Adams Malabar, FL 71 16. Alain Bergeron St. Pie, PQ, CAN 65 17. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Sunnyvale, TX 49 18. Garry Lee Maier Cimarron, KS 45 19. Danny Horner Cottage Grove, OR 44 20. Mike Brecht Deshler, OH 42 21. Kevin Ramey Mansfield, TX 39 22. Roger Crockett Rio Linda, CA 36 22. Darren Stewart Bixby, OK 36 24. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Olive Branch, MS 34 25. Randy Martin California, MO 33 25. Steve Poirier St. Mathieu de Beloeil, PQ, CAN 33
Also receiving multiple votes: Billy Alley, Tim Allison, Justin Barger, Tim Crawley, Tim Gee, Cory Haas, Blane Heimbach, Bryan Howland, Sean McClelland, Jeff Mitrisin, Brian Seidel, Jeff Van Dusen, Kevin Welsh, Brook Weibley, Colby Weisz.