BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series driver champion Brian Simo was named to the first team of the Millennium All-American Auto Racing Team. The Carlsbad, Calif., driver was on the second team in 1999 and received an honorable mention in 1998. The team is selected by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association.
"It's an honor to be recognized by the media who cover our sport," said Simo. "My name might be on the award, but this is a team deal. You have to credit Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports and Tommy Bahama for getting us here."
Simo drove the No. 88 Tommy Bahama Qvale Mangusta to three wins in 2000 -- at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway, Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., and Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont. He started in the top three for 11 of 12 races, with four poles and eight front-row starts. He scored six podium finishes, set six fastest race laps and led nine races. He completed 455 of 490 race laps (93 per cent).
In 1995, his first full Trans-Am season, Simo was the only driver to finish in the top-10 in every race and the only driver to complete every lap. He earned his first Trans-Am podium and eight top-five finishes in 1996. He was second in the 1997 driver championship with seven top-fives, including three podium finishes. In 1998, he finished second with two wins and six podium finishes. He collected his third runner-up title in 1999 with six victories, eight poles and nine podium finishes. He was the only driver to start every race in the top five. In 86 career Trans-Am starts, he has amassed 66 top-10 finishes (77 per cent).
Simo attended the American Power Boat Association Offshore World Championships in St. Petersburg, Fla. last month. He and his crew chief, O.B. Barsh, were there to support the Tommy Bahama Super Cat entry, a 40-foot catamaran driven by the father-and-son team of Mark and Paul Nemschoff of Sheboygan, Wis. Mark Nemschoff was on hand for Simo's Trans-Am race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., earlier this year.
"It's a co-venture between different motorsport sponsors," explained Tommy Bahama representative Julia Jackson. "Tommy Bahama is very team- and family-oriented, so this was an opportunity for us build the Tommy Bahama racing family."
Simo has competed in two races in Puerto Rico since the Trans-Am season ended in early November. He was co-driver and coach to Jorge Diaz Jr. in the No. 1 black Jaguar built by Sonoma, Calif.-based Huffaker Engineering.