GENTILOZZI AND SIMO EARN AARWBA ALL-AMERICA TEAM NOMINATIONS
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series drivers Paul Gentilozzi and Brian Simo have been nominated as Road Racing candidates for the 1999 Auto Racing All-America Team by the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA). Gentilozzi, who captured his second-consecutive BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series Drivers' Championship in 1999, achieved his first AARWBA nomination last year and was subsequently selected by the AARWBA for first team honors. Driving the No. 1 Johnson Controls/HomeLink Ford Mustang Cobra (after piloting a Chevrolet Corvette in 1998), Gentilozzi's 1999 season was impressive, scoring six wins in 13 races and racking up a total of 10 podium finishes, four pole qualifying efforts and five fastest race laps. Gentilozzi was second in laps led (231/615), second in miles led (490.696/1203.346) and third in laps completed (587/615). With $210,500 in season earning, Gentilozzi became just the second driver to post more than one million in career earnings (after Tom Kendall) with $1,054,013. Gentilozzi now has 16 career wins (eighth all-time) in 150 starts (tied for second all-time), with 21 (second all-time) fastest race laps, 81 (first all-time) Fast Five starts, 16 (seventh all-time) poles, 97 (seventh all-time) top-10 finishes, 72 (second all-time) top-five efforts and 42 (fifth all-time) top-three showings. Also receiving his second career AARWBA nomination was BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series Drivers' Championship runner-up Brian Simo (Simo received AARWBA honorable mention accolades in 1998). Simo was a force all season in 1999, contesting the Championship to the Sebring finale. Through the season, Simo, driving the No. 2 Vavloline/RaceWerX Ford Mustang Cobra, posted six wins, nine podium finishes, eight pole qualifying efforts and four fastest race laps. Simo was the only driver to qualifying in the Fast Five at every venue, and he was first in laps led (361/615) and miles led (659.494/1203.236). Simo now has eight wins in 74 career starts, with 58 top-10 finishes (tied for ninth all-time), 37 top-five efforts and 20 podium showings. The AARWBA All-America Team annually recognizes the top 12 drivers from the motorsports year. Votes are collected from the AARWBA membership in six categories -- Road Racing, Stock Car Racing, Open Wheel Racing, Drag Racing, Short Track and At Large. In addition to the All-America Team, the balloting will also determine a second team, drivers placing third and fourth in each category, and honorable mentions to all drivers receiving at least five percent of the vote. AARWBA All-America Team honorees and the All-America Team's driver of the year -- who receives the Jerry Titus Award -- will be announced and recognized January 15, 2000, at the All-America Team Banquet at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel in Long Beach, Calif. The banquet is open to the public. Ticket information is available from AARWBA, 922 N. Pass Ave., Burbank, Calif. 91505, or call (818) 842-7005. Three previous SCCA Pro Racing drivers have been honored with the Jerry Titus award -- Mark Donohue, 1971 (Trans-Am) and '73 (Can-Am); George Follmer, 1972 (Trans-Am and Can-Am), and Tom Kendall, 1997 (Trans-Am).