Miami -- BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series Drivers' Champion Brian Simo (#88 Tommy Bahama Qvale Mangusta) and runnerup Paul Gentilozzi (#1 Johnson Controls HomeLink Jaguar XKR) have been named to the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) All-American team. Both Simo and Gentilozzi have been named All-American's at the conclusion of each of the last three seasons.
Simo, a two-time second team honoree is making his first appearance as a first team selectee. Simo posted three victories in 2000 and claimed his first Drivers' Championship. He was the winner at Sebring, Charlotte and Mosport and finished in the top seven in eight of the series' 12 races this season. In addition, he qualified on the pole at Long Beach, Texas, Houston and San Diego. In the middle of the 2000 season, Simo strung together a streak of six consecutive races where he had the fastest race laps (Long Beach, Mosport, Detroit, Cleveland, Road America and Texas).
Gentilozzi, a first team honoree in 1998 and 1999, is a second team selectee this year. Gentilozzi finished second in the Drivers' Championship this season after winning back-to-back titles the last two years. He picked up victories during the 2000 season at Detroit, Cleveland and Road America. Gentilozzi qualified on the pole at Charlotte, Mosport, Detroit and Cleveland and set the fastest race lap at Sebring, Charlotte and Houston. He ranks in the top-five in seven different All-Time Trans-Am statistical categories: Races (first), Fastest Qualifier (fifth), Top-Three Finishes (second), Top-Five Finishes (first), Top-10 Finishes (10th), Fastest Race Laps (first) and Earnings (second).
This marks the 12th consecutive season that the Trans-Am Series has placed a driver on the first team. A Trans-Am Series driver has been recognized 23 times as a first team All-American by the AARWBA. Honorees include: Simo (2000), Gentilozzi (1999, 1998), Tommy Kendall (1997, 1996, 1995, 1990), Dorsey Schroeder (1996, 1989), Scott Pruett (1994, 1987), Scott Sharp (1993, 1991), Jack Baldwin (1992), Wally Dallenbach, Jr. (1985), Tom Gloy (1984), David Hobbs (1983), Peter Gregg (1979, 1974, 1973), George Follmer (1972), Mark Donohue (1971) and Parnelli Jones (1970).
This is the 31st consecutive year that the AARWBA has selected an All-American Auto Racing Team. Twelve drivers were selected overall with two drivers from each of the following categories: Open Wheel, Stock Car, Road Racing, Drag Racing, Short Track and At Large. Each All-American receives a unique Horsepower Award and the driver who receives the most votes will receive the Jerry Titus Award, and be named the AARWBA Driver of the Year. Two from each category were named to the first team and will be honored at the annual AARWBA banquet in Pomona, Calif., on January 13, 2001.
Other members of the 2000 AARWBA All-American Team are: Open Wheel - Buddy Lazier, Gil de Ferran; Stock Car - Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart; Road Racing - Allan McNish; Drag Racing - John Force, Gary Scelzi; Short Track - Steve Kinser, Jeff Green and At Large: Scott Dixon, Buddy Rice.