National Sprint Car HoF honors USAC drivers, personnel

JONES NAMED NON-WINGED SPRINT DRIVER OF THE YEAR; OTHER USAC PERSONNEL RECOGNIZED INDIANAPOLIS -- USAC National Sprint Car Series champion Levi Jones of Olney, Ill. was voted the 2005 Non-Winged Sprint Car "Driver of the Year" last week at the...

JONES NAMED NON-WINGED SPRINT DRIVER OF THE YEAR; OTHER USAC PERSONNEL RECOGNIZED

INDIANAPOLIS -- USAC National Sprint Car Series champion Levi Jones of Olney, Ill. was voted the 2005 Non-Winged Sprint Car "Driver of the Year" last week at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa.

Jones, who scored five USAC victories and defeated Dave Darland by 13 points in the final standings, earned eight of the 15 first-place ballots cast in the year-end poll. The North American Non-Winged Sprint Car poll voting panel was made up of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers.

Jones scored 1,050 points, an even 300 ahead of his closest competitor, USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series champion Damion Gardner. Gardner and Darland each received three first-place votes while CRA runner-up Cory Kruseman tallied the other first-place vote. Darland and Kruseman were third and fourth in the final poll standings, while 2004 USAC National champion Jay Drake finished fifth.

Several other USAC personnel were received recognition for their 2005 efforts. Scott Benic's 2B Racing team, which fielded the car Jones piloted to the USAC title, was named the 2005 "Team of the Year."

Gardner, of Concord, Calif., received the "Wild Card Award," given after scoring 15 victories and setting 22 fast qualifying times. Keith Kunz Motorsports of Columbus, Ind., the developer and builder of the Bullet Chassis, was awarded "Builder/Manufacturer of the Year" honors for the first time.

Brady Short, who competed with USAC for the first time in 2005, received the 2005 "Rookie of the Year" title after his efforts at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway.

Two other individuals who have been instrumental in USAC were also honored. Pat Sullivan, a key racing historian whose accolades have included announcing for and writing stories on USAC races and the organization's drivers, received the "Media Member of the Year" award. Emmett Hahn, who has competed in and promoted USAC races in the past, accepted the "Promoter of the Year" honors.

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Series USAC
Drivers Dave Darland , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Levi Jones , Brady Short , Damion Gardner