Champ Car World Series points leader Paul Tracy wins prestigious Driver of the Year First Quarter award. INDIANAPOLIS (April 19, 2003) -- With three consecutive victories to start the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered...
Champ Car World Series points leader Paul Tracy wins prestigious Driver of the Year First Quarter award.
INDIANAPOLIS (April 19, 2003) -- With three consecutive victories to start the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season, Paul Tracy (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) has set the Champ Car series aflame as he chases his first series championship.
That flame spread like a wildfire through all other divisions of racing in the first three months of the season and when the smoke cleared, Tracy was the lone tree standing as the Champ Car series leader was named as the winner of the national Driver of the Quarter award by the Legends Marketing Group.
The award, which has been in existence for 36 years, goes to the top driver among all racing series and inserts the Canadian driver as one of the four candidates to win the Driver of the Year award, which went to series champion Cristiano da Matta in 2002.
"I'm extremely honored to have been selected, especially when you look at all the other drivers who were nominated," said Tracy. "It's also rewarding because it takes into account all the major racing series in North America and because fans have their say in the voting. It's been a terrific start to the season not only for myself, but also for the Champ Car World Series with three great events. I cant' say enough about the support that Team Player's has shown me since I joined and I'm happy that I was able to put together a string of victories this early in the season as we strive to bring a championship title back to Canada."
Tracy opened his year with a win at St. Petersburg, then followed that up with a victory in Monterrey, Mexico. He completed the sweep this past weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach when he beat Adrian Fernandez (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) to the finish.
Tracy was chosen ahead of such nominees as Dayton 500 winner Michael Waltrip, NASCAR Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth, IRL race winner Tony Kanaan and NHRA Top Fuel rookie Brandon Bernstein who won two of the first three national events this year after taking over for his famous father Kenny Bernstein.
The Driver of the Year title is unique because it is the only award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. and a fan vote on Speedtv.com determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9,6,4,3,2,1 basis.
In recognition of this honor Tracy will receive a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix Swiss Watch. Maurice Lacroix USA -- the official watch of the Driver of the Year award-- is one of the fastest-growing Swiss watch manufacturers in America, with more than 400 quality jewelers representing the award-winning collection in the United States.
In addition to Tracy's award being announced Saturday night on SPEED Channel, the ceremony where da Matta was officially given the 2002 Driver of the Year award will be broadcast Sunday night on SPEED Channel. The award was given in conjunction with the induction ceremonies for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, where former Champ Car title winner and current team owner Emerson Fittipaldi was added to the list of racing luminaries in the Talladega museum.