Ralph Capitani Named 'Most Influential' In Sprint Car Poll. KNOXVILLE, IOWA (March 15, 2004) - For the first time since the introduction of the annual special edition North American Sprint Car Poll honoring the sport's thirty most...
Ralph Capitani Named 'Most Influential' In Sprint Car Poll.
KNOXVILLE, IOWA (March 15, 2004) - For the first time since the introduction of the annual special edition North American Sprint Car Poll honoring the sport's thirty most influential leaders in 1991, World of Outlaws (WoO) founder and president Ted Johnson is not ranked 'number one'. That honor, as determined by an industry-wide voting panel of manufacturers, media members, sanctioning officials and promoters, now belongs to Knoxville Raceway director of racing Ralph Capitani. "Cappy" captured 11 of the 53 first-place ballots cast in the 2004 poll, the same number as garnered by both second-ranked Earl Baltes of Eldora Speedway and the third-rated Johnson.
Capitani promotes weekly winged 360- and 410-cubic-inch sprint car racing at the Marion County Fairgrounds facility in Knoxville, Iowa, in addition to major national championship special events like the Knoxville 410 Nationals and the Knoxville 360 Nationals. Baltes promotes almost-weekly winged and non-winged sprint car special events at his track in Rossburg, Ohio, including the prestigious Mopar Million and King's Royal shows. Texas-based Johnson has led the now-winged WoO national tour since it's inception in March of 1978 as a non-winged 410 c.i. sprint car sanction. It should be noted that the top three leaders are already members of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
Those ranked fourth through tenth, respectively, among "Sprint Car Racing's 30 Most Influential Leaders" are Emmett Hahn (seven first-place votes) of the American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) and newly-created '410' Sprint Bandits, multi-time WoO champion owner/driver Steve Kinser (six votes), United States Auto Club (USAC) president Rollie Helmling (one vote), chief executive officer Paul Kruger (four votes) of WoO parent company Boundless Motor Sports Racing, 2003 North American Sprint Car Poll "Outstanding Contribution to the Sport Award" recipient and sprint car team owner Tony Stewart, All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) president Guy Webb, and Sprint Car & Midget magazine editor Doug Auld. In addition, Empire Super Sprints (ESS) president Dick Carbery and Ventura Raceway promoter Jim Naylor each earned one first-place vote.
Besides the sudden appearance of Paul Kruger of Boundless in the 'top ten' of the rankings, the other new-comers to the poll are Bobby Hartslief of Boundless in 12th, owner/driver/promoter Terry McCarl in 23rd, Williams Grove Speedway promoter Bob Jones in 24th, sprint car champion-turned-NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley in 26th, and Tommy Hunt of USAC Western States in 28th, respectively. It appears that the leadership within the overall sport of sprint car racing is fairly stable heading into 2004.
The North American Sprint Car Poll is an official awards program of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum Foundation of Knoxville, Iowa.
<pre> Special Edition 2004 North American Sprint Car Poll: "Sprint Car Racing's 30 Most Influential Leaders"
2004 2003 Rank Rank Person (First Place) Affiliation Occupation Points
1. 2. Ralph Capitani (11) Knoxville Raceway 360/410 promoter 2,410 2. 3. Earl Baltes (11) Eldora Speedway non-w/360/410 promoter 2,332 3. 1. Ted Johnson (11) World of Outlaws 410 sanction 1,764 4. 4. Emmett Hahn (7) ASCS/Sprint Bandits 360/410 sanction 1,759 5. 6. Steve Kinser (6) Quaker State #11 410 driver/owner 1,366 6. 7. Rollie Helmling (1) U.S. Auto Club non-w sanction 905 7. - Paul Kruger (4) Boundless MSR 410 sanction 689 8. 12. Tony Stewart Mopar #20, 21 non-w/410 owner 502 9. 10. Guy Webb All Star Circuit 410 sanction/owner 454 10. 9. Doug Auld Sprint Car & Midget non-w/360/410 media 440 11. 13. Tom Schmeh Natl Spr Car Museum non-w/360/410 media 376 12. - Bobby Hartslief Boundless MSR 410 sanction 331 13. 5. Ron Shuman SCRA/NWWC non-w sanction 289 14. 18. Allan Holland www.hoseheads.com non-w/360/410 media 241 15. 17. Steve Sinclair Interstate Racing Assn. 410 sanction 212 16. 16. Dave Argabright Sprint Car & Midget non-w/360/410 media 210 17. 21. John Padjen Silver Dollar/GSC 360/410 promoter/sanction 157 18. 14. Lanny Edwards Devil's Bowl Spdwy. 360/410 promoter 140 19. 19. Danny Lasoski Mopar #20 410 driver 123 20. 23. Jerry Russell Eagle Chassis non-w/360/410 builder 118 21. 11. Chuck Merrill Maxim Chassis non-w/360/410 builder 116 22. 25. Chris Economaki NSSN/Elbows Up! non-w/360/410 media 112 23. - Terry McCarl #24/McTwo Promo 410 owner/driver/promo 87 24. - Bob Jones Wms. Grove Spdwy. 358/410 promoter 77 25. 30. J.V. Brotherton Brodix Cyl. Heads non-w/360/410 builder 76 26. - J.J. Yeley Mopar #20 non-w driver 70 27. 24. Jason Smith U.S. Auto Club non-w sanction 66 28. - Tommy Hunt U.S. Auto Club non-w sanction 62 29. 20. Earl Gaerte Gaerte Engines non-w/360/410 builder 61 30. 26. Bob East Beast Chassis non-w builder 55
Also receiving multiple votes: Cary Agajanian, Steve Beitler, Scott Benic, Scott Boyd, Fred Brownfield, Dick Carbery (1), Tracy Clay, Craig Cormack, Neil Cowman, Dave Despain, Mike Devin, Brad Doty, Kevin Eckert, Jack Elam, Bruce Ellis, Jason Fausey, Scott Gerkin, Keith Hall, C. Ray Hall, Al Hamilton, Brian Healey, Janet Holbrook, Roger Johnson, Brent Kaeding, Don Kazarian, Mike Kerchner, Karl Kinser, Paul Kistler, Alan Kreitzer, Keith Kunz, Bob Lawton, Mike Martin, John McCoy, Bob Miller, Kevin Miller, Jim Naylor (1), Bob Newton, Jerry Reigle, Carlton Reimers, Glen Sander, Ron Shaver, Wayne Simmons, Gary Stanton, Greg Stephens, Pete Walton, Bob Westphal, Justin Zoch.