Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll Driver of the Year

Jay Drake Named North American Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll "Driver of The Year" For 2004 KNOXVILLE, IOWA (December 9, 2004) - Jay Drake of Val Verde, California, was voted the 2004 "Driver of the Year" by the North American ...

Jay Drake Named North American Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll "Driver of The Year" For 2004

KNOXVILLE, IOWA (December 9, 2004) - Jay Drake of Val Verde, California, was voted the 2004 "Driver of the Year" by the North American Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll voting panel of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers. The Mopar-powered United States Auto Club (USAC) point champion earned seven (7) of the seventeen (17) first place ballots cast in the year-end poll. Drake was previously named the "Driver of the Year" in 2000. His car owner, Tony Stewart, again received the 2004 "Team of the Year" award.

Those drivers ranked second through fifth, respectively, are USAC-California Racing Association (CRA) point champion Rip Williams of California, 2001 "Driver of the Year" Cory Kruseman of California, Brandon "Bud" Kaeding of California, and Damion Gardner of California. Rounding out the 'top ten' are Mike Kirby of California, Levi Jones of Illinois, Jon Stanbrough of Indiana, Non-Winged World Championship (NWWC) and Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) titlist Rickie Gaunt, and Dick Gaines of Indiana, respectively.

In addition to Drake, others receiving first place votes were Williams (four), Kruseman (two), Kaeding (two), Gardner, and Stanbrough. Dave Despain of Speed Channel's "Wind Tunnel" program received the North American Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll's "Media Member of the Year" award. Earl Baltes, out-going promoter and owner of the Eldora Speedway, received the "Promoter of the Year" honors. Davey Ray of Iowa received the "Rookie of the Year" title for 2004 from the North American Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll voting panel. And for his exciting sprint car performances this year, young Bryan Clauson of Indiana received the "Wild Card Award". Brian and Jeannie Butler of ButlerBuilt Seats received the "Builder/Manufacturer of the Year" honors for their efforts in designing safer seats for the racing community. Hank Gentzler of Hank's Performance Products was posthumously honored with the 2004 "Outstanding Contribution to the Sport Award."

The North American Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll is an annual awards program of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Foundation, Inc., of Knoxville, Iowa.

<pre> FINAL 2004 NORTH AMERICAN NON-WINGED SPRINT CAR POLL

rank driver (first place votes) hometown, state         points
1    Jay Drake (7)              Val Verde, CA           1078
2    Rip Williams (4)           Yorba Linda, CA         803
3    Cory Kruseman (2)          Ventura, CA             730
4    Brandon "Bud" Kaeding (2)  Campbell, CA            532
5    Damion Gardner (1)         Concord, CA             371
6    Mike Kirby                 Torrance, CA            218
7    Levi Jones                 Olney, IL               196
8    Jon Stanbrough (1)         Jamestown, IN           195
9    Rickie Gaunt               Torrance, CA            194
10   Dickie Gaines              Mitchell, IN            116
11   Dave Darland               Walton, IN              109
12   Josh Ford                  Camarillo, CA           98
13   Tony Elliott               Kokomo, IN              77
14   Josh Wise                  Riverside, CA           39
15   Charles Davis, Jr          Buckeye, AZ             37
16   Tony Hunt                  Rancho Cordova, CA      34
tie  Troy Rutherford            Ojai, CA                34
18   Jeremy Sherman             Phoenix, AZ             32
19   Shane Cottle               Kokomo, IN              30
20   Kevin Briscoe              Mitchell, IN            29
tie  Mike Spencer               Temecula, CA            29
22   Tracy Hines                New Castle, IN          16
tie  Michael Lewis              Noblesville, IN         16
tie  Steve Ostling              Corona, CA              16
25   Bobby East                 Speedway, IN            9
tie  Kevin Huntley              Bloomington, IN         9

Also receiving multiple votes: Bryan Clauson, Tony Jones, Bob Ream, Jr, Danny Sheridan, Eric Wilkins, J.J. Yeley.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Michael Lewis , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Tony Elliott , Tony Jones , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Bobby East , Levi Jones , Josh Wise , Jon Stanbrough , Davey Ray , Shane Cottle , Rip Williams , Bryan Clauson , Josh Ford , Damion Gardner , Tony Hunt , Mike Spencer , Troy Rutherford , Danny Sheridan
Teams Williams