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.