KNOXVILLE, IOWA (August 3, 2003) - Over forty years ago, "A.J." was the hottest driver in sprint car racing. Today, "J.J." has unanimously been named the number one driver in traditional (non-winged) sprint car racing by the...
KNOXVILLE, IOWA (August 3, 2003) - Over forty years ago, "A.J." was the hottest driver in sprint car racing. Today, "J.J." has unanimously been named the number one driver in traditional (non-winged) sprint car racing by the National Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll voting panel of manufacturers, media members, sanctioning officials and promoters. J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Arizona, the defending "Non-Winged Driver of the Year", received all 16 first-place ballots cast in the summer edition of the seasonal poll. Yeley wheels the Tony Stewart-owned, Mopar-powered Twister sprint car in United States Auto Club (USAC) competition. He is the USAC point leader and has recently clinched that sanction's Valvoline-sponsored Indiana Sprint Week title.
Ranked second in the poll is Damion Gardner of Concord, California, who was previously ranked number one in the nation. Gardner, the third place point-getter in Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) races, pilots Harlan Willis' Mike Nigh-wrenched TCR Performance sprinter.
Those drivers ranked third through fifth, respectively, are Jay Drake of California (up from 12th in the spring poll), SCRA point leader Richard Griffin of New Mexico, and USAC runner-up Tracy Hines of Indiana. Rounding out the 'top ten' non-winged sprint car drivers in the nation are previously-unranked Jon Stanbrough, SCRA runner-up Troy Rutherford, Rip Williams, Cory Kruseman, and Brandon "Bud" Kaeding, respectively.
The National Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll is an annual awards program of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Foundation, Inc., of Knoxville, Iowa.
Summer 2003 National Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll
1., J.J. Yeley (16), Phoenix, AZ, 1500 points
2., Damion Gardner, Concord, CA, 561
3., Jay Drake, Val Verde, CA, 511
4., Richard Griffin, Silver City, NM, 475
5., Tracy Hines, New Castle, IN, 352
6., Jon Stanbrough, Jamestown, IN, 336
7., Troy Rutherford, Ojai, CA, 195
8., Rip Williams, Yorba Linda, CA, 173
9., Cory Kruseman, Ventura, CA, 169
10., Brandon "Bud" Kaeding, Campbell, CA, 162
11., Boston Reid, Fairmont, IN, 117
12., Michael Lewis, Noblesville, IN, 94
13., Steve Ostling, Corona, CA, 88
14., Levi Jones, Olney, IL, 65
15., Mike Spencer, Temecula, CA, 59
16., Mike Kirby, Lomita, CA, 32
17., Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN, 25
18., Rickie Gaunt, Torrance, CA, 17
19., Brian Tyler, Parma, MI, 14
20., Tony Hunt, Fair Oaks, CA, 13
21., Eric Gordon, Indianapolis, IN, 12
tie, Tony Jones, Garden Grove, CA, 12
23., Kevin Briscoe, Mitchell, IN, 10
24., Michael Burthay, Kokomo, IN, 9
25., Chris Wakim, Simi Valley, CA, 7
Also receiving multiple votes: Jeff Gardner, Matt Neely, Eric Wilkins.