Ted Johnson named most influential leader

Ted Johnson named sprint car racing's most influential for 12th year. KNOXVILLE, IOWA (MARCH 21, 2002) - Pennzoil World of Outlaws (WoO) Series founder and president Ted Johnson has been named sprint car racing's most influential leader...

Ted Johnson named sprint car racing's most influential for 12th year.

KNOXVILLE, IOWA (MARCH 21, 2002) - Pennzoil World of Outlaws (WoO) Series founder and president Ted Johnson has been named sprint car racing's most influential leader for the twelfth consecutive year, according to the voting panel of the National Sprint Car Poll. Ted garnered thirty-four (34) of the fifty-eight (58) first place ballots cast by the select voting panel of non-winged, 360- and 410-cubic-inch sprint car racing media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and builder/manufacturers.

Ranked second in the special edition National Sprint Car Poll is Knoxville Raceway director of racing and current RPM Auto Racing Promoter of the Year, Ralph Capitani. "Cappy", who promotes the sport's 360-, 410-c.i. and 1200-pound National Championship events for the Marion County Fair Association, earned twelve (12) first place ballots. Rounding out the top five of the sport's most influential leaders are Earl Baltes of the world-famous Eldora Speedway, Emmett Hahn of the American Sprint Car Series (ASCS), and Bert Emick of the All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC), respectively. Individuals other than Johnson and Capitani who received first place votes are Baltes (2), Hahn, Emick, Karl Kinser (2), Steve Kinser (3), Doug Auld, Tony Stewart, and J.V. Brotherton.

Rounding out the top ten most influential leaders in sprint car racing are Ron Shuman of the Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) and Non-Winged World Championship (NWWC), Hall of Fame owner/mechanic Karl Kinser, 16-time WoO champion Steve Kinser, veteran journalist Dave Argabright, and Chuck Merrill of Maxim Chassis, respectively.

Those making their debut on the annual list are new United States Auto Club (USAC) president Rollie Helmling in 14th, defending WoO champion Danny Lasoski in 15th, driver-turned-builder Bob East of Beast Chassis in 24th, Lasoski's high-profile sprint car owner/NASCAR stock car driver Tony Stewart in 25th, veteran cylinder head manufacturer J.V. Brotherton of Brodix in 26th, and Interstate Racing Association (IRA) president Steve Sinclair in 29th, respectively.

According to Tom Schmeh, executive director of the poll-sponsoring National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum, "The real value of this special edition poll is only apparent when it is viewed in an historical context. It is interesting to see that people within sprint car racing continue to view Ted Johnson as the most influential leader of a sport that remains very fragmented. It is equally interesting to note that of the top thirty individuals, only eleven were listed in the inaugural poll's 'top 30' in 1991. As Open Wheel magazine reported in 2001, there is a definite changing-of-the-guard taking place in sprint car racing today, and ironically that became all-too-apparent late last year with that publication's own demise."

<pre> Special Edition National Sprint Car Poll: "Sprint Car Racing's 30 Most Influential Leaders"

Rank Person (1st Place) Affiliation Occupation Pts.

 1.  Ted Johnson     (34)  World of Outlaws    410 sanction           4,210
 2.  Ralph Capitani  (12)  Knoxville Raceway   360/410 promoter       2,932
 3.  Earl Baltes     ( 2)  Eldora Speedway     non-w/360/410 promoter 1,554
 4.  Emmett Hahn     ( 1)  American Spr Car    360 sanction           1,205
 5.  Bert Emick      ( 1)  All Star Circuit    410 sanction           1,187
 6.  Ron Shuman            SCRA/NWWC           non-w sanction         1,154
 7.  Karl Kinser     ( 2)  Mopar #5m           410 owner                813
 8.  Steve Kinser    ( 3)  Quaker State #11    410 driver/owner         772
 9.  Dave Argabright       Elbows Up!/NSSN     non-w/360/410 media      364
10.  Chuck Merrill         Maxim Chassis       non-w/360/410 bldr./mfr. 340
11.  Doug Auld       ( 1)  Sprint Car & Midget non-w/360/410 media      335
12.  Brad Doty             Sprint Car Network  410 media                256
13.  Tom Schmeh            Natl Spr Car Museum non-w/360/410 media      242
14.  Rollie Helmling       U.S. Auto Club      non-w sanction           223
15.  Danny Lasoski         J.D. Byrider #20    410 driver               204
16.  John Padjen       Silver Dollar/GSC/CWS  360/410 promoter/sanction 184
17.  Allan Holland         www.hoseheads.com   non-w/360/410 media      174
18.  Lanny Edwards         Devil's Bowl/OKC    360/410 promoter         171
19.  Jerry Russell         Eagle Chassis       non-w/360/410 bldr./mfr. 147
20.  Jason Smith           U.S. Auto Club      non-w sanction           131
21.  Chris Economaki       Elbows Up!/NSSN     non-w/360/410 media       97
22.  Earl Gaerte           Gaerte Engines      non-w/360/410 bldr./mfr.  95
23.  Jack Elam             J&J Chassis         non-w/360/410 bldr./mfr.  94
24.  Bob East              Beast Chassis       non-w bldr./mfr.          84
25.  Tony Stewart    ( 1)  J.D. Byrider #20    410 owner                 78
26.  J.V. Brotherton ( 1)  Brodix Cyl. Heads   non-w/360/410 bldr./mfr.  71
27.  Alan Kreitzer         Wms. Grove/Lincoln  non-w/360/410 promoter    66
28.  Bob Jones             Williams Grove      non-w/360/410 promoter    65
29.  Steve Sinclair        Interstate Rac Assn 410 sanction              56
30.  Pete Walton           United Spr Car Ser  360 sanction              55

Also receiving multiple votes: Dick Berggren, Fred Brownfield, Johnny Capels, Dick Carbery, Neil Cowman, Mike Devin, Kevin Eckert, Bruce Ellis, Gene Frankart, C. Ray Hall, Al Hamilton, Bobby Jackson, Jay Jonas, Mark Kinser, Stanley Kolan, Keith Kunz, Bob Lawton, Steve Lewis, Jean Lynch, Mike Martin, Terry McCarl, Bob Miller, Stu Murray, Jim Naylor, Bob Newton, Carlton Reimers, Ron Shaver, Bruton Smith, Gary Stanton, Greg Stephens, Sammy Swindell, John Zimmerman.

Note: non-w = non-winged sprint car; 360 = 360-cubic-inch sprint car; 410 = 410-cubic-inch sprint car.


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About this article
Series Sprint , World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jason Smith , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Bob Miller , Bob Jones
Teams Williams