DONNY SCHATZ NAMED NORTH AMERICAN 410 SPRINT CAR POLL "DRIVER OF THE YEAR" FOR 2008-- UNANIMOUSLY-- AGAIN KNOXVILLE, IOWA (December 13, 2008) - For the third consecutive year, Donny Schatz of Fargo, North Dakota, was voted ...
DONNY SCHATZ NAMED NORTH AMERICAN 410 SPRINT CAR POLL "DRIVER OF THE YEAR" FOR 2008-- UNANIMOUSLY-- AGAIN
KNOXVILLE, IOWA (December 13, 2008) - For the third consecutive year, Donny Schatz of Fargo, North Dakota, was voted the "Driver of the Year" by the North American 410 Sprint Car Poll voting panel of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers. Like he did last year, the 2008 World of Outlaws (WoO) point champion and the '08 Knoxville Nationals winner earned all twenty-four (24) first place ballots cast in the year-end poll. His first-year car owner, Tony Stewart, will receive the 2008 "Team of the Year" award for his second time, as he also won it back in 2001. In the history of the '410' poll from 1985 to present, Donny Schatz (2007, '08) and Steve Kinser (1988, 1994, 2002) are the only two drivers to have been unanimously voted 'number one' in North America by the entire voting panel.
Those drivers ranked second through fifth, respectively, are WoO regulars Jason Meyers of California, 14-time "Driver of the Year" and National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kinser of Indiana, Craig Dollansky of Minnesota, and Joey Saldana of Indiana. Rounding out the 'top ten' for the season are Jac Haudenschild, Williams Grove Speedway and Speed Dawg Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car Point Series champion Fred Rahmer, All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) titlist Dale Blaney, Daryn Pittman and 2001 "Driver of the Year" and '08 Knoxville Raceway champion Danny Lasoski, respectively.
Pat Cannon of Pennsylvania has earned the "Rookie of the Year" award in the '410' division. Following a tie in the voting, Ralph Capitani of Knoxville Raceway in Iowa and Justin Loh of the Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania will share the "Promoter of the Year" honors. National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee Capitani is a 9-time winner of this award, while Loh will be a first-time recipient. Jack Elam of J&J Chassis, who claimed the 2008 "Builder/Manufacturer of the Year" award in the '360' poll, will also garner the same plaque for the '410' poll.
Sharing the "Wild Card Award" for exciting '410' sprint car performances, due to another tie in the voting process, are youngster Cody Darrah of Pennsylvania and veteran Jac Haudenschild of Ohio. "Media Member of the Year" was earned by National Speed Sports News editor and publisher emeritus Chris Economaki. According to poll founder Tom Schmeh, "Not many people know it, but the Wild Card Award was basically named for Jac Haudenschild back in 1985. I wanted an award to recognize drivers who were as exciting to watch as the 'Wild Child', so I named it the 'Wild Card Award' and the 'Ohio Traveler' Rick Ferkel won it the first year. 'Haud' won the Wild Card Award in the non-winged poll in 2003, but this is the first time that he's earned it in the winged '410' poll. And, while it's incredibly hard to believe, this is the first time that the North American Sprint Car Poll has ever honored Chris Economaki with an award. Sprint car racing fans everywhere owe a huge debt of gratitude to Hall of Famer Chris Economaki for all he's done during his long career in motorsports journalism to expose the general public to the sport that we love so much. And the fact that the scrivener known worldwide continues it today through his weekly 'Editor's Notebook' column in National Speed Sports News is nothing short of remarkable. Take a bow, Chris!"
The North American 410 Sprint Car Poll is an annual awards program of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Foundation, Inc., of Knoxville, Iowa. All awards will be distributed in the spring of 2009 at tracks throughout North America. The awards were announced late on the third and final day of the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Orlando, Florida.
FINAL 2008 NORTH AMERICAN 410 SPRINT CAR POLL
rank, driver (first place votes), hometown, state, points
1., Donny Schatz (24), Fargo, ND, 2300
2., Jason Meyers, Clovis, CA, 1135
3., Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN, 628
4., Craig Dollansky, Elk River, MN, 626
5., Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN, 469
6., Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH, 419
7., Fred Rahmer, Salfordville, PA, 406
8., Dale Blaney, Fowler, OH, 304
9., Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK, 202
10., Danny Lasoski, Higginsville, MO, 197
11., Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, PA, 141
12., Terry McCarl, Pleasant Hill, PA, 125
13., Mark Dobmeier, Grand Forks, ND, 105
14., Kerry Madsen, St. Marys, NSW, AUS, 76
15., Danny Smith, Danville, IN, 53
16., Todd Shaffer, Millerstown, PA, 51
17., Chad Kemenah, Findlay, OH, 50
tie, Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, PA, 50
19., Tim Kaeding, Campbell, CA, 43
20., Jonathan Allard, Chico, CA, 41
21., Tyler Walker, Los Angeles, CA, 27
22., Jason Johnson, Eunice, LA, 18
23., Brooke Tatnell, San Souci, NSW, AUS, 17
24., Doug Esh, Lancaster, PA, 16
25., Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN, 14
Also receiving multiple votes: Billy Alley, Billy Balog, Cody Darrah, Greg Hodnett, Brent Kaeding, Paul McMahan, Byron Reed, Lucas Wolfe.