From Bill Wright
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (January 17, 2020) — For the first time in his career, Brad Sweet of Grass Valley, California, 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. The 2019 World of Outlaws (WoO) champion earned twenty (20) of the twenty-three (23) first-place ballots cast in the year-end poll. David Gravel, Aaron Reutzel and Donny Schatz all received one first-place ballot.
Those drivers ranked second through fifth, respectively, are fourteen-time “Driver of the Year” Award recipient Donny Schatz of North Dakota, Knoxville Nationals champion David Gravel of Connecticut, All Star champion and Tuscarora 50 winner Aaron Reutzel of Texas, and Logan Schuchart of Pennsylvania. Rounding out the ‘top ten’ for the season, respectively, are Daryn Pittman, Danny Dietrich, Brian Brown, Sheldon Haudenschild and Lance Dewease.
For the third time, Kasey Kahne Racing will receive the “Team of the Year Award.” It will be the first for the #49 team, who among their wins, claimed Eldora’s King’s Royal in July.
Californians Michael “Buddy” Kofoid and Gio Scelzi (his second such award) will share the “Wild Card Award” for their exciting ‘410’ sprint car performances in 2019. California’s Mason Daniel is the “Rookie of the Year Award” recipient, following up his winning of the same award in the ‘360’ class in 2018.
Steve O’Neal of Port Royal Speedway earned “Promoter of the Year” honors for the fourth time in a row. Dan Musselman of Maxim Racing will receive “Builder/Manufacturer of the Year” honors for the ‘410’ poll. This is the first such award for Musselman (Chuck Merrill was honored nine times with Maxim). The “Media Member of the Year” award will go to Speed Sport’s Mike Kerchner for the first time.
“Thomas J. Schmeh Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Sport”
Bill Simpson of Simpson Performance Products has been posthumously honored with the “Thomas J. Schmeh Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Sport.” Bill was a pioneer in the racing safety business with his company, Simpson Performance Products. He started Impact! Racing in 2002. Bill started with safety chutes for drag racers, and would also develop gloves, helmets, restraints, shoes and the first fire suits used in racing.
Past recipients of the North American Sprint Car Poll’s “Outstanding Contribution to the Sport Award” are as follows: the late Greg Hodnett, Dave Pusateri, the late Bryan Clauson, Dave Darland, Sammy Swindell, Fred Rahmer, Johnny Gibson, the late Jerry Reigle, Steve Sinclair, Kasey Kahne, Tom Schmeh, the late Dick Jordan, the late Fred Brownfield, Doug Auld, the late Hank Gentzler, Tony Stewart, Emmett Hahn, Allan Holland, Dave Argabright, Ron Shuman, the late Kevin Gobrecht, Jack Hewitt, the late Jack Miller, Brad Doty, Art & Carol Malies, Dave Bowman, the late Ralph Capitani, the late Ted Johnson, Mark Kuchan, Steve Kinser, the late Don Martin, Steve Beitler, Lee Brewer, Jr., Mark Kinser, Frank Lewis, the late Earl Baltes, Casey & Beverly Luna, Elayne Hoff, Jean Lynch, the late J.W. Hunt, and Bert Emick.
The North American 410 Sprint Car Poll is an annual awards program of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum. All awards will be distributed in 2020 at tracks throughout North America. The awards were announced at the 2020 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
North American 410 Sprint Car Poll Top 20
Position. Name, Hometown, Points (First Place Votes)
1. Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA, 2180 (20)
2. Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND, 1250 (1)
3. David Gravel, Watertown, CT, 963 (1)
4. Aaron Reutzel, Clute, TX, 766 (1)
5. Logan Schuchart, Hanover, PA, 504
6. Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK, 4440
7. Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, PA, 354
8. Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO, 299
9. Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, OH, 221
10. Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, PA, 214
11. Carson Macedo, Lemoore, CA, 204
12. Gio Scelzi, Fresno, CA, 158
13. Dale Blaney, Hartford, OH, 116
14. Freddie Rahmer, Salfordville, PA, 96
15. Cory Eliason, Visalia, CA, 70
16. Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, CA, 62
17. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid, Penngrove, CA, 53
18. Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, PA, 52
19. James McFadden, Alice Springs, NT, Aust., 50
20. Bill Balog, Hartland, WI, 37
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