From Bob Baker
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (January 13, 2017) – For the ninth time in his career, 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. The 2016 World of Outlaws (WoO) champion earned seventeen (17) of the twenty (20) first-place ballots cast in the year-end poll. The other first-place vote-getters were Daryn Pittman, Jason Johnson and the late Bryan Clauson.
Tony Stewart, owner of the Donny Schatz sprint car, earned his ninth “Team of the Year” honors, though three of those have come from the North American Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll.
Those drivers ranked second through fifth, respectively, are Daryn Pittman of Oklahoma, David Gravel of Connecticut, 2016 Knoxville Nationals winner Jason Johnson and Brad Sweet. Rounding out the ‘top ten’ for the season, respectively, are 2016 Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car champion Greg Hodnett, Shane Stewart, Dale Blaney, Joey Saldana, and 2016 National Sprint League champion Danny Lasoski.
Jason Johnson of Louisiana will receive the “Wild Card Award” for his exciting ‘410’ sprint car performances in 2016. Matt Campbell of Pennsylvania and Kody Lehman of Pennsylvania will share the “Rookie of the Year” award in the ‘410’ division of the North American Sprint Car Poll, due to a tie in the voting. Steve O’Neal of Port Royal Speedway and Tony Stewart of the All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) will do the same for the “Promoter of the Year” honors. The late George Fisher of GF-1 Chassis will earn the “Builder/Manufacturer of the Year” honors for the ‘410’ poll. The “Media Member of the Year” award will again go to Kendra Jacobs and Steve Post of the MAV-TV/MRN “Winged Nation” show.
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 2017 at tracks throughout North America. The awards were announced at the 2017 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.