From Bob Baker
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (January 9, 2017) – Kevin Thomas Jr. of Cullman, Alabama, today was named the 2017 “Driver of the Year” by the North American Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll voting panel of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers for the first time. The 2017 Indiana Sprintweek champion and Perris (CA) Oval Nationals winner earned seven first-place ballots cast in the year-end poll.
Those drivers ranked second through fifth, respectively, are USAC National Sprint Car champion Chris Windom (four first place votes), Justin Grant (one first place vote), Tyler Courtney and USAC/California Racing Association (CRA) champion Damion Gardner. Rounding out the ‘top ten’ drivers are CJ Leary, Chase Stockon, Thomas Meseraull, Brody Roa and Robert Ballou and RJ Johnson (tied for tenth), respectively.
Sam McGhee, owner of the Sam McGhee Motorsports #11 earned the 2017 non-winged sprint car “Team of the Year” award.
Tyler Courtney will receive the “Wild Card Award” for his exciting non-winged sprint car performances in 2017, while Sutter, California’s Logan Seavey will receive the 2017 non-winged sprint car “Rookie of the Year” award.
Indiana’s Pat Sullivan will receive the North American Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll “Media Member of the Year” honors for the third time in his career. Jim O’Connor of the Kokomo Speedway (his fifth time) and USAC’s Levi Jones (his first such honor) will each receive the “Promoter of the Year” Award.
Jeff Swindell of Swindell Bleeders will receive the “Builder/Manufacturer of the Year” honors for the first time.
The North American Non-Winged 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 2018 at tracks and other locations throughout North America. The awards were announced at the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll Top 20
Position. Name, Hometown, Points (First Place Votes)
1. Kevin Thomas Jr., Cullman, AL, 930 (7)
2. Chris Windom, Canton, IL, 799 (4)
3. Justin Grant, Ione, CA, 610 (1)
4. Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, IN, 335
5. Damion Gardner, Concord, CA, 253
6. CJ Leary, Greenfield, IN, 197
7. Chase Stockon, Fort Branch, IN, 166
8. Thomas Meseraull, San Jose, CA, 141
9. Brody Roa, Buena Park, CA, 127
10. Robert Ballou, Rocklin, CA, 103
(tie) RJ Johnson, Phoenix, AZ, 103
12. Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK, 95
13. Brady Short, Mitchell, IN, 80
14. Chad Boespflug, Hanford, CA, 74
15. Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN, 60
16. Jake Swanson, Anaheim, CA, 54
17. Korey Weyant, Springfield, IL, 42
18. Kyle Cummins, Princeton, IN, 40
19. Dustin Smith, Russiaville, IN, 22
20. Carson Short, Marion, IL, 20
(tie) Richard Vander Weerd, Visalia, CA, 20
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