Donny Schatz is North American 410 Sprint Car Poll “Driver of the Year” for Eleventh Time

nschof National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum Top Story

By Bill Wright
Knoxville, IA, January 18, 2019 – For the eleventh 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 2018 World of Outlaws (WoO) champion earned sixteen (16) of the nineteen (19) first-place ballots cast in the year-end poll. Brad Sweet earned two first-place votes and the late great, Greg Hodnett, received one first-place vote.

Those drivers ranked second through fifth, respectively, are Brad Sweet of California, David Gravel of Connecticut, Daryn Pittman of Oklahoma, and All Star Circuit of Champions titlist, Aaron Reutzel. Rounding out the ‘top ten’ for the season, respectively, are Greg Hodnett, Tim Shaffer, Logan Schuchart, Carson Macedo and Lance Dewease.

For the seventh time, the Tony Stewart Racing #15 team will receive the “Team of the Year Award” based on another strong season.

Kyle Larson will receive the “Wild Card Award” (his seventh overall between 410, 360 and Non-wing categories) for his exciting ‘410’ sprint car performances in 2018. California’s Colby Johnson is the “Rookie of the Year” Award recipient in the ‘410’ division of the North American Sprint Car Poll.

Steve O’Neal of Port Royal Speedway earned “Promoter of the Year” honors for the third time in a row. Jack and Bonnie Elam of J&J Auto Racing (their fourteenth such award) will receive “Builder/Manufacturer of the Year” honors for the ‘410’ poll. The “Media Member of the Year” award will go to’s Brian Dunlap.

“Thomas J. Schmeh Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Sport”

Greg Hodnett has been posthumously honored with the “Thomas J. Schmeh Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Sport.” Greg’s career began in the Memphis area in the footsteps of father, Hoyette. He became one of the greats with both the World of Outlaws and in central Pennsylvania. His passion for racing and his education in engineering elevated him to a level seldom seen as both a driver and mechanic.

Past recipients of the North American Sprint Car Poll’s “Outstanding Contribution to the Sport Award” are as follows: Dave Pusateri, the late Bryan Clauson, Dave Darland, Sammy Swindell, Fred Rahmer, Johnny Gibson, the late Jerry Reigle, Steve Sinclair, Kasey Kahne, Tom Schmeh, 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 2019 at tracks throughout North America. The awards were announced at the 2019 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

410 Sprint Car Poll Top 20

Position. Name, Hometown, Points (First Place Votes)

1. Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND, 1720 (16)

2. Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA, 1170 (2)

3. David Gravel, Watertown, CT, 532

4. Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK, 489

5. Aaron Reutzel, Clute, TX, 381

6. Greg Hodnett, Spring Grove, PA, 283 (1)

7. Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, PA, 274

8. Logan Schuchart, Hanover, PA, 227

9. Carson Macedo, Lemoore, CA, 210

10. Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, PA, 202

11. Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK, 185

12. Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, OH, 180

13. Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO, 137

14. Lucas Wolfe, Mechanicsburg, PA, 83

15. Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, CA, 80

16. Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA, 49

17. Jason Johnson, Eunice, LA, 47

18. Freddie Rahmer, Salfordville, PA, 46

19. Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Aust., 36

20. Brent Marks, Myerstown, PA, 34

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