Brad Sweet is North American 410 Sprint Car Poll “Driver of the Year”

Brad Sweet Trent Gower Photo

By Bob Baker
Knoxville, IA, December 29, 2023 – Brad Sweet of Grass Valley, California was voted “Driver of the Year” by the North American 410 Sprint Car Poll voting panel of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers for the third time in his career. Sweet topped the World of Outlaw series for the fifth consecutive season. Only Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz have done that. Among Brad’s eleven WoO wins were the Skagit Nationals, the Williams Grove National Open and the finale at the Charlotte World Finals. In one of the most interesting 410 polls in history, seven drivers earned first-place consideration. Sweet received twelve of the 24 first-place nods. Others to receive first place votes were All Star Rayce Rudeen Foundation and four-time High Limit winner Rico Abreu of St. Helena, California (4), Huset’s High Bank Nationals winner David Gravel of Watertown, Connecticut (3), Knoxville Nationals winner Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, California (2), Eldora King’s Royal winner Donny Schatz of Fargo, North Dakota, 2022 National Driver of the Year Brent Marks of Myerstown, Pennsylvania, and NARC King of the West champ Corey Day of Clovis, California.

Those drivers ranked second through fifth, respectively, are Gravel, Abreu, Larson and Jackson Nationals and seven-time WoO winner, Carson Macedo of Lemoore, California.

“Million Dollar Man” Logan Schuchart, Schatz, Marks, All Star champion Zeb Wise and nine-time All Star winner, Tyler Courtney rounded out the top ten in the poll.

The Rico Abreu Racing #24 was voted the 410 “Team of the Year” after their memorable season.

Corey Day will receive his first career North American Sprint Car Poll honor as the “Wild Card Award” Award winner for being voted the most entertaining 410 driver.

Bryce Lucius of Findlay, Ohio is the “Rookie of the Year” in the 410 class after his successful weekly campaigns at both Attica and Fremont in Ohio.

Jerry Gappens has earned “Promoter of the Year” honors in the 410 class for the first time. Jerry just completed his first full season at Eldora Speedway, which featured among many events the sprint car “Million.”

“Builder/Manufacturer of the Year” honors in the ‘410’ poll will go to Dave Sharpley of Sharp Advantage Safety Products for the first time! Sharp is known for their innovative seat inserts.

The “Media Member of the Year” Award goes to FloRacing and Michael Rigsby. It is Flo’s second such award with the 410 class, and fifth overall.

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

A deserving recipient will receive the 2023 “Thomas J. Schmeh Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Sport,” the highest honor in the North American Sprint Car Poll. Kevin Rudeen has brought much to the sport in the last few years as a car owner and now promoter. After purchasing Skagit Speedway in his native Washington, he has ramped up sprint car racing in the area, and returned the “Dirt Cup” to a premiere 410 event. Kevin has also brought awareness with the Rayce Rudeen Foundation and is a leading contributor to the “Make A Wish” Foundation at the Trophy Cup each year, among other charities.

Past recipients of the North American Sprint Car Poll’s “Outstanding Contribution to the Sport Award” are as follows: Shane Carson, Tod Quiring, Carlton Reimers, Kyle Larson, the late Bill Simpson, 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 2023 at tracks and events throughout North America.

2023 North American 410 Sprint Car Poll Top 20

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

1. Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA, 1692 (12)

2. David Gravel, Watertown, CT, 1400 (3)

3. Rico Abreu, St. Helena, CA, 1002 (4)

4. Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, CA, 652 (2)

5. Carson Macedo, Lemoore, CA, 570

6. Logan Schuchart, Hanover, PA, 513

7. Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND, 352 (1)

8. Brent Marks, Myerstown, PA, 344 (1)

9. Zeb Wise, Angola, IN, 279

10. Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, IN, 232

11. Corey Day, Clovis, CA, 222 (1)

12. Giovanni Scelzi, Fresno, CA, 213

13. Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, OH, 148

14. Freddie Rahmer, Salfordville, PA, 140

15. Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO, 138

16. James McFadden, Alice Springs, NT, Aust., 108

17. Anthony Macri, Dillsburg, PA, 104

18. Justin Peck, Monrovia, IN, 98

19. Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, PA, 84

20. Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA, 49

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