KNOXVILLE, IOWA (January 9, 2013) - For the fifth 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 2012 World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series point champion and 2012 Knoxville Nationals winner earned twenty (20) of the twenty-four (24) first-place ballots cast in the year-end poll. For the third time, teammate and team owner Tony Stewart earned 410-cubic-inch sprint car “Team of the Year” honors.
Those drivers ranked second through fifth, respectively, are 1997 “Driver of the Year” and National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee Sammy Swindell of Tennessee, Craig Dollansky of Minnesota, Central Pennsylvania Point Series and Williams Grove Speedway champion Greg Hodnett of Tennessee, and Joey Saldana of Indiana. Rounding out the ‘top ten’ for the season are 14-time “Driver of the Year” and National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kinser, All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) Ohio Region titlist Dale Blaney, ASCoC Western Region and National champion Tim Shaffer, Tim Kaeding and Kyle Larson, respectively. Sammy Swindell earned three (3) first-place votes, while Kyle Larson captured one (1).
Kyle Larson of California will receive the “Wild Card Award” for his exciting ‘410’ sprint car performances in 2012. In 2011, Larson was the recipient of the same award from all three North American Sprint Car Polls (‘410’, ‘360’ and Non-Winged).
Logan Schuchart of Pennsylvania, a first-year competitor at the Williams Grove Speedway in 2012, has earned the “Rookie of the Year” award in the ‘410’ division of the North American Sprint Car Poll. Kathy Hughes and Justin Loh of the same Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania will take home the “Promoter of the Year” honors.
Brian & Jeannie Butler of ButlerBuilt Seats and George Fisher of GF1 chassis will share the “Builder/Manufacturer of the Year” honors for the ‘410’ poll. The “Media Member of the Year” award will go to the team of Kendra Jacobs and Steve Post of the Motor Racing Network’s “Winged Nation” program.
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 the spring of 2013 at tracks throughout North America. The awards were announced on the second day of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Final 2012 North American 410 Sprint Car Poll:
(Rank, driver (first place votes), hometown, state/province and points)
1., Donny Schatz (20), Fargo, ND, 2105
2., Sammy Swindell (3), Memphis, TN, 1110
3., Craig Dollansky, Elk River, MN, 955
4., Greg Hodnett, Memphis, TN, 407
5., Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN, 403
6., Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN, 400
7., Dale Blaney, Fowler, OH, 344
8., Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, PA, 276
9., Tim Kaeding, Campbell, CA, 191
10., Kyle Larson (1), Elk Grove, CA, 16
11., Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN, 153
12., Kerry Madsen, St. Marys, NSW, AUS, 133
13., Danny Dietrich, Aspers, PA, 107
14., Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK, 105
15., Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA, 98
16., Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO, 78
17., Jonathan Allard, Chico, CA, 68
18., Paul McMahan, Elk Grove, CA, 64
19., Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA, 58
20., Brian Montieth, Phoenixville, PA, 56
21., Billy Balog, Fairbanks, AK, 31
22., David Gravel, Watertown, CT, 26
23., Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, PA, 25
24., Danny Lasoski, Higginsville, MO, 20
25., Bryan Sebetto, Fremont, OH, 18 (tie) Lucas Wolfe, Mechanicsburg, PA, 18
Also receiving multiple votes: Sean Becker, Mark Dobmeier, Chad Layton, Craig Mintz, Jason Sides, Stevie Smith, Shane Stewart and Tony Stewart.
-Press Release courtesy of National Sprint Car Hall of Fame