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Sat, 29 Sep 2007, 08:42 AM

Driver of the Year Vote
By Norm Froscher

IRL driver and points leader Dario Franchitti won two races and had two second places to propel him to the third quarter Driver of the Year vote.

Franchitti (pronounced fran-keeny) had seven first-place votes and 100 points to beat out NASCAR Nextel Cup's Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson, who won three and two races, respectively, during the quarter.

Stewart received two first-place votes and 65 points, while Johnson had three first-place nods and 51 points from the 18-member media panel.

Panelists vote for six drivers and points are awarded on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 scale by the 18 member media panel.

Drag racers didn't fare that well, but NHRA Pro Stocker Dave Connolly received one secon- place vote and three sixth-place nods, while 14-time Funny Car Champion John Force received one second-place vote.

Force and Pro Stock's Greg Anderson are drag racers who have received the yearly honor.

A fourth quarter vote will be taken and then the 2007 Driver of the Year will be selected by secret ballot. Franchitti also won the second quarter and NASCAR's Johnson the first quarter balloting.

Also, the Driver of the Year panel awarded Lewis Franck the Lifetime Achievement Award, Franck was only the second free lancer to receive the coveted award, Drag Race Central's Norm Froscher being the first.

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