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Wed, 3 Sep 2003, 02:39 PM

Dixon Nominated for Third Quarter Driver of the Year
Courtesy of NHRA Communications

GLENDORA, Calif. -- NHRA Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon has been nominated for the third quarter Driver of the Year.

Dixon, the defending NHRA POWERade Top Fuel champion, is one of eight drivers to be nominated. The current points leader has eight wins in 11 final round appearances and is aiming for back-to-back POWERade Top Fuel championships. This is the second time this season that Dixon has been nominated for the quarterly award. Last year Dixon was named the second quarter award winner.

"I think it is an honor to be recognized by the media for the things we do on the track," Dixon said. "Just to be included in this group is a real honor."

The other nominees are Helio Castroneves (IRL), Scott Pruett (Trans-Am), Paul Tracy (CART), Matt Kenseth (NASCAR), Kevin Harvick (NASCAR), Ryan Newman (NASCAR) and J.J. Yeley (USAC).

John Force ('96) is the only drag racer to win the Driver of the Year Award.

The Driver of the Year program, in its 37th year, is administered by the Driver of the Year Foundation, located in Sarasota, Fla. The Driver of the Year is picked by a select panel of motorsports journalists, including Chris Economacki, National Speed Sport News; Shav Glick, LA Times; Steve Ballard, Indianapolis Star; Mike Harris, Associated Press; Mark Armijo, Arizona Republic; John Sturbin, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram and Chris Jenkins, USA Today, among others. also participates, through an online poll, allowing fans to cast a vote. The winner will receive a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix Swiss watch.

The Driver of the Year is based on a 25-point system. Each panelist ranks the nominees from 1-6, and points are awarded to the drivers as follows: 9 points for first, 6 for second, 4 for third, 3 for fourth, 2 for fifth and 1 for sixth.

In addition to Force, other drivers to win the award include Jeff Gordon, Mario Andretti, Cale Yarborough, Al Unser, Richard Petty, A.J. Foyt, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte, among others.

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