GLENDORA, Calif. (Nov. 30, 2009) - Two-time Jerry Titus Award winner Tony Schumacher headlines a list of five NHRA drivers named to the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association All-America Teams.
Schumacher was named to the First Team; Ashley Force Hood and Frank Manzo were named to the Second Team; Larry Dixon, Mike Edwards and Robert Hight were named to the Honorable-Mention Team.
The Jerry Titus Award, which is given in remembrance of the late racer/journalist, will be presented to the top vote-getter among the eight First-Team drivers at the conclusion of the AARWBA All-America ceremonies in Brownsburg, Ind. on Jan. 16.
According to the AARWBA release, just two drivers - separated by just two votes - are contenders for this year's Jerry Titus Award and "one is not at all unexpected but the other is a high surprise."
Schumacher, a Titus Award winner in 2006 and 2008, is joined on the First-Team by Dario Franchitti (Open Wheel), Mark Martin (Stock Car), Jon Fogarty/Alex Gurney (Road Racing), Donny Schatz (Short Track), Ron Hornaday (Touring Series) and J.R. Hildebrand (At-Large).
Schumacher, driver of the U.S. Army dragster, won his sixth straight and seventh overall NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel championship in 2009 and this is his seventh selection as an AARWBA First-Team All-America.
One driver from each of seven categories is elected to the First Team, one more to the Second Team, and all drivers receiving at least five percent of the vote (minimum five votes) earn honorable mention.
Force Hood, third-year driver of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, earned her first All-America recognition with two wins, 39 round wins (t-2 in Funny Car) and she led all Funny Car drivers with six runners-up and six No. 1 qualifiers (4.17 avg. qualifying position).
NHRA Lucas Oil Series TAFC Champion Frank Manzo, who drives the Lucas Oil/JEG's/Hoosier Tire Chevy Monte Carlo, was voted onto the AARWBA All-America Second-Team as an At-Large selection, giving NHRA six drivers on the team. Manzo added to his already-full trophy case in 2009 with a 13th national championship and a 19th divisional championship.
Dixon, driver of the Al-Anabi dragster, compiled a 47-18 round-win record (.723 winning pct.) en route to his five wins and nine final rounds, he led all Top Fuel drivers with nine No. 1 qualifiers (2.57 avg. qualifying position) and he finished just two points behind Schumacher.
Edwards, driver of the A.R.T./Young Life Pontiac, earned his first career NHRA Full Throttle Series Pro Stock championship by storming through the six-race playoff (two wins, 15-4 round-win record) after finishing the regular season in third place.
Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang, made a historical run through NHRA's six-race playoff - winning three of six races and compiling an NHRA-best 15-3 round-win record - to win his first NHRA Full Throttle Series Funny Car title after finishing the regular season in 10th place.
Information on the All-America Banquet is available at www.AARWBA.org. The banquet and ceremony is open to the public.
FIRST TEAM OPEN WHEEL: Dario Franchitti STOCK CAR: Mark Martin ROAD RACING: Jon Fogarty/Alex Gurney DRAG RACING: Tony Schumacher SHORT TRACK: Donny Schatz TOURING SERIES: Ron Hornaday AT LARGE: J.R. Hildebrand SECOND TEAM OPEN WHEEL: Helio Castroneves STOCK CAR: Jimmie Johnson ROAD RACING: David Brabham/Scott Sharp DRAG RACING: Ashley Force Hood SHORT TRACK: Joey Saldana TOURING SERIES: Parker Kligerman AT LARGE: Frank Manzo HONORABLE MENTION (At least 5% of the vote) OPEN WHEEL: none STOCK CAR: Kyle Busch. Tony Stewart ROAD RACING: Gil deFerran/Simon Pagenaud, Luis Diaz/Adrian Fernandez DRAG RACING: Larry Dixon, Mike Edwards, Robert Hight SHORT TRACK: Levi Jones, Brad Kuhn TOURING SERIES: Justin Lofton AT LARGE: Travis Pastrana/Christian Edstrom
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