BURBANK, Calif –- 2002 IHRA World Champions Clay Millican and Jimmy Rector are nominated for the 2002 Auto Racing All-America team. Millican, the 2002 Hooters Racing Series Top Fuel World champion was nominated in the drag racing category for his second consecutive IHRA championship and his record 11 of 12 wins. Millican was nominated in the prestigious Drag Racing category, along with NHRA Funny Car World champion John Force, NHRA Top
Fuel world champion Larry Dixon, NHRA Top Fuel driver Kenny Bernstein, NHRA Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., and NHRA Funny Car driver Tony Pedregon.
Rector, the 2002 Hooters Racing Series Funny Car champion was nominated in the At Large category for his seven IHRA wins. Rector was nominated with Bill Auberlen, Grand Am GT road racing class co-champion, A.J. Foyt IV, the inaugural IRL Infiniti Pro Series champion, David Higgins, SCCA Pro Rally champion, Frank Manzo, NHRA Funny Car champion and Bryan Sellers, the SCCA Formula Ford 2000 champion. This is the first year Rector has been nominated for an All-American award.
Ballots are in the mail to almost 300 members of the motorsports press to select the 12-driver 2002 Auto Racing All-America team. Among those on the 2002 ballot are two former three-time Jerry Titus Award winners, John Force (1996, 1999, 2000) and Jeff Gordon (1995, 1998,2001), plus the driver who has been All-American more than any other, Steve Kinser (19-times on the team, 14 as First Team). Also on the ballot seeking selection in one of six categories - Open Wheel, Stock Car, Road Racing Drag Racing, Short Track and At Large - are 13 drivers who could be making their first-ever All-American appearance.
Members of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, have been sent their ballots to vote from among six drivers named in each category. Two from each category will be named to the first team, to be honored at the annual AARWBA banquet in January. The winner of the Jerry Titus Award will also be announced at the banquet.
The Titus Award, much like college football's Heisman Trophy, honors the team's top driver - the one earning the most votes in the balloting regardless of category.
The balloting will also determine a second team of the drivers placing third and fourth in each category, and honorable mentions to all other drivers receiving at least 5 percent of the vote. AARWBA members have annually chosen an All-America Auto Racing Team since 1970.
The banquet is open to the public. Ticket information is available from AARWBA, 922 N. Pass Ave., Burbank, Calif. 91505, or call (818) 842-7005. The drivers listed below are on the 2002 All-America ballot. Numbers in parentheses indicate previous times elected to first team/second team/honorable mention; *** indicates first time on ballot.
"Team IHRA and Hooters salute our 2002 Auto Racing All-America team nominees," stated IHRA President Bill Bader. "It’s a testimony to the competitiveness of the Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series that Clay and Jimmy have been nominated for this award." Team IHRA salutes our 2002 Auto Racing All-America team nominees.
DRAG RACING Clay Millican (0/0/1)- Hooters IHRA Top Fuel champion (second straight), record 11 wins. Kenny Bernstein (7/1/3) - NHRA Top Fuel runner-up, four wins on retirement tour Jeg Coughlin Jr. (0/1/0) - NHRA Pro Stock champion, eight wins Larry Dixon (0/1/0) - NHRA Top Fuel champion, nine wins John Force (10/4/2) - Won 12th NHRA Funny Car title, eight wins (record now 106) Tony Pedregon (***) - NHRA Funny Car runner-up, six wins
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