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Fri, 5 Dec 2008, 11:12 PM

Ten Finalists Announced for 6th Economaki Champion of Champions presented by Speedway
Courtesy of Pete Evanow

Winner to be Announced Next Week at PRI Trade Show in Orlando, Dec. 11

HARRISBURG, N.C. -- Motorsports Ten incredibly talented, championship-winning race drivers have been selected as the finalists for the 6th Annual Economaki Champion of Champions Award, presented by Speedway Motorsports, Inc., and America's Weekly Motorsports Authority, National Speed Sport News.

The 10 contenders have been profiled in the current issue (Dec. 3) of National Speed Sport News, and the winner will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 11, at 3:00 p.m. at the PRI Trade Show in Orlando.

The 10 finalists are:

* Justin Allgaier, ARCA RE/MAX - The 22-year-old pro ended Frank Kimmel's reign of eight consecutive ARCA titles
* Johnny Benson, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series - Benson took the championship by a mere seven points
* Jerry Coons, Jr., USAC Silver Crown, USAC National Sprint Car Series - Coons became the fifth driver in USAC history to win the Triple Crown during his career
* Billy Decker, Advance Auto Super DIRT Series - Decker scored 10 wins on his way to the top prize
* Scott Dixon, IndyCar Series - Dixon became the fourth consecutive IndyCar Series driver to win the Indianapolis 500 and the driving championship in the same season
* Jason Johnson, American Sprint Cars on Tour - A former crew member for Steve Kinser, Johnson won 21 races in 2008
* Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - He is only the second driver (joining Cale Yarborough) in NASCAR history to win the championship three years in a row
* Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas, Grand-Am Rolex Series - Another strong season for this duo of talented drivers
* Donny Schatz, World of Outlaws sprint cars - Schatz raced to his third-consecutive World of Outlaws championship, winning 18 races in the series
* Tony Schumacher, NHRA Top Fuel - Dominant is the best word to describe Schumacher's 2008 campaign as he earned 15 victories in 24 events

"Once again, we are delighted to be able to recognize the incredible achievements each of these drivers has accomplished this year," said Corinne Economaki, publisher of National Speed Sport News. "These drivers continue to excel year in and year out. Indeed, we have three former Economaki Champion of Champions winners among our finalists [Schatz, Schumacher and Jimmie Johnson], in addition to each of them being multiple finalists, with Tony earning five such distinctions out of the six years we have conducted this award.

"We also have six first-time finalists, so it's important we acknowledge the fact that many of this year's champions have joined our elite group because of their outstanding efforts both on and off the track," Corinne Economaki added. "We're looking forward to crowning a champion who so deserves our respect and admiration, especially when you look at what each finalist has accomplished in 2008."

The 6th Annual Economaki Champion of Champions presented by Speedway Motorsports, Inc., award will be presented by National Speed Sport News Editor Chris Economaki at the 21st Annual PRI Trade Show, December 11, 2008, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The event takes place at 3:00 p.m. on the MOPAR Stage, and will be hosted by Charlie Brown of

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