Schumacher wins third-quarter Driver Of The Year award
Undefeated on the dragstrip, Tony Schumacher was voted third-quarter Driver Of The Year 2008. Schumacher won every NHRA POWERade Series event in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 14. That included his 53rd victory, breaking a tie for all-time Top Fuel wins with Joe Amato. It was his seventh straight win and 12th of the year.
The 39-year-old known as "the Sarge" continues to lead the points standings.
"It's an honor to be singled out for this award," said U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Schumacher. "Of course, I wouldn't be in the position that I'm in right now if I didn't have the best team that's ever been assembled in the history of the NHRA."
Barry Schmoyer, president of the Driver Of The Year Foundation, said, "You have to salute a driver who was so consistent, a consistent winner that is."
In the voting, Schumacher took 10 first-place ballots (of 17 cast) and received votes from the entire panel. With 111 points, he beat Jimmie Johnson. Johnson, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and the 2006 and 2007 Driver Of The Year, received two first-place votes and totaled 74 points.
Indy 500 winner and 2008 IndyCar champ Scott Dixon, who drives for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, received one first-place vote and totaled 67 points.
NASCAR's Carl Edwards, in Roush Racing's Aflac Ford, was fourth in the voting with one first-place vote.
Other drivers who received first-place votes included Kyle Busch, the first- and second-quarter Driver Of The Year 2008, and Helio Castroneves, who finished as runner-up to Dixon in the IndyCar standings.
A total of 15 eligible drivers scored points in the third-quarter voting.
"We're certainly having one of those dream seasons, but our business is far from being finished. We want to be holding another POWERade trophy come mid-November," added Schumacher.
In its 42nd year, the Driver Of The Year title is unique. A panel of 17 leading broadcasters and journalists from across the United States determines the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 basis. Schumacher will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at a later date.