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DATE News (chronologically)
12/02/08
irl
Dixon, Castroneves, Matos earn First Team All-America honors
Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Raphael Matos have been voted to the 2008 All-America Auto Racing First Team by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. They are among 17 drivers in seven categories eligible for the Jerry Titus Award that will be presented to the Driver of the Year Jan. 10 in Ontario, Calif.

Dixon and Castroneves swept First Team honors in the Open-Wheel category as the top two vote getters. Dixon, the IndyCar Series champion, recorded a record-tying six victories in 2008, including the Indianapolis 500, to win his second series championship by 17 points over Castroneves. Castroneves won twice and set a series record with eight second-place finishes in his pursuit of Dixon. The two of them easily outdistanced the other nominees in the Open Wheel category. Both are now four-time All-Americans, the third time for Dixon on First Team and the first time Castroneves has achieved the top rung.

Matos earned First Team honors in the At Large category. Matos won the Firestone Indy Lights championship on the strength of three victories. He is the fifth Firestone Indy Lights champion since 2002 to earn First Team honors. Matos will compete in the IndyCar Series in 2009.

Ryan Briscoe and Tony Kanaan were voted to the Second Team. Briscoe, who recorded his first two IndyCar Series victories in 2008 en route to a fifth-place finish in the championship, was voted to the All-America Team for the first time. The Australia native also won the non-points race in his home country in October.

Kanaan, who won once in 2008 and finished third overall, was elected for the fourth time.

Danica Patrick and Dan Wheldon earned Honorable Mention honors by garnering at least 5 percent of the overall votes. Patrick finished a career-high sixth in the championship and earned her first career victory in 2008, becoming the first woman to win a major Indy car event. Wheldon was named to the team for the fourth time in his career. He won two races in 2008 and finished fourth overall.

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