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DATE News (chronologically)
02/01/11
racing news
SPEED presents Mario Andretti Trophy  Fresh off a 10-day goodwill tour of Europe and the Middle East to visit U.S. service members with a contingent of IndyCar drivers, racing legend Mario Andretti traveled to Red Bull Racing's Formula One headquarters in Milton Keynes, Great Britain to present 2010 FIA Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel with the Mario Andretti Trophy as the 2010 SPEED Performer of the Year. The award, now in its fifth season, is presented annually by SPEED to the racer who puts a premium on winning races, shines on motor sports' biggest stages and does it all with a measure of sportsmanship and class. In 2010, at 23, Vettel became the youngest driver ever to win the FIA Formula One World Championship, besting Lewis Hamilton's 2008 effort by six months. The young German racer finished the season with five wins, 10 poles and 10 podiums, claiming the title in the final race of the season -- a finale that marked the first time in the series' 60-year history that four drivers had a shot at the title.

The 2010 SPEED Performer of the Year was selected by a panel including racing legends Andretti, Dan Gurney and Sir Stirling Moss, "Wind Tunnel" host Dave Despain, veteran broadcasters Varsha, Ralph Sheheen and Leigh Diffey, SPEED.com writers Robin Miller and Tom Jensen, versatile racers Tommy Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder and a select group of SPEED motor sports producers.
The trophy, a true work of art created by bronze sculptor Elie Hazak, stands 38 inches tall and weighs 95 pounds. It features eight cars, including six of the most important in Mario's rise to superstardom, as well as an array of artistic symbolism that captures the essence of the trophy's namesake.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who won his fifth consecutive title in 2010 and is a three-time Mario Andretti Trophy winner, was this year's runner-up. The top six vote-getters will be featured in a one-hour SPEED television special on Feb. 10 at 9:00pm/et, along with nine additional "fan chosen" SPEED Performance Awards, including RACER Rookie of the Year. SPEED
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