Finalists Named for Mario Andretti Trophy
In one of the strongest and most diverse fields in the history of the award, 16 racers from 13 different series have been nominated for the seventh annual presentation of the Mario Andretti Trophy as the SPEED Performer of the Year.
|Mario with the trophy|
“This might be one of the most difficult decisions to date,” said Andretti, the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and Formula One World Championship. “Every year, a few racers seem to elevate themselves above the rest, but this is a season loaded with extremely strong and passionate performances that all deserve consideration.”
Nominees include 2010 SPEED Performer of the Year Sebastian Vettel (F1), Fernando Alonso (F1), Brad Keselowski (NASCAR), Jorge Lorenzo (MotoGP), Casey Stoner (MotoGP), Ryan Hunter-Reay (IndyCar), Antron Brown (NHRA), Kyle Larson (USAC), Sammy Swindell (WoO), Sebastien Loeb (World Rally), Andre Lotterer (WEC), Max Biaggi (World Superbike), Scott Pruett (Grand-Am), Donny Schatz (WoO), Josh Hayes (AMA Pro Superbike) and Ryan Villipoto (Supercross).
Andretti will present the trophy, a 100-pound sculpture created by bronze artist Elie Hazak, as part of a SPEED Center special January 27.
Representing both four-wheel and two-wheel efforts across the globe, the Mario Andretti Trophy goes to the racer who puts a premium on winning races, shines on the sport’s biggest stages and does it all with a measure of sportsmanship and class.
The 2012 SPEED Performer of the Year is selected by a panel including Hall-of-Fame racing legends Andretti, Dan Gurney, Darrell Waltrip, Don Prudhomme, Scott Russell, "Wind Tunnel" host Dave Despain, veteran broadcasters Bob Varsha, Ralph Sheheen and Leigh Diffey, SPEED.com writers Robin Miller, Tom Jensen and Marshall Pruett, versatile racers Tommy Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder and a select group of SPEED motor sports producers.
Former winners and runners-up:
2011 – Tony Stewart, NASCAR; Casey Stoner, MotoGP
2010 – Sebastian Vettel, F1; Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR
2009 – Tony Schumacher, NHRA; Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR
2008 – Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR; Tony Schumacher, NHRA
2007 – Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR; Donny Schatz, WoO
2006 – Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR. Nicky Hayden, MotoGP