KNOXVILLE, IOWA (MARCH 21, 2002) - Pennzoil World
of Outlaws (WoO) Series founder and president Ted Johnson has been named
sprint car racing's most influential leader for the twelfth consecutive
year, according to the voting panel of the National Sprint Car Poll.
Ted garnered thirty-four (34) of the fifty-eight (58) first place ballots
cast by the select voting panel of non-winged, 360- and 410-cubic-inch
sprint car racing media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and
Ranked second in the special edition National Sprint Car Poll is Knoxville
Raceway director of racing and current RPM Auto Racing Promoter of the Year,
Ralph Capitani. "Cappy", who promotes the sport's 360-,
410-c.i. and 1200-pound National Championship events for the Marion
County Fair Association, earned twelve (12) first place ballots.
Rounding out the top five of the sport's most influential leaders are Earl
Baltes of the world-famous Eldora Speedway, Emmett Hahn of the American
Sprint Car Series (ASCS), and Bert Emick of the All Star Circuit of
Champions (ASCoC), respectively. Individuals other than Johnson and
Capitani who received first place votes are Baltes (2), Hahn, Emick, Karl
Kinser (2), Steve Kinser (3), Doug Auld, Tony
Stewart, and J.V. Brotherton.
Rounding out the top ten most influential leaders in sprint car racing are
Ron Shuman of the Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) and Non-Winged World
Championship (NWWC), Hall of Fame owner/mechanic Karl Kinser, 16-time WoO
champion Steve Kinser, veteran journalist Dave Argabright, and Chuck Merrill
of Maxim Chassis, respectively.
Those making their debut on the annual list are new United States Auto Club
(USAC) president Rollie Helmling in 14th, defending WoO champion Danny
Lasoski in 15th, driver-turned-builder Bob East of Beast Chassis in 24th,
Lasoski's high-profile sprint car owner/NASCAR stock car driver Tony Stewart
in 25th, veteran cylinder head manufacturer J.V. Brotherton of Brodix
in 26th, and Interstate Racing Association (IRA) president Steve Sinclair in
According to Tom Schmeh, executive director of the poll-sponsoring National
Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum, "The real value of this special
edition poll is only apparent when it is viewed in an historical context.
It is interesting to see that people within sprint
car racing continue to view Ted Johnson as the most influential leader of a
sport that remains very fragmented. It is equally interesting to note
that of the top thirty individuals, only eleven were listed in the inaugural
poll's 'top 30' in 1991. As Open Wheel magazine reported in
2001, there is a definite changing-of-the-guard taking place in sprint car
racing today, and ironically that became all-too-apparent late last year
with that publication's own demise."
Edition National Sprint Car Poll:
"Sprint Car Racing's 30 Most Influential Leaders"
Rank Person (1st Place) Affiliation
1. Ted Johnson (34) World of
Outlaws 410 sanction
2. Ralph Capitani (12) Knoxville Raceway
360/410 promoter 2,932
3. Earl Baltes ( 2) Eldora
Speedway non-w/360/410 promoter 1,554
4. Emmett Hahn ( 1) American Spr
Car Ser 360 sanction
5. Bert Emick ( 1) All Star
Circuit 410 sanction
6. Ron Shuman
7. Karl Kinser ( 2) Mopar #5m
8. Steve Kinser ( 3) Quaker State #11
410 driver/owner 772
9. Dave Argabright Elbows
Up!/NSSN non-w/360/410 media
10. Chuck Merrill
Maxim Chassis non-w/360/410 bldr./mfr.
11. Doug Auld ( 1) Sprint
Car & Midget non-w/360/410 media 335
12. Brad Doty
Sprint Car Network 410 media
13. Tom Schmeh
Natl Spr Car Museum non-w/360/410 media 242
14. Rollie Helmling U.S. Auto Club
15. Danny Lasoski J.D.
Byrider #20 410 driver
16. John Padjen Silver Dollar/GSC/CWS 360/410
17. Allan Holland www.hoseheads.com
non-w/360/410 media 174
18. Lanny Edwards
Devil's Bowl/OKC 360/410 promoter
19. Jerry Russell
Eagle Chassis non-w/360/410 bldr./mfr.
20. Jason Smith
U.S. Auto Club non-w sanction
21. Chris Economaki Elbows
Up!/NSSN non-w/360/410 media
22. Earl Gaerte
Gaerte Engines non-w/360/410 bldr./mfr.
23. Jack Elam
non-w/360/410 bldr./mfr. 94
24. Bob East
Beast Chassis non-w bldr./mfr.
25. Tony Stewart ( 1) J.D. Byrider #20
26. J.V. Brotherton ( 1) Brodix Cyl. Heads
non-w/360/410 bldr./mfr. 71
27. Alan Kreitzer Wms.
Grove/Lincoln non-w/360/410 promoter 66
28. Bob Jones
Williams Grove non-w/360/410 promoter
29. Steve Sinclair
Interstate Rac Assn 410 sanction
30. Pete Walton
United Spr Car Ser 360 sanction
Also receiving multiple votes: Dick Berggren, Fred
Brownfield, Johnny Capels, Dick Carbery, Neil Cowman, Mike Devin, Kevin
Eckert, Bruce Ellis, Gene Frankart, C. Ray Hall, Al Hamilton, Bobby
Jackson, Jay Jonas, Mark Kinser, Stanley Kolan, Keith Kunz, Bob Lawton,
Steve Lewis, Jean Lynch, Mike Martin, Terry McCarl, Bob Miller, Stu Murray,
Jim Naylor, Bob Newton, Carlton Reimers, Ron Shaver, Bruton Smith, Gary
Stanton, Greg Stephens, Sammy Swindell, John Zimmerman.
Note: non-w = non-winged sprint car; 360 =
360-cubic-inch sprint car;
410 = 410-cubic-inch sprint car.