IOWA (May 1, 2003) -
Just five months ago, Damion Gardner of Concord, Calif., was receiving
his 2002 “Wild Card Award” from the National Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll
voting panel for his exciting driving performances last season.
Today he has been named the number one non-winged sprint car driver in
the nation by that same select panel of manufacturers, media members,
sanctioning officials and promoters. He
received 10 of 15 first-place ballots cast.
Gardner wheels the Willis Machine-sponsored TCR/Gaerte sprint car of
owner Harlan Willis in Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) competition and has
three wins to his credit already in the 2003 racing season.
Ranked second in the poll is veteran Richard Griffin of Silver City, New
Mexico, having collected one first-place ballot.
Griffin, the current SCRA point leader, pilots Ron Chaffin’s Bruce
Bromme-wrenched Madera Produce sprinter.
Those drivers ranked third through fifth, respectively, are J.J. Yeley of
Arizona, and California friends Cory Kruseman and Troy Rutherford.
Yeley leads the current United States Auto Club (USAC) point standings,
along with thirteenth-ranked Aaron Pierce.
Yeley and Kruseman, the 2002 and 2001 “Drivers of the Year”, each
earned two first-place votes. Rounding
out the ‘top ten’ non-winged sprint car drivers in the nation are Tracy
Hines, Rip Williams, Steve Ostling, Levi Jones, and Brandon “Bud” Kaeding,
The National Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll is an annual awards program of
the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Foundation, Inc., of
2003 National Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll
Damion Gardner (10), Concord, CA, 1085 points
Richard Griffin (1), Silver City, NM, 657
J.J. Yeley (2), Phoenix, AZ, 407
Cory Kruseman (2), Ventura, CA, 359
Troy Rutherford, Ojai, CA, 298
Tracy Hines, New Castle, IN, 256
Rip Williams, Yorba Linda, CA, 212
Steve Ostling, Corona, CA, 140
Levi Jones, Olney, IL, 136
Brandon “Bud” Kaeding, Campbell, CA, 125
Jeremy Sherman, Phoenix, AZ, 111
Jay Drake, Val Verde, CA, 67
Kevin Briscoe, Mitchell, IN, 62
Aaron Pierce, Muncie, IN, 62
Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN, 46
Mike English, Norwalk, CA, 42
Tony Jones, Garden Grove, CA, 31
Tony Elliott, Kokomo, IN, 26
Tony Stewart, Columbus, IN, 21
Dickie Gaines, Mitchell, IN, 18
Rickie Gaunt, Torrance, CA, 15
Rick Hendrix, Canoga Park, CA, 15
Michael Burthay, Kokomo, IN, 14
Charles Davis, Jr., Buckeye, AZ, 12
Greg Taylor, Ojai, CA, 11
receiving multiple votes: Bobby
East, Mike Knopf, Marty Miller, Jon Stanbrough, Kevin Thomas.