Newman Wins Fans Vote

ALLTEL Team Penske driver Ryan Newman was the winner of the fan vote to select the 2003 Driver of the Year presented by Speed Channel. The Dodge driver now must wait for the voting results from a special 18-member panel of distinguished motorsports journalists and broadcasters which will determine the official recipient of the award.

The overall winner of the prestigious 37th Driver of the Year Award will be announced during a 30-minute television special Saturday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. EST on Speed Channel.

The popular vote, in which fans could cast their vote on Speed Channel's web site, ended on Friday, Dec. 12. Newman, who scored eight race victories and 11 pole wins in 2003 NASCAR competition, led the popular voting with 44 percent of the total votes cast. Paul Tracy, winner of the 2003 CART series championship, was runner-up with 36 percent. Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR points' champion, was a distant third with six percent of the fan vote.

"The fact that most of the fans thought we deserved this honor is very gratifying, regardless of how the overall outcome goes," said Newman. "It's a big tribute to our entire ALLTEL team, even though they call it a driver's award. We sincerely appreciate all the support we have received from all the fans, sponsors and media this season. The response has been tremendous and we will always look back fondly on the great year we enjoyed in 2003."

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