Schumacher Wins Driver Of The Year

NHRA Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher has been voted the 2008 Driver Of The Year by an elite panel of broadcasters and journalists. Schumacher, who crushed his rivals on the dragstrip, became only the third NHRA driver to win the original Driver Of The Year award in its 42-year history.

In taking a record fifth consecutive Top Fuel world championship, he tied an NHRA record with 15 victories. He also won the third quarter Driver of the Year award.

"What an honor it is to be singled out as the Driver Of The Year for 2008," said Schumacher. "I'm happy that the NHRA is front and center again with this award. It's been a few years since Greg Anderson won it [in 2004]. Of course, John Force also won it in 1996. You can't forget the living legend himself.

"Needless to say, I wouldn't be receiving any postseason award without the talented team that surrounded me this past season. My crew chief, Alan Johnson, and the entire crew deserve all the credit in the world. There's no denying the fact that we had one of those dream seasons."

Although choosing a Driver Of The Year usually comes down to two or three drivers, this was a particularly difficult year for the panel.

"Usually one driver has a standout season, but this year, there were a handful of guys who were all viable candidates for the award, including NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, and Kyle Busch," said Barry Schmoyer, president of the Driver Of The Year Award Foundation.

Professionals, who voted in a secret ballot for a single driver, gave Schumacher six votes; Johnson and Edwards each received five. Busch and Tony Stewart each earned one.

The Driver Of The Year title is unique because a select panel of 18 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. are the only eligible voters via the secret ballot.

"I want to dedicate this award to all of our hardworking soldiers," added Schumacher. "If not for their tireless effort in defending our freedom every day, there wouldn't be a race season no less a Driver of the Year award. Make no mistake, they're the true heroes."

Schumacher will be presented with a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch in April at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala.


2008 - Tony Schumacher
2007 - Jimmie Johnson
2006 – Jimmie Johnson
2005 – Tony Stewart
2004 - Greg Anderson
2003 - Ryan Newman
2002 - Cristiano da Matta
2001 - Jeff Gordon
2000 - Bobby Labonte
1999 - Dale Jarrett
1998 - Jeff Gordon
1997 - Jeff Gordon
1996 - John Force
1995 - Jeff Gordon
1994 - Dale Earnhardt
1993 - Nigel Mansell
1992 - Bobby Rahal
1991 - Michael Andretti
1990 - Al Unser Jr.
1989 - Emerson Fittipaldi
1988 - Bill Elliott
1987 - Dale Earnhardt
1986 - Bobby Rahall
1985 - Bill Elliott
1984 - Mario Andretti
1983 - Bobby Allison
1982 - Darrell Waltrip
1981 - Darrell Waltrip
1980 - Johnny Rutherford
1979 - Darrell Waltrip
1978 - Mario Andretti
1977 - Cale Yarborough
1976 - David Pearson
1975 - A.J. Foyt
1974 - Bobby Unser
1973 - David Pearson
1972 - Bobby Allison
1971 - Richard Petty
1970 - Al Unser
1969 - Lee Roy Yarbrough
1968 - Mark Donohue
1967 - Mario Andretti

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NHRA, 2008


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