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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR announced the 24 drivers to earn invitations to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet in December based on their achievements in the NASCAR Finalist Program.
The program recognizes drivers who compete in support divisions at NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks. With Division I being each track’s top division, the NASCAR Finalist Program highlights drivers competing in each track’s Division II, III, IV and V.
“We congratulate our top drivers in the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Finalist standings,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. “Their dedication and success highlight a great group of NASCAR competitors. We’re proud to recognize their achievements.”
The top drivers in each division for dirt and asphalt will be recognized at the year-end banquet at the Charlotte Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday, Dec. 9.
The top NASCAR Finalist are:
• Division II/Dirt: Jesse Sobbing, who competes in the B-Modified division at I-80 Speedway in Omaha, Neb.; Chuck Schutz Jr. who competes in the Late Model Division at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa.; and Dennis Cook, who competes with Sobbing in I-80 B-Modifieds.
• Division III/Dirt: Brad Derry, who competes in the Pro-Am/Pro Stock division at I-80 Speedway and Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa; Adams County Pro Stock driver Jason Rold; and Tony Hardisty, an Adams County/I-80 driver.
• Division IV/Dirt: Matt McAtee, Pat Shiflett, and Jeremy Auton, all of the Hobby Stock division at Adams County.
• Division V/Dirt: Adams County drivers Bill Gibson, Blaine Petersen and Jerod Weston of the track’s B-Modified Division.
• Division II/Asphalt: Shawn Balluzzo, from the Modified division at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.; Ricky Martin, who races in the Figure Eight division at Raceway Park in Shakopee, Minn.; and Dan Gilster from the Grand National Sportsman at LaCrosse (Wis.) Fairgrounds Speedway.
• Division III/Asphalt: Shawn Murray, who races in the Pure Stock division at Barrie (Ontario) Speedway; Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway Pure Four division driver John Ketron; and Matt Galko of the SK Light Division at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
• Division IV/Asphalt: Jack Nugent, of the Super Stock division at Colorado National Speedway in Dacono, Colo.; Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl Mini Stock drivers Ken Cassidy Jr. and Glenn Colvin.
• Division V/Asphalt: Danny Field, who races the Mini Stock division at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway; Doug Schmitz, from the Mini Stock division at Raceway Park; and Jason Heitz, who competes at Raceway Park and Elko (Minn.) Speedway.
The NASCAR Finalist Program began in 2010 as a way to recognize the accomplishments throughout all of the racing divisions at NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks.
A NASCAR-licensed driver’s best 14 finishes are counted toward their final point total for the year. Points are kept separately for dirt and asphalt tracks.
Under the points structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the race winner receives two points for every car in the event up to 20 cars. Second place receives two fewer points, and so on through the field. Race winners receive an additional five bonus points. For example, if 20 cars are in the field, the winner receives 45 points, second place 38 and third, 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 35 points, second 28 and third, 26.