|January 29, 2010 News
|EKN Awards 2009 Releases Nominations
eKartingNews.com - the leading website for karting information, news and race reports - is proud to announce the nominations for the 2009 EKN Awards, as well as a change in the format of the program. Unlike previous editions of the EKN Awards, the approach with which we will recognize the best from the ’09 has been changed to position the site’s viewers as the decision makers for those to be honored as the winners in each category. In addition to the new selection process, the EKN Awards 2009 winner announcements will be released over a six-week span, with one of the six categories to be released each week.
For the 2009 EKN Awards, the staff of the website has produced five nominations for each of the six categories. Over the course of the next two weeks (January 29 to February 11), viewers of the site will be encouraged to email us their choice of the winner of the categories. Starting February 17, the winner from one category will be announced each week.
“The EKN Awards 2009 will be different from the previous years of the program,” stated eKartingNews.com News Desk Manager David Cole. “The viewers of EKN will now be handed with the responsibility of picking the winner in each category rather than the five nominees. We feel that with so many talented racers across the country, narrowing the selection to just five is a tough task and we were up to it. Now the viewers have a say as to who was best in 2009. With so much more racing in the winter months, meaning an extended queue of reports for the Top Story position on the site, we felt that it would be a wise idea to spread out the program over the course of a few weeks rather than fill one whole week with the announcements. This will allow us to continue providing race coverage for the many programs currently running throughout February, in addition to our presentation of solid editorial schedule and breaking news while still giving those six winners the headline exposure they deserve.”
The awards program was launched back in 1999 by EKN Publisher Rob Howden through Shifter Kart Illustrated, all with the stated goal of honoring the sport’s best drivers, regardless of their organization connections. Early winners of the prestigious Driver of the Year Award included Darren Elliott, Kyle Martin and Scott Speed. The program eventually worked its ways onto EKN after the site was purchased by the Howden Media Group, making the jump from the magazine to the website in 2005. The nomination process moved to the website from the initial paper fax format sent to SKI subscribers. After seven years under the Super Kart Illustrated banner, the SKI Excellence Awards program move completely to the HMG website in 2006. In previous years, the winners were announced at selected karting events, however, the program went 100% online through the EKN website last year.
This year’s EKN Awards will feature six separate categories in driver, team, and mechanic classifications. The top honor will be the Driver of the Year award. Those nominees selected for the Driver of the Year category will be labeled as the eKartingNews.com All-Star Team for 2009.
Other driver awards include Rising Star, Young Driver of the Year, and Road Racer of the Year. For those working under the tents, the prestigious Team of the Year will honor the top squad of the 2009 season, while the Mechanic of the Year – formally known as Tuner of the Year - will honor the sport's top wrench.
The following is the description and nominations for the six EKN Awards 2009:
Driver of the Year:
This award will be given to the driver who has displayed the finest overall performance throughout the year. The award is focused on senior-level competitors only. A nominee's on-track performance, their ability to work with their mechanic, off-track conduct and professionalism will be taken into account and their interaction with their team will be key as well.
2009 EKN All-Star Team and DoY Nominations:
Brett Farmer - Grandville, Michigan - Margay/Michigan Kart Supply/Baker Racing
Cody Hodgson - Escalon, California - Tony Kart USA/Ocala Gran Prix
Jacob Neal - Wildomar, California - PCH Motorsports/CRG
Marco DiLeo - Markham, Ontario, Canada - Goodwood Kartways/Intrepid Canada
Ryan Stewart - St. Charles, Illinois - MRP-Birel America
2008 Michael Vincec
2007 Gary Carlton
2006 Gary Carlton
2005 Alex Speed
2004 Alan Sciuto
2003 Bobby Wilson
2002 Ron White
2001 Scott Speed
2000 Kyle Martin
1999 Darren Elliott
Team of the Year:
Focused on the major racing series in North America, winning the Team of the Year Award requires a mix of on-track performances, team unity and cooperation under the tent, as well as a very high level of professionalism and presentation. Ideally, race results will come from more than a single class and will include a strong media presence.
Ocala Gran Prix
Team Top Kart USA
2008 Team Top Kart USA
2007 Champion Racing/Intrepid USA
2006 Champion Racing/LEM
2005 First Kart North America
2004 Italian Motors
2003 MRP Motorsport
2002 Extreme Karting
2001 Leading Edge Motorsports
2000 Trackmagic Racing
1999 Shift Kart / KLS Racing
Mechanic of the Year:
Being chosen as the EKN Mechanic of the Year will require impressive on-track results for the mechanic's driver. The ability to work closely with their pilot(s) in improving a kart's performance throughout a weekend event will also be taken into consideration. Another key factor is a mechanic’s finishing record with their driver(s).
DJ Silva (Driver: Jacob Neal)
Gary Lawson (Driver: Sam Beasley)
Kyle Kraus (Driver: Nick Neri)
Todd DeGrand (Driver: Tristan DeGrand)
Wesley Boswell (Drivers: Taylor Miinch/Shawn Sharkey)
2008 Trevor Wickens (Michael Vincec)
2007 Jeff Robinson (Cody Robinson)
2006 Greg Bell (Jordy Vorrath)
2005 Mike Speed (Alex Speed/Ryan Phinny)
2004 Kimball Williams (Alan Sciuto)
2003 David Carpentier (David Jurca)
2002 Terry Ventresca (Bobby Wilson)
2001 Mike Speed (Scott Speed)
2000 Todd Bellew (Joe Janowski)
The Rising Star Award is given to a competitor who is in their first or second season at the senior level of karting and is destined for greatness at the headline level in the near future. Successful results at the regional level and consistent finishes at the national level are what is needed to be considered for this award.
Brett Felkins - Lodi, California - Leading Edge Motorsports
Jason Foley - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin - Merlin USA/Franklin Motorsports
Mason Marotta - Bakersfield, California - Leading Edge Motorsports
Stepanova Nekeel - Seattle, Washington - Team RPG/Mach 1
Tyler Bennett - Layton, Utah - Msquared Karting/PTK
2008 Arie Ouimet
2007 Connor De Phillippi
2006 Mike Vincec
2005 Cole Whitt
2004 Kevin Lacroix
2003 Wesley Boswell
2002 Nick Bussell
2001 Michael Abbate
2000 Travis Irving
1999 Josh Schreiber
Road Racer of the Year:
The Road Racer of the Year is given using the same criteria as the Driver of the Year. However, in keeping with the road racing community, the award is focused on success in multiple series and major road racing events throughout the year. Winning against the best drivers in each of the unique road race communities is a big plus.
Anthony Honeywell (IKF / KART / WKA)
Jonathan Evans (WKA National Road Racing Series)
Kevin Webb (WKA National Road Racing Series)
Lance Fry (WKA National Road Racing Series)
Michael Moshenek (WKA National Road Racing Series)
2008 Jim Fry
2007 Jim Russell Jr.
2006 Nate Grindell
2005 Randy Fulks
2004 Chris Hegar
2003 Chad Dokken
2002 Dave Clift
2001 Ted Tackett
Young Driver of the Year:
The only award available for drivers between the ages of 12-15 years old, the Young Driver of the Year is a sign of the future stars of the sport. The criterion is similar to the Driver of the Year in that it is given to the Junior driver who has displayed the finest overall performance throughout the year. The nominee's on-track performance, the ability to work with and provide feedback to his or her mechanic, off-track conduct and professionalism and also their interaction with the team will be taken into account. Maturity is also a key factor.
Dakota Bell - Bowling Green, Ohio - Bandit Karts/Baker Racing
Nick Neri - Palmetto, Florida - Ocala Gran Prix
Sam Beasley - Leroy, Ohio - Beasley Motorsports/Arrow Racing Karts
Taylor Miinch - Alpine, California - Miinch Motorsports/Team Top Kart USA
Tristan DeGrand - Eureka, Missouri - J3 Competition
2008 Phil DeLaO
2007 Jarvis Gennari
2006 Brett Smrz
2005 Zachary Schiff
2004 Cole Whitt
2003 Cole Whitt
2002 Alan Sciuto
2001 Wade Van Hooser
2000 Preston Peebles
1999 Alex Speed
Now that the nominations have been released, EKN viewers have two weeks to submit their choice for the winner of the six categories. Email submissions will be the only ballots accepted, however, a discussion thread will be created for viewers to engage in a spirited debate on the selections. Each eKartingNews.com forum member will be allowed to one nomination submission. The EKN staff will then process the selections to compile the winners.
To submit your winning selections, email your list to the EKN News Desk at email@example.com with the subject ‘EKN Awards 2009 - Username’. The ‘Username’ must be the name you have registered for the EKN Forum. To discuss the EKN Awards 2009, visit the Official Discussion Thread.