Kansas Indy 300 Champion Sweeps Awards in Offseason


Indy Car Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. has proven his name belongs with the best in motorsports. Now, he's getting the recognition with a new book and has been nominated for Driver of the Year. He recently was named, along with NASCAR greats Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart, to the All-American Auto Racing team.

The American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) named Hornish to represent the open-wheel category which makes him eligible for the Driver of the Year, Jerry Titus Award given to the top driver among all categories. He is also a nominee for Autosport's International Driver of the Year and among finalists for the SPEED Performer of the Year.

Hornish kicked his 2006 off season behind the wheel of a NASCAR Busch Series car in his first NASCAR race.

"It's all about new challenges," he said. "There are so many things that I'd like to add to my resume that I am not going to go out and say I am never going to try it."

One of his goals may be to add the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard to his list of accomplishments. He will gain more stock car experience in 2007 when he spends time in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and ARCA RE/MAX Series while still racing full-time withTeam Penske in the IndyCar Series.

The new book, A Passion for Victory, highlights Hornish's success from his early days in karting to his cross into NASCAR.

But Hornish isn't the only driver to add awards to his shelf in the off season. The IndyCar Series dominates a diverse list of awards from around the world.

Danica Patrick, Sportswoman of the Year
IndyCar Series phenom Danica Patrick received the Sportswoman of the Year award from the March of Dimes, New York State Chapter. Tennis great Andre Agassi received the Sportsman of the Year award alongside Patrick. The annual Sports Luncheon raises funds for March of Dimes support programs for mothers and babies.

A.J. Foyt, "Tall Texan"
Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt is among the "100 Tall Texans" honored for significant contributions to the state and world. A display at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas, includes a Foyt IndyCar Series racecar among George Foreman's boxing title belt, Norman Borlaug's Nobel Peace medal, and the golf club used on the moon by astronaut Alan Shepard.

100% ethanol Indy V-8 engines
Popular Science, "Best of What's New"

Popular Science magazine awarded the IndyCar Series' use of 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol in Honda Indy V-8 engines as one of the top 100 technological innovations in 2007. Featured in the December issue, Popular Science also chose to showcase the Indy V-8 engine with the "Best of What's New" show in New York City.

Marco Andretti, RACER Rookie of the Year
2006 Bombardier Rookie of the Year Marco Andretti joins NASCAR's Denny Hamlin in the nominations for RACER magazine's Rookie of the Year. The winner will be featured in the April magazine and during the SPEED Performance Awards in February.

Helio Castroneves' Golden Helmet
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves edged Vitor Meira and Tony Kanaan to win the Golden Helmet, which honors the top Brazilian racer in the United States. The Capacete de Ouro Awards in Sao Pauol, Brazil, consists of a panel of Brazilian journalists, and is described as the "Academy Awards" of Brazilian Auto Racing.

Castroneves named one of the "50 Most Elegant Men"
The November issue of Vogue Hombre, the Latin American version of Men's Vogue, features Castroneves as one of the "50 Most Elegant Men" in Latin American society. He ranked 13th on the list, which included actor Andy Garcia and film director Robert Rodriguez.

Hornish, Jr., National News "Champion of

National Speed Sport News nominated Hornish for the 2006 Economaki Champion of Champions Award. The award determines the true "Champion of Champions" in any North American racing series. He joins NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series champions Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick on the list of nominees. National Speed Sport News Editor Chris Economaki, the legendary motorsports broadcaster, will present the award on December 14.

Catch all the IndyCar Series and NASCAR stars with Kansas Speedway's RPM Season Ticket Package - on sale now. As the lead-in event to the Indy 500, the Kansas Lottery Indy 300 promises fans more high-speed entertainment on its new date, April 29, 2007. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will hit the track for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 the day before. Return in September for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Kansas 400 and NASCAR Busch Series Yellow Transportation 300.

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