RALPH CAPITANI NAMED 'MOST INFLUENTIAL' IN SPRINT CAR POLL KNOXVILLE, IOWA (April 23, 2006) - For the third year in a row, Ralph "Cappy" Capitani, director of racing at the Knoxville Raceway, has been named the sport's 'Most Influential Leader' by the North American Sprint Car Poll, an industry-wide voting panel of manufacturers, media members, sanctioning officials and promoters. Capitani, who guides weekly winged 360-cubic-inch and 410 c.i. sprint car racing at the self-proclaimed "Sprint Car Capital of the World", captured thirteen (13) of the 35 first-place ballots cast in the 2006 pre-season poll. Knoxville Raceway will also host its 46th annual Knoxville National Sprint Car Championships, which will be open-competition for the first time since 1977, on August 9-12. 20-time World of Outlaws (WoO) and 12-time Knoxville Nationals champion Steve Kinser of Bloomington, Indiana, a regular with the National Sprint Tour (NST) this year, is ranked second in the poll with eight (8) first-place votes. The legendary driver, like Capitani, is already an inductee in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
Emmett Hahn, founder and president of the winged 360 c.i. American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) and non-winged Sprint Bandits tour, is ranked third with seven (7) first-place votes. Those ranked fourth through sixth, respectively, among "Sprint Car Racing's 30 Most Influential Leaders" are Eldora Speedway owner Tony Stewart (one first-place vote), '360' Northern Sprint Tour (NST) and '410' National Sprint Tour (NST) president Fred Brownfield (two votes), and DIRT MotorSports vice-president Brian Carter (one vote). Additionally, recently named DIRT MotorSports president Tom Deery, Maxim Chassis president Chuck Merrill, and WoO Sprint Series point leader Donny Schatz each received one first-place vote.
Rounding out the 'top ten' are Rollie Helmling of the United States Auto Club (USAC), Alan Kreitzer of the Williams Grove and Lincoln Speedways, Steve Sinclair of SLS Promotions and the Interstate Racing Association (IRA), and John Padjen, respectively. Padjen is promoter of the Silver Dollar Speedway, the '360' California Sprint Car Civil War Series, and the '410' Golden State Challenge Series. The top four new-comers to the poll are all affiliated with DIRT MotorSports and its WoO Sprint Series: CFO Brian Carter (6th), vice-president of race operations Shane Carson (13th), president Tom Deery (14th), and vice-president of public relations Chris Dolack (22nd). The North American Sprint Car Poll is an official awards program of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum Foundation of Knoxville, Iowa.
Special Edition 2006 North American Sprint Car Poll: "Sprint Car Racing's 30 Most Influential Leaders"
2006 Rank, 2005 Rank, Person (First Place), Affiliation, Occupation, Points
1., 1., Ralph Capitani (13), Knoxville Raceway, 360/410 promoter, 1871
2., 2., Steve Kinser (8), Quaker State #11, 410 driver/owner, 1418
3., 4., Emmett Hahn (7), ASCS/Sprint Bandits, 360/non-w sanction, 1330
4., 3., Tony Stewart (1), Mopar #20-21/Eldora, non/410 owner/prom, 957
5., 24., Fred Brownfield (2), NST/NST/Grays Harbor, 360/410 prom/sanction, 801
6., -, Brian Carter (1), DIRT/WoO, 410 sanction, 683
7., 5., Rollie Helmling, U.S. Auto Club, non-w sanction, 385
8., 17., Alan Kreitzer, Wms. Grove/Lincoln, 358/410 promoter, 194
9., 11., Steve Sinclair, IRA/SLS Promotions, 410 promoter/sanction, 184
10., 15., John Padjen, Silver Dollar/GSC/CWS, 360/410 prom/sanction, 179
11., 9., Doug Auld, Sprint Car & Midget, non-w/360/410 media, 177
12., 7., Tom Schmeh, Natl Spr Car Museum, non-w/360/410 media, 166
13., -, Shane Carson, DIRT/WoO, 410 sanction, 131
14., -, Tom Deery (1), DIRT/WoO, 410 sanction, 125
15., 8., Guy Webb, All Star Circuit, 410 sanction, 117
16., 20., Brad Doty, The Outdoor Channel, non-w/360/410 media, 100
17., 12., Allan Holland, www.hoseheads.com ,non-w/360/410 media, 83
18., 28., Terry McCarl, #24/McTwo Promo, 410 owner/driver/promo, 78
19., 6., Paul Kruger, DIRT/WoO, 410 sanction, 65
20., 13., Dave Argabright, SC&M/Speed/NSSN, non-w/360/410 media, 53
21., 26., Pete Walton, United Spr Car Series, 360 sanction, 51
22., -, Chris Dolack, DIRT/WoO, 410 media, 45
tie, 19., Lanny Edwards, Devil's Bowl Spdwy., 360/410 promoter, 45
24., 27., Scott Boyd, SLS Promotions, 410 promoter, 43
25., 20., Chuck Merrill (1), Maxim Chassis, non-w/360/410 builder, 42
26., -, Sammy Swindell, Wirtgen #5, 410 driver, 38
27., -, Bob Miller, URC/Thunder on the Hill, 360/410 prom/sanction, 36
28., -, Todd Fisher, Susquehanna Park, 410 promoter, 27
29., -, Jack Elam, J&J Chassis, non-w/360/410 builder, 25
30., 25., Tommy Hunt, U.S. Auto Club, non-w sanction, 21.
Also receiving multiple votes: Steve Beitler, Scott Benic, J.V. Brotherton, Brian Butler, Dave Despain, Earl Gaerte, John Gibson, Al Hamilton, Ted Johnson, Dick Jordan, Brent Kaeding, Paul Kistler, Cory Kruseman, Keith Kunz, Danny Lasoski, Bob Newton, Donny Schatz (1), Owen Snyder, John Zimmerman, Justin Zoch.