Legendary NHRA 16-time Top Fuel champion John Force earned his fifth Jerry Titus Memorial Award to highlight the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association’s 2013 All-America Team, announced earlier this week.
The Titus award recognizes the top vote-getter in the overall balloting. Force has won the honor more times than any other driver; no other driver has won it more than three times.
“It is always an honor to be recognized as an All-America First Team driver,” Force said. “This award is very special because the media is so important to growing our sport.
“You want to win every race and that is always my focus. Winning the championship last year was a great team accomplishment and we need to keep winning so we can keep chasing corporate America.
“I want to keep racing with my kids for as long as possible. My health good and I have the fire to keep chasing after these young kids.”
The All-America Team honored some of the best and most successful drivers across several motorsports series including open-wheel, drag racing and NASCAR for their achievements during the past racing season.
It marks the 43rd year that AARWBA has presented of the All-America Team, voted upon by media members who cover motorsports on a regular basis on both the local and national levels. Founded in 1955, AARWBA is composed of writers, broadcasters, photographers and other media professionals.
Honors were divided into first and second teams.
AARWBA’s All-America First team featured:
* Stock Car division winners: Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth. Johnson won for earning his sixth Sprint Cup championship and sixth in the last eight years driving. Kenseth was chosen for his seven wins in his first full season for Joe Gibbs Racing after more than a decade at Roush-Fenway Racing.
* Drag Racing division winners: John Force and Shawn Langdon. Force with his record 16th NHRA Funny Car championship in 2013, while Langdon won the Top Fuel class for the first time in his career.
* Open-wheel division winners: Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves. Dixon won the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series Championship for the third time in his career, driving for the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team. Castroneves, meanwhile, finished second in the series racing for Team Penske.
* Road Racing Team division winners: Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor earned the most votes based on winning the Grand-Am title. Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won for finishing runner-up on the Grand Am circuit and in the Road Racing division votes.
* Short Track division winners: Bryan Clauson and Bobby East. Clauson captured the 2013 Sprint Car championship, while East won the Silver Crown title.
* Touring Series winners: Danny Schatz and Frank Kimmel. Schatz recorded 23 World of Outlaws Sprint Car A-Main wins in 2013, while Kimmel claimed his 10th career ARCA championship.
* At-Large winners: Sage Karam and Johnny O’Connell. Karam claimed the 2013 Indy Lights championship, while O’Connell won the Pirelli World Challenge GT title.
* Rising Star winner: Carlos Munoz. Driving for Andretti Autosport, Munoz finished third in the Indy Lights championship, winning a series-high four races, as well as pulled off an outstanding runner-up finish in the Indianapolis 500.
AARWBA also continued its tradition of naming a Second Team. Winners were:
Open Wheel: Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power.
Road Racing: Klaus Graf/Lucas Luhr and Doug Peterson.
Short Track: Daryn Pittman and Christopher Bell.
Stock Car: Kevin Harvick and Sam Hornish, Jr.
Drag Racing: Antron Brown and Jeg Coughlin, Jr.
Touring Series: Matt Crafton and Alessandro Balzan.
At Large: Drag racers Frank Manzo and Jim Whitely.