By Patrick Reynolds
Mooresville, NC – The American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association announced its first All-America Team following the 1970 season. That annual tradition continued with the team being announced for 2017’s top performers.
A group of special drivers representing multiple forms of professional motorsports is elected each year by AARWBA. The association’s members vote on drivers within their participating categories of racing. The driver receiving the most votes from each discipline is elected to the All-America Team.
The 2017 All-America Team:
Josef Newgarden was the top vote getter in the Open Wheel division. Newgarden claimed the Verizon Indycar Series Championship in his first year driving for Team Penske. He clinched the crown on the strength of four victories, one pole position, ten top-fives, and thirteen top-tens.
Road Racing saw the driving team of brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor earn the most votes following their crown in the IMSA WeatherTech Prototype Championship with Wayne Taylor Racing. The duo opened the 2017 campaign with five consecutive wins.
Craftsman World of Outlaws Sprint Car kingpin Donny Schatz led the votes in the Short Track Division. Schatz’s 20 wins, 66 top-fives, and 74 top-tens highlighted his championship year. Schatz’s title was his ninth career crown.
Martin Truex Jr. led the way in the Stock Car category. Truex claimed his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Championship by winning final race in Miami.
The Drag Racing category was claimed by Brittany Force who won the NHRA Mello Yello Championship. Force ended the year with four race wins, two additional final round appearances, and two fast qualifying times.
In the Touring Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Christopher Bell earned the most votes. He won five races at Atlanta, Texas, Kentucky, Pocono, and New Hampshire.
Indy Lights Champion Kyle Kaiser was the At Large category’s top vote earner. He captured victories at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Toronto.
Indy Lights driver Colton Herta was voted the Rising Star Award. Herta finished third in the title chase on the strength of wins in St. Petersburg and Birmingham, Alabama.
The annual Jerry Titus award, remembering the auto racer and journalist, is given to the driver with the most overall votes. This year brought a tie with Truex and Force sharing the highest counted tallies.
The country’s top forms of professional motorsports are represented in this championship group voted on by AARWBA as the 2017 All-America Team.
Founded in 1955 AARWBA is a motorsports organization comprised of writers, broadcasters, photographers, and other media-related professionals. The organization’s charter is aimed at providing not only proper recognition for members of the motorsports media, but to recognize their work as well as the work of the competitors that they follow in print, on the air, and on film.