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Tony Stewart Wins Speed TV’s Performer of the Year – The Right Choice?

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Last night, Speed TV presented it’s Performer of the Year award to NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart.  The three finalists for the award were Stewart, Moto GP Champion Casey Stoner, and F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel.  When you look at the 2011 record for all three of those racers you can’t help but believe that the award went to the wrong one.

In the preliminaries to the presentation, Mario Andretti himself stated that one of the biggest factors in considering the nominees was winning.  Let’s take a look at the 2011 records of each of the three racers:

  • Tony Stewart won 5 of 36 races – a 13.8% winning percentage
  • Casey Stoner won 10 of 18 races – a 55.5% winning percentage
  • Sebastian Vettel won 11 of 19 races – a 57.8% winning percentage

When you look at the winning percentage, it seems to me that it’s not even close.  You can take a closer look at the wins and see that Tony Stewart won all of his races in the final 10-race “Chase” of the Sprint Cup season after barely making into “the Chase.”  Stoner and Vettel’s races were won throughout the course of their seasons.  Furthermore you can’t describe Stewart’s 2011 season as dominating (although you could describe his “Chase” performance as dominant) but there is little question that Stoner and Vettel had dominating seasons.

To me, there is no question that the award should have gone to either Stoner or Vettel. Which one of those two?  Now that would truly be a hard decision to make.


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