Andy Pugh Wins Speed51.com SLM Most Popular Driver Award Presented By ARP Stock Car Bodies
Youngster From Hard-Working Family Gets A Complete ABC Body Package From ARP
In a year of elections, everyone always wants to know the results. And they wait on pins and needles for those results to be tallied and told. And ultimately, some will be happy and some will be disappointed. But that is how it goes when it comes to democratic voting styles.
Same is the case for the Speed51.com Super Late Model Most Popular Driver Award, presented by ARP Stock Car Bodies. Since voting ended in early January, all of the 550-plus drivers that were eligible for the Award have been patiently waiting to hear the results.
And now, the results are in.
The winner of the inaugural Speed51.com Super Late Model Most Popular Driver Award, presented by ARP Stock Car Bodies is young Alabama Super Late Model and Pro Late Model racer Andy Pugh.
“I am just elated right now. There are no other words for it,” said Pugh, who was nominated by finishing in the top-20 in points in the VIPER Pro Late Model Series at South Alabama Speedway. “I’m really happy for my team and for my mother especially. She did a lot of the leg work on this in calling all of my family and getting them voting for me. I’m proud of all of the fans in South Alabama that voted for me. This is really one of the neatest things that has ever happened to me.”
As a winner of the award, Pugh will receive a complete ABC “Package A” body from ARP Stock Car Bodies. For more info on ARP or what is included with a “Package A” body, please call 1-888-245-1468.
“Andy has been a big supporter of Aluminum Racing Products throughout his young racing career,” said ARP’s Roy Dies Jr. “He is a very focused young man with the right attitude. He is a perfect recipient for this inaugural award. I know Andy and I know he works his butt of and always tries to get the most out of everything he drives. We’re really happy he won this award in its first year out.”
Drivers who competed in any one of a number of Super Late Model, Pro Late Model and Late Model tours across the country and were ranked in the top-20 of the point standings in that series by Oct 29, 2007 were eligible. Over 550 drivers names dotted the ballot.
To win despite with such great odds came as a shock to Pugh.
“It’s amazing to think that there were that many guys out there eligible for this award,” said the 21-year-old Pugh, who lives in Geneva, Alabama. “That is some stiff competition. There are no slouches in that mix. It’s just a credit to our fans in South Alabama. The people in South Alabama and the race tracks that I run at are very loyal. This just proves that point.”
Pugh started his racing career in go-karts and then moved into the dirt racing world, racing vintage cars around the South on local dirt tracks. Pugh then suffered through a couple of years of heartache when he moved to the asphalt ranks; once when he missed a couple of years of racing when his racecar and trailer were stolen, and another when he finished building a Late Model Truck for a series that folded up soon after. Pugh came back onto the scene, driving for Tracy Goodson and, most-recently, Royce Johnston, in the Pro Late Model world. In 2008, Pugh will move back to his family team, running both a Truck and Pro Late Model at various tracks around the Southeast.
Over the last two years, Pugh has driven for Tracy Goodson (#1) and Royce Johnston (#16). This year, he is going to venture out onto his own.
There were over 30,000 votes cast in the inaugural Super Late Model Most Popular Driver Award. That set a record for any Most Popular Driver Award that Speed51.com has hosted over the years, including Awards for the USAR Pro Cup Series, ARCA, NASCAR Whelen Modified and Southern Modified Tours, CRA Super Series and the old ASA National Tour.
“We were really overwhelmed by the response that we got for this award,” said Speed51.com Editor Mike Twist. “To have so many great racecar drivers on the same list and so many people cast votes for their favorites really blew us away. And to think that the final winning margin was just over a 100 votes is pretty impressive. Even better is that there were many guys on the list that several of us thought had a good shot and it was a real pleasant surprise to see Andy come up as the winner.”
PASS South competitor Mark Gibson was Pugh’s closest competitor, finishing in second-place.
SuperPro Series racer Michael Giaer was third in the voting. The remainder of the top
10 vote getters included: AJ Gianio (CRA Super Series), Nathan Haseleu (ASA Midwest, WCS), Alex Fleming (PASS South), John Van Doorn (CRA), Trey Mitchell (VIPER Pro Late Model), Taylor Satterfield (GAS) and Ryan Lawler (PASS South).
Even more impressive was that every single driver who appeared on the ballot received at least one vote.
The Speed51.com Super Late Model Most Popular Driver Award presented by ARP Stock Car Bodies will return at the end of the 2008 season as well.
“We are already looking forward to doing this again next year and making it bigger and better,” added Dies Jr. “The folks with Speed51.com say that they saw a record number of votes cast for this Award over any other single Most Popular Driver program they have done in the past and that makes us really excited. We want to continue to be a part of something like this for years and years to come.”
Speed51.com has become a leader in online Motorsports information by focusing on the Short Track Racing realm. 51 realized nearly five years ago that there was a void in the industry for news and behind-the-scenes stories. Now, 51 is viewed by thousands of fans per day. The site fuels your Short Track appetite for NASCAR's Grand National Divisions, NASCAR Modified Tours, the USAR Pro Cup Series, and Super Late Models from all across the country and much more.
Pugh (center, yellow driving suit) was one of many drivers that paid their respects to Charlie Bradberry at Five Flags Speedway in 2006.