NHRA Funny Car driver John Force, 16-time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series champion, has been nominated for the 2014 ESPY Best Driver Award, awarded by ESPN. This marks the sixth time Force has been nominated for the ESPY Best Driver Award. Joining Force on the 2014 ESPY Best Driver ballot are NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and IndyCar drivers Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The winner of 139 Funny Car races – an NHRA-record – Force was also nominated for the ESPY Best Driver award in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2011. The ESPY Awards (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) were created by ESPN in 1993. Fans can vote for Force and their other sports heroes in each of 33 different categories via an online poll at the ESPYs website. Voting is underway and concludes at 9 p.m. ET on July 16th.
Force, 65, finished the 2013 season in dramatic fashion by advancing to the final round in the final five races during the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, winning three of those; he also powered to No. 1 qualifying positions at the final three events.
Past ESPY Best Driver winners include 2013 winner Hunter-Reay, two-time winner Tony Stewart (2003 and 2006), four-time winner Johnson (2008-2011), Jeff Gordon (2007) and Earnhardt Jr. (2004). In addition to Force, other NHRA drivers who have been nominated for ESPY awards include Del Worsham (2012), Tony Schumacher (2007-2010), Ashley Force Hood (2008), Melanie Troxel (2006), Tony Pedregon (2004) and Greg Anderson (2005 and 2011). No NHRA driver has ever won an ESPY Award.
The 2014 ESPY winners will be announced during the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on July 16th; the ESPYs will be televised on ESPN on July 16th at 9 p.m. ET.
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