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Dec 13, 2010

Lorenzo, Rossi Among Finalists For 2010 SPEED Performer Of The Year Award

Jorge Lorenzo (99) and Valentino Rossi (46).
SPEED™ NAMES 18 FINALISTS FOR 2010 MARIO ANDRETTI TROPHY

RACERS FROM 10 DIFFERENT SERIES VIE FOR SPEED PERFORMER OF THE YEAR TITLE

RACING GREATS ANDRETTI, GURNEY & MOSS LEAD SELECTION PANEL

The 100-pound bronze Mario Andretti Trophy, designed by artist Elie Hazak and presented annually to the SPEED Performer of the Year, celebrates the wide variety of cars Andretti piloted to victory in his decorated career, and this year that same range of talent is on display as SPEED reveals its list of finalists for the honor 18 racers from 10 different disciplines.

Representing both four-wheel and two-wheel efforts across the globe, the Mario Andretti Trophy goes to the racer who puts a premium on winning races, shines on his/her sport's biggest stages and does it all with a measure of sportsmanship and class.

This year, Jimmie Johnson -- five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and a three-time Mario Andretti Trophy winner -- joins 17 other racers in their quest for the honor, including: Sebastian Vettel (F1), John Force (NHRA), Jorge Lorenzo (MotoGP), Dario Franchitti (IndyCar), Larry Dixon (NHRA), Denny Hamlin (NASCAR), Ryan Dungey (Supercross), Joey Saldana (WoO), Bryan Clauson (USAC), L.E. Tonglet (NHRA), Scott Pruett (Grand-Am), Will Power (IndyCar), Jamie McMurray (NASCAR), Fernando Alonso (F1), Sebastien Loeb (World Rally), Valentino Rossi (MotoGP) and Kyle Busch (NASCAR).

The 2010 SPEED Performer of the Year is selected by a panel including racing legends Andretti, Dan Gurney and Sir Stirling Moss, "Wind Tunnel" host Dave Despain, veteran broadcasters Bob Varsha, Ralph Sheheen and Leigh Diffey, SPEED.com writers Robin Miller and Tom Jensen, versatile racers Tommy Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder and a select group of SPEED motor sports producers.

Former Mario Andretti Trophy winners and runner-ups:

* 2006 Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR. Nicky Hayden, MotoGP
* 2007 Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR; Donny Schatz, WoO
* 2008 Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR; Tony Schumacher, NHRA
* 2009 Tony Schumacher, NHRA; Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR

Nine additional "fan chosen" SPEED Performance Awards are open for voting at www.speedperformanceawards.com through Dec. 19, with winners being announced as part of a one-hour television special in February.


About SPEED™

SPEED, anchored by its popular and wide-ranging coverage of NASCAR, is the nation's first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle. Now available in more than 82 million homes in North America, SPEED, a member of the FOX Sports Media Group, is among the industry leaders in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services. For more information, please visit SPEED.com, the online motor sports authority.


About FOX Sports Media Group

FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) is the umbrella entity representing News Corporation's wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets under Chairman & CEO David Hill. Built with brands that are capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FSMG includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FSMG now includes FOX Sports, the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; Fox's 19 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; SPEED and SPEED2; Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus; FUEL TV; and Fox College Sports. In addition, FSMG also includes FOX Sports Interactive Media, which comprises FOXSports.com on MSN, whatifsports.com and scout.com, reaching over 20 million unique visitors monthly. Also included are Fox's interests in joint-venture businesses FOX Deportes, Big Ten Network and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network, FOX Sports Skybox restaurants and FOX Sports Grills.