Who will be IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year?

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James Hinchcliffe and JR Hildebrand duke it out for Rookie of the Year

James Hinchcliffe, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the IZOD IndyCar Series, and JR Hildebrand are among the nominees for the Autosport Rookie of the Year Award that will be presented Dec. 4 in London.

Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti is a nominee in the International Racing Driver and British Competition Driver categories. He received the 1992 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, the ’93 British Club Driver of the Year award (Formula Vauxhall) and the British Competition Driver of the Year award in 1998 (CART) and 2010 (IZOD IndyCar Series).

The awards have been presented since 1982.

“It’s one of the grandest events of the off-season and you get such an array of motorsports talent showing up to that event,” said Hinchcliffe, who recently returned to the States from a 10-day trip to England to visit family. “Autosport is one of the premier publications of racing worldwide and to be recognized by them as having had a strong season is pretty special.”

Rookie of the Year voting was conducted online. Hildebrand, the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights champion, was second in points among IZOD IndyCar Series rookies.

“I was pretty excited just to be nominated,” said Hildebrand, the Indianapolis 500 runner-up who recently signed a contract extension with Panther Racing through the 2013 season. “It was a crazy year, but we had some really strong runs and I enjoyed being a part of this team. I learned a lot working with these guys and everybody here is already working hard on the 2012 season. We’re looking forward to it.”

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