Cole Whitt of Alpine, Calif., who earned the 2008 USAC Mopar National Midget Championship by the narrowest margin in USAC National racing history (a single point), has been named the "Most Improved Driver" in USAC racing for 2008.
Whitt, at age 17, became the youngest National driving champion in USAC history when he edged Tracy Hines 1,196 to 1,195 points by finishing 11th in this year's "Turkey Night Grand Prix" at Irwindale, Calif. November 27.
In addition to his Midget title, Cole also finished fourth in the USAC National Sprint Car series standings. In June at Minersville, Pa. he became the youngest driver ever to win a USAC National Sprint race, eclipsed two nights later by Chad Boat at Hagerstown, Md.
The 2008 season was Whitt's second in USAC National competition. In 2007 he finished 19th in the Sprint standings and 31st in the Midgets.
Cole's 2008 accomplishments caught the attention of the nation and he was named to the second team All America by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcaster Association in the Short Track category and was also nominated for the prestigious Speed TV "Performer of the Year" award.
Among Cole's 2008 USAC accomplishments were victories in the prestigious "Hut Hundred" Midget race at Terre Haute, Ind., an "Indiana Sprint Week" feature at Gas City, Ind. and the "Sue Thiel Memorial" Midget race at Beaver Dam, Wisc.
Cole, who competed in the Red Bull/MWI Midget and Red Bull/Ferguson Sprint Car for Keith Kunz Motorsports of Columbus, Ind., is among USAC Champions who will receive their 2008 championship awards at USAC's "Night of Champions" Banquet January 9, 2009 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis, Ind.