Four personalities have been shortlisted for the 2016 F1Stockcars.com Stox Personality of the Year award. This time, the nominees were chosen by last year’s winner, Frankie Wainman Junior.
How to vote
Once all nominations have been announced, you will be able to vote for your favourite via the F1Stockcars.com website.
Voting will open on Saturday 10 December and will close at midnight on Saturday 17 December. The winner will be announced on Sunday 18 December.
Nominee #3: Mick Sworder
Making his second appearance on the Stox Personality of the Year shortlist is Mick Sworder. A driver who realises that stock car drivers are there to entertain as well as win, drivers like Sworder are the ones who bring the fans back week after week. No wonder he’s known as Mr Box Office!
Says Frankie Wainman Junior, who nominated him for the award:
Mick is a showman. You need them in the sport. He’s as good a driver as any in his day, but sometimes he just wants to show off. When I went bumper to bumper with him at the end of the gala meeting, I knew that he was the one driver who would be up for it.
Four final wins and 12 race wins. Does that qualify as a good season?
I had a slow start but got better as the season went on. We had a few problems with the transporter truck so we missed a few meetings that I’d normally have gone to. But it didn’t really affect what I achieved. I’ve never gone for the points in any of the formulae I raced – I won it in my last year in Ministox but that was almost by default, I was the only 15 year old racing – but I’ve never aimed for the points. I like to win track championships and things like that. If I had a choice of gold or silver, it would definitely be gold.
Were there any performances that you were particularly pleased with?
On World Final day I was really impressed with the car. I was a bit disappointed with the World Final itself when I finished fourth behind Lee Fairhurst – I would have loved to have been on the podium but Lee was a bit too far in front, I could have had a real dive to try and get him but that might have risked taking the both of us out. So he can have the spoils this time and I’ll take the win another time, hopefully! But I felt I let everybody down who had come to support me. So to win the meeting final in front of a big crowd that night helped to make up for it.
Fourth in the F1 World Final is a good effort – but your son, Charlie, beat you by finishing second in the Ministox National Championship. Is there any family rivalry?
Charlie and I were chatting about this last night. He said that he won the same amount of finals as me this year, I said he didn’t – I won four and he won three. But then he said that I only won in Scotland by default because Tom Harris really won that one. It’s turning into a standing argument, so I think we’ll have to sort it out over a night of go-karting and see who takes the crown for this year!
The end of the season was pretty rotten for you when your dad suffered a heart attack at a meeting in October. How did that affect you?
We’re just so glad it happened at Northampton because normally he’d be at home on his own. If that had happened, he wouldn’t be here now. There’s no doubt that the paramedics at Northampton saved his life. Charlie went out afterwards in his Ministox – we had sponsored the meeting and he said that he wanted to go out and win it for his granddad. He got to the front too. Charlie Guinchard was a little bit quicker but, being a really kind friend, he backed off. Somebody passed Charlie Guinchard for second place and he got rid of them to make sure that my Charlie won that race. Such a nice gesture. He got a trophy in every race that meeting and he gave them all to his granddad.
I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to race. But the amount of people who came up to me afterwards and offered me support was fantastic. It’s brought some of my enemies closer – people who don’t like me because of the way I race have come and talked to me about my dad and realised that I’m quite friendly! I’m on track to win, but I like to think I’m a nice person to talk to off the track!
Interview with Mick: Scott Reeves
Photos: Colin Casserley