News & Media


Keselowski garners Driver of the Year award

January 20, 2013, NMPA Official Release, NASCAR.com

Reigning Sprint Cup champion takes home another award at NMPA banquet

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Brad Keselowski brought new glory to Penske Racing during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

Keselowski won five races to earn his first Sprint Cup title, and the first for team owner Roger Penske. For his efforts, he has been named the National Motorsports Press Association Richard Petty Driver of the Year.

It is the first time the membership of the NMPA has voted Keselowski as the winner of the award, which has been given since 1969.

The announcement was made Jan. 20 during the NMPA’s annual convention in Charlotte, N.C.

“It truly is an honor to receive the Driver of the Year Award from the National Motorsports Press Association,” said Keselowski. “They are the voice of our sport. I really feel as though I should be honoring them because many of these individuals are with us every weekend of a long season. I am proud of the mutual respect that I share with this group.”

During the 2012 season, Keselowski earned two of his five wins during the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He earned 23 top-10 finishes, 13 of them top fives.

Also receiving votes were fellow Cup competitor Clint Bowyer and Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series national champion Jimmy Owens.

The award, named in honor of NASCAR’s all-time win leader, is determined by a vote of the NMPA membership. 

Previous winners:
2011 – Tony Stewart
2010 – Jimmie Johnson
2009 – Jimmie Johnson
2008 – Carl Edwards
2007 – Jimmie Johnson
2006 – Jimmie Johnson
2005 – Tony Stewart
2004 – Jimmie Johnson
2003 – Ryan Newman
2002 – Tony Stewart
2001 – Kevin Harvick
2000 – Bobby Labonte
1999 – Dale Jarrett
1998 – Jeff Gordon
1997 – Dale Jarrett
1996 – Terry Labonte
1995 – Jeff Gordon
1994 – Dale Earnhardt
1993 – Rusty Wallace
1992 – Davey Allison
1991 – Harry Gant
1990 – Dale Earnhardt
1989 – Mark Martin
1988 – Rusty Wallace
1987 – Dale Earnhardt
1986 – Tim Richmond and Dale Earnhardt
1985 – Bill Elliott
1984 – Terry Labonte
1983 – Bobby Allison
1982 – Darrell Waltrip
1981 – Darrell Waltrip
1980 – Dale Earnhardt
1979 – Cale Yarborough
1978 – Cale Yarborough
1977 – Cale Yarborough
1976 – Darrell Waltrip
1975 – Richard Petty
1974 – Richard Petty
1973 – David Pearson
1972 – Bobby Allison
1971 – Bobby Allison
1970 – Bobby Issac
1969 – LeeRoy Yarbrough