News & Media

Earnhardt Jr. wins Most Popular Driver Award

November 29, 2012, Official Release,

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been crowned the 2012 National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver.

The award, given annually since 1956, is Earnhardt's 10th consecutive honor and was presented to him Thursday during the Myers Brothers Luncheon at The Encore at Wynn in Las Vegas, Nev. Earnhardt now is tied with Bill Elliott as drivers who have been presented the award 10 consecutive years. Elliott is still the all-time leader with 16 overall.

After fans voted from February to September, the top-10 drivers who earned the most votes were reset to zero. Kyle Busch, Earnhardt, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart were finalists who fans voted for during the final 10 weeks of the Sprint Cup season. After more than 934,000 votes were cast, Earnhardt proved once again to be the fans' favorite.

Completing the voting, in order, were Gordon, Kahne, Stewart, Johnson, Harvick, Kyle Busch, Edwards, Kenseth and Labonte. Earnhardt Jr. has won the award since 2003. He, Elliott and Richard Petty are the only drivers to receive it at least five consecutive times.

"It was an honor to hear that I won this year and am now tied with Bill [Elliott] for 10 in a row," Earnhardt said. "I've enjoyed this award because it's a testament to my fans. I appreciate their loyalty and dedication. It was great to get back in Victory Lane this year for my team and for my fans. I'm looking forward to a successful 2013, and am proud to accept this award on behalf of all the fans that voted."

Once again the NMPA was proud to support one of NASCAR's oldest and most prestigious awards during Champion Week in Las Vegas.

"Each year, NASCAR fans show their passion for their favorite driver in the NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver voting," said Rea White, president of the NMPA. "This award is not only for the driver, but also for the fans as something they can claim as their own at the end of each season. We're proud we can continue this tradition and once again the fans have spoken, selecting a great representative in Dale Earnhardt Jr."

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