Defending Monster Energy Series champion Martin Truex Jr. was announced Wednesday as the winner of the Best Driver category at the annual ESPY Awards.
Truex was the top vote-getter in fan balloting conducted by ESPN. The other nominees were Brittany Force (NHRA), last year’s winner Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1) and Josef Newgarden (IndyCar).
Truex’s win marked the third time in the last four years that a NASCAR driver has won the award. Kyle Busch (2016) and Kevin Harvick (2015) were each honored for their championship seasons the previous year.
“It’s an honor to receive the ESPY for Best Driver,” Truex Jr. said in a press release. “2017 was an amazing year, and I still have to pinch myself to believe it turned out the way it did. Congratulations to all the other nominees on their great seasons last year and thanks to all the fans who voted for me.”
NASCAR drivers have prevailed in the category 17 times in the 26 years since the ESPYs debuted. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson top the list of all-time winners with four Best Driver awards each.
Former NASCAR driver Danica Patrick hosted the event. Patrick, a regular attendee in previous editions of the sports gala, became the first woman to host the ESPYs since it began in 1993. She retired from motorsports after participating in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 this season.