Earnhardt Jr. Ends Racing Career With 15th Consecutive Most Popular Driver Award

Earnhardt Jr. Ends Racing Career With 15th Consecutive Most Popular Driver Award

by November 30, 2017 0 comments

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Dale Earnhardt Jr., who retired from full-time competition in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the conclusion of the 2017 season, has been named the National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver for the 15th consecutive time.

Earnhardt’s selection was announced Thursday during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards program at the Wynn Las Vegas.

Earnhardt, 43, was named on nearly 68 percent of the votes cast by fans.

The driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, Earnhardt is one of eight drivers to receive the award on multiple occasions. Only one other driver, Bill Elliott, has won the award more often – Elliott was named the series’ most popular driver 16 times between 1984 and 2002.

Completing the top 10 in this year’s voting were (listed alphabetically): Ryan Blaney (Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford), Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota), Chase Elliott (Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet); Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet), Kasey Kahne (Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet), Matt Kenseth (Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota), Kyle Larson (Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet), Danica Patrick (Stewart-Haas Racing No. 10 Ford) and Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota).

The Most Popular Driver Award is the only major NASCAR award determined solely by fan vote. It has been presented annually since 1953; the recipients were originally determined by a poll of competitors. It became a fan-driven program in 1984 under the guidance of the NMPA.

Thirty-three drivers received votes for this year’s award.

In addition to hosting the voting platform for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series MPD award, fan votes to determine the Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series were also hosted on NASCAR.com.

Elliott Sadler, who finished second in the XFINITY Series championship battle won the NASCAR XFINITY Series MPD award; Sunoco Rookie of the Year Chase Briscoe was voted Camping World Truck Series MPD by fans.

Sadler and Briscoe will be honored Dec. 9 during NASCAR Champions Week in Charlotte.

NMPA MOST POPULAR DRIVER AWARD

The NMPA Most Popular Driver Award is one of the longest-running awards presented annually by the National Motorsports Press Association. Since 1984, it has been the only major NASCAR award to be determined solely by fan vote.

 

Year – Recipient

 

2017 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1983 – Bobby Allison

2016 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1982 – Bobby Allison

2015 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1981 – Bobby Allison

2014 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1980 – David Pearson

2013 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1979 – David Pearson

2012 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1978 – Richard Petty

2011 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1977 – Richard Petty

2010 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1976 – Richard Petty

2009 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1975 – Richard Petty

2008 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1974 – Richard Petty

2007 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1973 – Bobby Allison

2006 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1972 – Bobby Allison

2005 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1971 – Bobby Allison

2004 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1970 – Richard Petty

2003 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                      1969 – Bobby Isaac

2002 – Bill Elliott                                                                   1968 – Richard Petty

2001 – Dale Earnhardt                                                          1966 – Darel Dieringer

1999 – Bill Elliott                                                                   1965 – Fred Lorenzen

1998 – Bill Elliott                                                                   1964 – Richard Petty

1997 – Bill Elliott                                                                   1963 – Fred Lorenzen

1996 – Bill Elliott                                                                   1962 – Richard Petty

1995 – Bill Elliott                                                                   1961 – Joe Weatherly

1994 – Bill Elliott                                                                   1960 – Rex White

1993 – Bill Elliott                                                                   1959 – Jack Smith

1992 – Bill Elliott                                                                   1958 – Glen Wood

1991 – Bill Elliott                                                                   1957 – Fireball Robert

1990 – Darrell Waltrip            `                                              1956 – Curtis Turner

1989 – Darrell Waltrip                                                           1955 – Tim Flock

1988 – Bill Elliott                                                                   1954 – Lee Petty

1987 – Bill Elliott                                                                   1953 – Lee Petty

1986 – Bill Elliott

1985 – Bill Elliott

1984 – Bill Elliott

 

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com