Junior Most Popular Again
December 4, 2008 | 4:25 P.M. EST
Throughout the race season, fans voted daily for over 40 of their favorite drivers online at www.chexmostpopulardriver.com. Earnhardt Jr. was presented with the award today at the National Motorsports Press Association's Myers Brothers Media Luncheon in New York City. The award is Earnhardt Jr.'s sixth consecutive win since 2003. Only Bill Elliott (1991-2000) has more consecutive wins.
The NASCAR NMPA Chex Most Popular Driver Award has been given annually since 1956 and today is the only award for NASCAR's top drivers given by the fans. The six wins by Earnhardt Jr. move him past Bobby Allison and now only behind Richard Petty (9) and Bill Elliott (16) for most total awards.
"I've been fortunate enough to win this award now for the sixth time, and I can tell you it never gets old." said Earnhardt Jr. "I've said it many times before that this award is special because it's the voice of the fans.
"I think back to over a year ago when I made the decision to go to Hendrick Motorsports, and my biggest concern was whether the fans would support my decision." continued Earnhardt Jr. "They did, and I will always be grateful for that. I appreciate everyone who voted, and I want to thank Chex and the National Motorsports Press Association for all they do for the sport."
"The fans have spoken, and it's obvious that Dale Earnhardt Jr. truly is amongst the elite of fans' support," said Tom Jensen, President of the National Motorsports Press Association. "He deserves this award, and we're thankful for all the fans who continue to vote and make this award a rich part of our sports history."
The NASCAR NMPA Chex Most Popular Driver Award is recognized as one of the sport's pioneering awards. Drivers first voted amongst themselves for a winner before fans later voted on the winner. The top 10 drivers receiving the most votes in alphabetical order were Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Michael Waltrip.