Driver of the Year

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson celebrates his sixth Sprint Cup championship. (Photo: Getty Images)

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See Also: Performance of the Year | Race of the Year

The MRN.com editorial staff each puts in their selection for driver of the year based off the series' the website covers.

MRN Staff Answer
Pete Pistone
Pete Pistone

There is no other choice than Johnson who scored his sixth career Sprint Cup Series championship in 2013 and now sets his sights on tying Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for a record seventh next season. Simply put Johnson has already elevated himself to the greatest driver in the history of NASCAR. His 66 wins have come at a record pace and the mark of five straight championships is one that had never been done before and will never be matched. While this year's title runs certainly had some bumps along the way, Johnson proved his talent behind the wheel on more than once occasion notably a pair of saves in the second to last race of the year in Phoenix and a huge piece of driving to avoid a melee on a late restart in Homestead. .

Dustin Long
Dustin Long

Clearly it’s Jimmie Johnson. Not only did he win a sixth championship, but he scored a series-high 24 top-10 finishes and had 16 top-five finishes to tie Kyle Busch for most in that category this season. Johnson also led a series-high 1,985 laps.

Pete Pistone
John Singler

Jimmie Johnson ... He led the point standings for much of the regular season and then did what he usually does during the 10-race Chase: Steadily run down his competition, grab some wins along the way and masterfully close the deal at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Johnson is now one away from matching two of the all-time greats with seven titles: Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt ... Not bad for a driver who has only been competing full-time at NASCAR's top level for 12 years.

Jeff Wackerlin
Jeff Wackerlin

Although Matt Kenseth (7) and Donny Schatz (23) posted career numbers in wins (also series leading) in their respective series, Jimmie Johnson gets the nod for driver of the year. Johnson, who led the Sprint Cup standings in every race except three, led all drivers in average finish for the season (10.7) and the Chase (5.1). He also topped all drivers in top 10s (24) and laps led with 1,985. Johnson has now won championships in the last three different generations of Sprint Cup cars and is the only driver that has qualified in all 10 years of the Chase.

 

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