Johnson Selected Driver of the Year

Jimmie Johnson

A nationwide panel of motorsports broadcasters and journalists selected Jimmie Johnson as the 2013 Driver of the Year. (Photo: Getty Images)

A nationwide panel of motorsports broadcasters and journalists selected Jimmie Johnson as the 2013 Driver of the Year, marking a record fifth time he’s won the award.

The DOTY award is given to the top-performing driver in a North American racing series, which includes NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA, World of Outlaws and such.

Johnson was tied with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon with having won the award the most before this announcement.

“It’s a great honor to receive the Driver of the Year award,’’ Johnson said in a statement. “I’m really proud at how hard everyone at Hendrick Motorsports and Team Lowe’s Racing worked to win races and ultimately the championship. It’s awesome to be recognized for our effort.’’

Johnson received 12 votes from the panel. NHRA Funny Car champion John Force, who won the DOTY honor in 1996, was next with six votes. Daryn Pittman, who won the World of Outlaws championship, received one vote. Force won the fourth quarter DOTY honor.

Driver of The Year President, Barry Schmoyer, said “Between Jimmie Johnson and the ageless John Force panelists had to choose between some historic achievements. As we noted the last time Jimmie won Driver of the Year Award, it will be a long time before anyone will set the bar as high he does.’’

This is the 48th year of the Driver of the Year award. Previous winners include Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, Darrell Waltrip, A.J. Foyt, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson, Tony Schumacher, Bobby Allison, Bill Elliott, Tony Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Unser, Al Unser Sr., and Al Unser Jr.

Motor Racing Network’s Eli Gold and Dustin Long are members of the panel.

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