For the 11th year in a row, Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Most Popular Driver award.
It humbles me deeply to know that you have so many fans in your corner each race weekend,” Earnhardt said in his speech. “There are a lot of motivating factors in life that drive our race team to be the best we can but none impact us more than the support of our race fans that they’ve shown over the years. We thank you for your devotion to NASCAR and we look forward to giving you a lot to be excited about in 2014.”
Earnhardt Jr. ranks second behind Bill Elliott for most MPD wins. Elliott had won eleven times before he retired.
“I don’t really keep track of the stats or the score, but Bill was a great driver and ambassador for the sport,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “He represents the sport really well to this day, as does his son, Chase, who’s coming up and carrying on the family name. But I’ve always looked up to Bill as a driver so it’s pretty neat.”
Junior Nation seemed a bit worried that their driver would be dethroned this season with Sprint Cup Series newcomer Danica Patrick but, need not worry, Junior Nation rose to the top.
Patrick was voted as the Most Popular Driver in the IndyCar Series six out of her seven years in the series and also won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver award last season. This season, Patrick was ranked fifth after the votes were tallied.
The top 10, in order, of the voting were: Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Patrick, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. There were more than 1 million votes cast, and Earnhardt collected more than 700,000 votes according to NASCAR.com.