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Earnhardt Voted NASCAR’s Most Popular For 14th Time

Earnhardt Voted NASCAR’s Most Popular For 14th Time

by December 3, 2016 0 comments

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Although he missed one half of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season due to injury, race fans still overwhelmingly selected Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the National Motorsports Press Association Sprint Most Popular Driver.

Earnhardt’s selection was announced Friday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards program at Wynn Las Vegas. A $10,000 donation to the charity of his choice will be made on behalf of the NMPA.

It is the 14th consecutive season Earnhardt has been voted the series’ MPD. The award is the only major NASCAR honor to be determined solely by fan vote.

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.

Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, was sidelined at midseason after suffering concussion-like symptoms following on-track incidents at Michigan International Speedway and Daytona International Speedway. He is expected to return to competition for 2017.

“The Most Popular Driver Award is always very humbling to receive, even more so this year with my injury and time out of the car,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “The fans continue to amaze me with their loyalty and the support they’ve shown throughout my career no matter the circumstance.”

Sprint has been the presenting sponsor of the Most Popular Driver Award program since 2014.

Forty drivers received one or more votes from fans during this year’s 12-week voting period. Besides Earnhardt Jr., others finishing in the top 10 in vote totals were (in alphabetical order): Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart and Martin Truex Jr.

The Most Popular Driver Award has been presented annually since 1953 and the recipient was originally determined by a poll of competitors. It became a fan-driven program in 1984 under the guidance of the NMPA.

MPD Winners
Year – Recipient

2016 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2015 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2014 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2013 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2012 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2011 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2010 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2009 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2008 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2007 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2006 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2005 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2004 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2003 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2002 – Bill Elliott
2001 – Dale Earnhardt
2000 – Bill Elliott
1999 – Bill Elliott
1998 – Bill Elliott
1997 – Bill Elliott
1996 – Bill Elliott
1995 – Bill Elliott
1994 – Bill Elliott
1993 – Bill Elliott
1992 – Bill Elliott
1991 – Bill Elliott
1990 – Darrell Waltrip
1989 – Darrell Waltrip
1988 – Bill Elliott
1987 – Bill Elliott
1986 – Bill Elliott
1985 – Bill Elliott
1984 – Bill Elliott
1983 – Bobby Allison
1982 – Bobby Allison
1981 – Bobby Allison
1980 – David Pearson
1979 – David Pearson
1978 – Richard Petty
1977 – Richard Petty
1976 – Richard Petty
1975 – Richard Petty
1974 – Richard Petty
1973 – Bobby Allison
1972 – Bobby Allison
1971 – Bobby Allison
1970 – Richard Petty
1969 – Bobby Isaac
1968 – Richard Petty
1967 – Cale Yarborough
1966 – Darel Dieringer
1965 – Fred Lorenzen
1964 – Richard Petty
1963 – Fred Lorenzen
1962 – Richard Petty
1961 – Joe Weatherly
1960 – Rex White
1959 – Jack Smith
1958 – Glen Wood
1957 – Fireball Roberts
1956 – Curtis Turner
1955 – Tim Flock
1954 – Lee Petty
1953 – Lee Petty

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com

Press Release
Press Release, source information and photo credits are located at the bottom of the article.

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