Awards Announcements, Press Releases, News and Links

updated 7-24-2014


Awards News Archive (before 2013)
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2013 not held
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Miscellaneous Awards
Mario Andretti Trophy 2012
Mario Andretti Trophy 2011
Mario Andretti Trophy 2010
SPEED's Performer of the Year / Mario Andretti Trophy 2006-2009
2010 ESPY's Selects Top 25 All Time Drivers
2010 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame
2009 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame
Past News on Misc Awards

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2014 Awards News

  • Donlavey honored by NMPA: Longtime car owner Junie Donlavey was named the National Motorsports Press Association Spirit Award recipient for the third quarter of 2014. Donlavey, who passed away in June of this year at the age of 90, competed at NASCAR's highest level for more than four-and-a-half decades, beginning in 1950. Donlavey is credited with giving numerous drivers the opening they needed to begin, or further, their Cup careers. Among those whose first premier series starts came with Donlavey were two-time champ Joe Weatherly, Jimmy Hensley, Harry Gant and Robby Gordon. Donlavey also aided the careers of drivers such as Ken Schrader and Dick Trickle. Donlavey-owned teams made 863 starts, finishing in the top-10 in points on nine occasions. His lone win as an owner came in 1981 at Dover, Del., with driver Jody Ridley. Donlavey was inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame in 2009. Also receiving votes for the third quarter were Sprint Cup drivers Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kyle Larson. Other quarterly winners of the Spirit Award for 2014 are Lynda Petty (first quarter) and Martin Truex Jr. (second quarter). The NMPA Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are chosen, and an overall winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership.(NMPA)(1-8-2014)

  • Don Miller and David Pearson to be honored: Don Miller, the former President of Penske Racing and the current Chairman of the Board of the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame (NCARHOF) along with former NASCAR driving legend David Pearson will be honored by the Foundation Fighting Blindness Tuesday, October 7 at the Urban Garden at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Uptown Charlotte, NC. Don Miller, a revered Philanthropist especially for illnesses and disabilities affecting children has always stepped up to the plate for those in need as noted by his past NASCAR Humanitarian Award. "I consider it a great honor to be named as a co-recipient with David Pearson for the Foundation Fighting Blindness Visionary Award," said Miller. "The work that Marilyn Green and her staff have done over the years is nothing short of remarkable. All of us that are blessed with good eyesight need to make a special effort to support the research that will eventually find a cure for the various causes of blindness. At our Hall of Fame we have hosted several tours for visually impaired people and will do much more in the future."
    Marilyn Green, Foundation Fighting Blindness National Board Member, is very proud to honor Don Miller. "Recognizing Don Miller at Dining in the Dark is a true honor. Don shows such passion and commitment to the many causes he holds dear. It's a true privilege for our Foundation Fighting Blindness family to honor him for his years of tireless work to help those in need."
    The Foundation Fighting blindness was established in 1971 by a passionate group of individuals driven to overcome vision robbing retinal degenerative diseases. The Foundation's goal is to drive the research that would lead to the prevention, treatment, and cures for the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases. Over the past 42 years the Foundation has raised nearly $550 million to put an end to retinal degenerative diseases. For information about the event tickets or to make a donation contact Lesley Ireland at 919-901-5631 or at
    More info and to make a donation at

  • Journalist Mark "Bones" Bourcier to be honored: Mark "Bones" Bourcier will receive the Charlie Mitchell/Jack Ratta Memorial Award at the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday, Nov. 16 at Maneeley's Banquet Hall in South Windsor, CT. Bourcier, a native of Southington, CT, is currently an Editor At Large for Speedway Illustrated Magazine. Honing his skills at local media outlets and then at Speedway Scene and Trackside Magazine, Bourcier has become one of America's premier auto racing scribes, twice winning the coveted Miller Racing Award of Excellence in Honor of Russ Catlin. They are part of a host of writing awards that also includes the Eastern Motorsports Press Association's Frank Blunt Memorial Award. He did memorable work for Stock Car and Open Wheel magazines and has appeared in several national outlets including National Speedsport. While Bourcier, who began watching race cars at Plainville Stadium, is a national figure in the motorsports writing fraternity, he has never forgotten his roots. He has written and/or edited books on New England racing heroes Bugs Stevens, Richie Evans, Ed Flemke and most recently Bentley Warren. They are on a list of books that include biographies of Bill Simpson, Tony Stewart, Parnelli Jones and Dave Darland and a history of Utica-Rome Speedway.(NEAR)(9-25-2014)

  • Truex, Jr. wins Second Quarter NMPA Spirit Award: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. has been selected as the second quarter recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's Spirit Award. Truex Jr. and longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex were honored for their fifth annual Catwalk for a Cause charity event held in May. Money raised through the popular event supports the Martin Truex Jr. Specials Needs Fund at the Levin Children's Hospital, which assists patients and families of children being treated for cancer. Also receiving votes for the second quarter were Sonoma Raceway and Furniture Row Racing. Lynda Petty, wife of seven-time NASCAR premier series champion Richard Petty, was the first-quarter recipient. The NMPA Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are chosen, and an overall winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership.(NMPA)(9-17-2014)

  • Petty Receives Legion 'Good Guy' Award: Praised for his patriotism and his service to the community, NASCAR Hall of Famer "The King" Richard Petty was presented The American Legion's James V. Day "Good Guy" Award during the organization's 96th annual national convention on August 25th. "Richard Petty is so much more than just a former race driver and now current team owner," American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger said during an award luncheon held in Petty's honor at theWestin Charlotte by The American Legion Past Department (state) Commander's Club. "He is a great American, who is always giving back to the community. By donating his land, and more importantly, his time, to Victory Junction, Richard has helped chronically ill children receive life-changing camping experiences. He and his son Kyle have helped educate young people about the safe use of automobile lifts, and he has donated time to Civitan International. Richard Petty Motorsports has also supported paralyzed veterans. The NASCAR culture is often praised for its patriotism. Well, it's no coincidence that Richard Petty is The King of NASCAR."
    "It's an honor to be recognized by the American Legion,"Petty said. "I've also felt it was important to do my best to give back to the community and to those in need. It's just something small we do to help out and hopefully make people's lives better or make them feel good. It's humbling to be rewarded for it." The James V. Day Good Guy Award is named after a World War II veteran and prominent Legionnaire. Recent recipients include former boxing great George Foreman, performer Dolly Parton, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and former NBA star David Robinson.(Petty Family Foundation)(8-27-2014)

  • Lesa France Kennedy to be Honored: On Saturday, August 23, 2014, the National Women's History Museum (NWHM) and its Los Angeles Regional Council, will host a private brunch at 11:45am/pt at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles - Women Making History - to honor the achievements of three notable women including Lesa France Kennedy, ISC CEO and NASCAR Board Member. The event will honor female philanthropists and activists who contribute to women's history while creating awareness to advance NWHM's mission and build a world-class museum in Washington, D.C. This year's honorees also include accomplished actress and philanthropist Sophia Bush, and producer, director, and Academy Award-winning writer Callie Khouri. "We are delighted to join with our LA Council to honor these three remarkable women," said Joan Wages, NWHM President and CEO. Past recipients include Maya Angelou, Fran Drescher, Annie Leibovitz, Jennifer Seibel Newsom, Dolores Huerta, Marissa Mayer and Rita Moreno. "I am humbled and honored to receive this special recognition," said Lesa France Kennedy, ISC CEO and NASCAR Board Member. "The National Women's History Museum is making great strides in educating our nation and I am excited to help preserve women's history for the next generation." NWHM's mission is to educate, inspire, empower, and shape the future by integrating women's distinctive history into the culture and history of the United States. For more information on the NWHM, please visit

  • Ganassi to be honored for contributions to motorsports: Multiple race-team owner Chip Ganassi on Thursday will receive the inaugural Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for his outstanding contributions to motorsports. The award will be given by the International Motor Racing Research Center at the 2014 IMRRC Award Dinner honoring Chip Ganassi presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and Watkins Glen International. Some of racing's top figures, including NASCAR President Mike Helton, will be honoring Ganassi, who fields teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Verizon INDYCAR and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series. Ganassi Racing driver Jamie McMurray, who will be competing in the weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International, also will take a turn at the podium, as will Brian Barnhart, INDYCAR senior vice president, competition, and SCCA president and CEO, Lisa Noble. The proceeds of the dinner will benefit the IMRRC, an archival library dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of motorsports, covering all series and all venues, through its collections of books, periodicals, films, photographs, fine art and other materials. The IMRRC is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.(International Motor Racing Research Center)(8-3-2014)

  • Lynda Petty named first-quarter recipient of the NMPA's Spirit Award.: Lynda Petty, one of the founding members of the Racing Wives Auxiliary, was named first-quarter recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's Spirit Award. Petty, who passed away on March 25 at the age of 72, started the charitable organization, providing assistance to those in need in the racing community. Now know as the Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports, the group seeks to enrich the lives of women, children and families through education and wellness initiatives. The wife of seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty raised a family of four and was active in numerous community and civic endeavors. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and fellow premier series driver Denny Hamlin also received votes for the first-quarter award. The NMPA Spirit Award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are chosen, and an overall winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership.(

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Announces 2013 Russ Catlin Awards for Excellence in Motorsports Journalism: The 29th annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Russ Catlin Awards for Excellence in Motorsports Journalism ceremony was held today, honoring five individuals with the most sought-after accolades in motorsports media. This year's honorees are Nate Ryan (USA Today), J.A. Ackley (Dick Berggren's Speedway Illustrated), Lauren Stowell (ESPN), Chris Weaver (WGHP FOX8) and Mark J. Rebilas (USA Today Sports) for their outstanding work in 2013.
    This year marked Ryan's fifth time receiving the award (2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013). It was the second time receiving the honor for Stowell (2010, 2013) and Rebilas (2010, 2013). It was the sixth time that a representative from USA Today was honored with the award, the ninth time for ESPN and the second time for WGHP FOX8.
    The awards, which pay homage to motorsports journalism pioneer Russ Catlin, recognize the best motorsports coverage in five categories: Daily and Non-Daily Writing, National and Local Broadcast and Photojournalism. Entries are open to all forms of motorsports coverage and no affiliation or membership is required for participation. "The quality of this year's entries reflects how gifted and talented our journalists are," said Scott Cooper, Vice President of Communications at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We understand the time, effort and sacrifice it takes to cover such a demanding sport. They do an unbelievable job conveying the thrills, the excitement and the passion of motorsports. We appreciate all of our journalists' efforts and are excited to reward the best of the best."
    Russ Catlin was a forerunner of motorsports public relations and journalism. Catlin was one of the best known racing writers and historians, contributing articles and information to Speed Age, Automobile Quarterly, Open Wheel and numerous other publications. Catlin served as publicist for Darlington Raceway during the 1960s and guided several influential figures in the motorsports field, including former Charlotte Motor Speedway General Manager Humpy Wheeler, who established the awards in his honor.
    As in years past, The Indiana University School of Journalism judged the entries and determined the winners. All five winners were given a trophy and were awarded a $1,000 scholarship in their name to the school of their choice. The recipients also had their names engraved on the perpetual trophy kept at Charlotte Motor Speedway that lists all of the past winners. The award has been among the most coveted in motorsports journalism since it began in 1985. Reporters from top media outlets such as USA Today, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, New York Times and The Washington Post have all been past winners. The 2013 Charlotte Motor Speedway Russ Catlin Awards for Excellence in Motorsports Journalism are as follows:
    Writing - Daily
    Nate Ryan - USA Today
    Entry: "NASCAR walks tightrope with NRA sponsorship"
    Judges' Comments: The story acknowledges that NASCAR does not live in a bubble. It exposes the potentially volatile political and social side effects of sponsorship. The reporter tackles a timely topic with in-depth reporting and clear writing.
    Scholarship: Northwestern University
    Writing - Non-Daily
    J.A. Ackley - Dick Berggren's Speedway Illustrated
    Entry: "Tire Doping"
    The reporter educates readers on an important and timely topic while revealing a complex issue in motorsports. What could have been a dry report is brought to life by extensive reporting, lively writing and interviews from sources with a variety of perspectives.
    Scholarship: Rochester Institute of Technology
    Broadcast - Local
    Chris Weaver - WGHP FOX8, High Point, NC
    Entry: "Racing at Bowman Gray Stadium"
    Judges' Comments: This piece captures the viewers' attention with great camera work, fast-paced shots, and nice natural sound. But it also tells an interesting narrative and it is clear that there was a lot of work put into interviewing a variety of people over a span of many days. The combination of visuals, audio and storytelling that went into this piece make it a stand out from the rest. This work makes Bowman Gray come to life on the screen.
    Scholarship: UNC-Greensboro
    Broadcast - National
    Lauren Stowell - ESPN
    Entry: "Richie Parker - Drive"
    Judges' Comments: This piece combines excellent videography, interviews, natural sound and narrative to tell a compelling story. It's clear the reporter invested time in getting to know Richie Parker. The story provides a look behind-the-scenes of a successful NASCAR team yet avoids being a cliché.
    Scholarship: University of Connecticut
    Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports
    Entry: "Tumble of Terror"
    Judges' Comments: A lot of sports photography involves being in the right place at the right time, which this photographer obviously was. However, also notable are the excellent focus, framing and exposure of the wreck. This photo draws the viewers, who then stay to examine the details.
    Scholarship: Shoot Off Visual Media Workshops.(See past winners and more at

  • France, NASCAR earn Cynopsis Sports Awards: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR Fuel for Business were honored at the Cynopsis Sports Awards Thursday at the Yale Club in New York City. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Rick Hendrick presented France with the Vision Award, which recognizes the executive of the year from a sports league or organization who has demonstrated innovation and transformed an industry. "With all the stakeholders involved in our sport, it takes a leader who is willing to stand tall," Hendrick said. "Brian has revolutionized the sport of NASCAR, working with the entire NASCAR industry -- the teams, tracks and sponsors."
    Accepting the award, France said, "One thing that is never lost on me at these types of sports industry gatherings is how lucky we all are to be working in an industry that evokes so much passion from people across the world." NASCAR Fuel for Business (NFFB) earned two awards for B2B Program and Proprietary Asset. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the NFFB Council is a business-to-business platform that brings together an exclusive group of more than 50 Official NASCAR Partners to buy and sell products and services. Since its inception in 2004, the quarterly meetings have facilitated more than 1,000 "speed meeting" sessions where Official NASCAR Partners meet and do business with one another.
    NASCAR earned Honorable Mentions for Brand Activation at Live Events for its NASCAR After the Lap Sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola; Brand Extensions/Licensing for Touch by Alyssa Milano and Mobile App - Live Streaming for NASCAR Digital Media's NASCAR RaceView Mobile '13. The Cynopsis Sports Media Awards recognize the most outstanding work in the sports industry from the past year with categories that span television, digital, marketing and more.(

  • Bill Simpson presented with The Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award: Bill Simpson was presented today The Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award at Auto Club Speedway. Named in honor of former Los Angeles Times sports writer Shav Glick, the award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to motorsports in California. Simpson, who was both a driver and safety innovator during his motorsports career, will be remembered for over 50 years of safety contributions in all forms of racing. Today Simpson is focused on his new company, SG Helmets, which has taken racing technology and incorporated it into football helmets used at the youth, varsity, and professional levels.(Shunch PR)(3-24-2014)

  • Most Popular Driver voting to start in May: As the fan-driven National Motorsports Press Association's Most Popular Driver program launches for its 62nd season, the NMPA announced on Friday that the program will undergo changes for the 2014 season. Voting opens for the Most Popular Driver Award in May and will officially close at midnight on Sunday, Nov. 16. An official launch date will be announced in the near future. Once the program launches, fans will have the opportunity to vote by logging onto throughout the remainder of the season. The NMPA will release the official launch date for the program in the near future.(

  • Bruce Hayes to be honored for commitment to racing: For the past 55 years, at least one stock car zipping around Bowman Gray Stadium's track on race night has borne the name "Hayes Jewelers." And Bruce Hayes, the owner of that Lexington jewelry business, hardly ever misses a Saturday night race. But his involvement goes beyond sponsorship money. "Racing has been good to me," said Hayes, 79. "It's been good business, but it's just something I've always enjoyed as well." Hayes will receive the Allison Family Corporate Award, given in memory of Clifford and Davey Allison, on Feb. 19 at the Living Legends of Auto Racing banquet at Daytona Beach, Fla. Bobby and Donnie Allison will be the presenters. Hayes has been involved in racing at Bowman Gray since 1959. Hayes owned Caraway Speedway near Asheboro in the 1980s and has owned several cars - including the one that Joe Millikan drove to a Sportsman (now Nationwide Series) victory at Daytona in 1976. Hayes said he then supplied a motor to Richard Petty, who went through all he had during the same week at one memorable Daytona race. "Maurice (Petty) pulled the motor out of the car that we had won with and put it in their car and got it ready up to their specifications for Sunday," Hayes said. "Richard and David Pearson wound up crashing near the finish line." Hayes said that his company has produced many of the trophies presented by NASCAR over the years. "When R.J. Reynolds started with Winston sponsoring NASCAR races, we made all the Winston Cup trophies," he said. "And we still make a lot of the awards now, including a lot for NHRA." The Living Legends of Auto Racing was founded in 1993 as an effort to recognize stock-car racing's pioneers. The other award winners this year are: Jim Reed (Pioneer of Racing), Geoff Bodine (Distinguished Driver), Don LaJoie (Dedicated Service), Ken Squier (Media), Carl "Bugs Stevens" Bergman (Early Days Tribute) and Ronnie Sanders (Saturday Night Hero).(Winston Salem Journal)(1-24-2014)

  • North Carolina Motorsports Association honors Jarretts: Stock car racing's renowned Jarrett family was recognized Monday night during the eighth annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Award Ceremony presented by Fifth Third Bank at the Embassy Suites Hotel. With more than 300 members of the motorsports community in attendance the North Carolina Motorsports Association hosted the gala event, which concluded with the presentation of the group's traditional Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award to the Jarretts. Family patriarch and former NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett, his wife Martha, their sons Dale, who will join his dad in the NASCAR Hall of Fame next week, and Glenn, daughter Patti and grandson Jason were honored for the family's accomplishments on and off the race track.
    Also part of the ceremony were the presentation of seven Motorsports Industry Awards. NASCAR President Mike Helton took the stage to present the NCMA's Motorsports Media Recognition Award to the late Jim Hunter, a former sports writer, public relations representative and longtime NASCAR executive. Helton revealed that the award will also be rebadged the Jim Hunter Motorsports Media Recognition Award. Other Motorsports Industry Awards went to Stocks for Tots, Rev Racing, The World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Motorsports Authentics and Carolina Speedway.(National Speed Sport News)(1-22-2014)

2014 Driver of the Year Award

  • Gordon voted 3rd Quarter Driver of the Year: This year's Brickyard 400 winner, #24-Jeff Gordon, was named winner of the third-quarter Driver of the Year Award 2014. The four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion won the voting by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists. Gordon is also the first four-time Driver of the Year It was the 42-year-old Gordon's record fifth victory at NASCAR's annual stop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indiana native also won the Pure Michigan 400 from the pole in the third quarter that ended at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31rst. "It's an honor to be recognized as the Driver of the Year 3rd Quarter, and it's been an incredible summer for this #24 team," said Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy. Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation, said, "I've had the pleasure of handing Jeff many trophies. His talent appears limitless."
    In the voting Gordon, who drives for Hendrick Motorsports, had four first-place ballots and totaled 87 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Will Power, who drove the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet to win the IndyCar championship this year, took seven first-place votes and totaled 77 points. Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Dallara Chevrolet was third with 47 points and one first-place vote. Donnie Schatz, who drives the Tony Stewart Racing sprint car in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series was fourth in the balloting with 33-points and two first place votes. Jason Line who drives the KB Racing Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stock car in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series tied Schatz with 33-points and one first place ballot. Gordon won the overall Driver of the Year title in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001. "The team has really been performing at a high level, and anytime you win a Brickyard 400 it's extremely special, " added Gordon. A total of 16 drivers scored points in the second quarter voting. In its' 48th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. A panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. Two panelists didn't vote this time. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Gordon will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented later.(DOTY)(9-24-2014)

  • Second Quarter Driver of the Year announced: Indy 500 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay, was named winner of the second quarter Driver of the Year Award 2014. The 2012 Verizon IndyCar series champion won the voting by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists Hunter-Reay, 33, won the iconic race in his seventh attempt. The Florida resident also won the Honda Indy Grand Prix in Alabama and was runner-up in the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix in the second quarter which ended at the at Pocono IndyCar 500 on July 6th. In the voting Hunter-Reay, who drives the #28 DHL Dallara-Honda for Andretti Autosport, had eight first-place ballots and totaled 102 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Jimmie Johnson, who drives the #48 Lowe's Chevy in NASCAR, garnered six first-place votes and totaled 84 points. Antron Brown who drives the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster in the NHRA was third in the balloting with 45 points. NASCAR's Brad Keselowski, who finished fourth in the voting, also received one first place vote. A total of 20 drivers scored points in the second quarter voting. In its' 48th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. A panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. Two panelists didn't vote this time. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Hunter-Reay will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented later. President of the Driver of the Year Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.(DOTY)(7-24-2014)

  • Earnhardt Jr. voted first quarter Driver of the Year: Two-time Daytona 500 winner, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., was named winner of the first quarter Driver of the Year Award 2014. NASCAR's perennial fan favorite won title in the voting by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists Ending an almost two-year winless drought Earnhardt took the checkered flag in the season opening, and rain-delayed, Daytona 500. In the first quarter, which ended with race in Darlington, he added three second-place and one third-place finishes.
    "I'm pretty blown away that we've won the First Quarter 2014 Driver of the Year Award," said Earnhardt. " It's an honor and really humbling to be chosen. The members that vote on this award are a credible group, and it's an award that's meant a lot to different drivers. It's one that I'm proud to have been voted for."
    Dale's father, the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr. won the annual Driver of the Year Award in 1987 and 1994. If Earnhardt goes on to claim the annual ballot he'd be the third winner's son to win the DOTY. Al Unser Sr. (1970) and Al Unser Jr. (1990) and Mario Andretti (1967, 1978, and 1984) and Michael Andretti (1991) are the other father-son winners.
    Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation, noted, "Dale and his crew chief, Steve Letarte, are in the groove. It wouldn't surprise me to see them at the Sprint Cup Championship table later this year."
    In the voting Earnhardt, who drives the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, had seven first-place ballots and totaled 88 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Kevin Harvick, who drives the #4 Budweiser Chevy in NASCAR, and Australia's Will Power who drives the #12 Verizon Dallara-Chevrolet for Team Penske tied for second place with 80 points. Harvick had five first-place votes and Australia's Power had three. Chase Elliott burst into the limelight scoring 37 points, one first-place vote and finished fourth, in the ballot driving for Earnhardt's JRM Nationwide Series team. And Kyle Busch also garnered one first-place vote A total of 20 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting.
    In its' 48th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. The panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Earnhardt will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at a race weekend at to be determined. "Hopefully we can keep up the good season with our National Guard team and keep ourselves in the conversation for the rest of the year," Earnhardt added. President of the Driver of the Year Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.(DOTY)(5-1-2014)

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