Earnhardt Jr. Scores 7th NMPA Chex Most Popular Driver Honor

Keselowski's 2nd Nationwide MPD gives owner & driver another sweep

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 3, 2009) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. was awarded his seventh consecutive NASCAR NMPA Chex Most Popular Driver award Thursday in Las Vegas, announced at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards event at The Venetian Las Vegas Hotel Casino. The result was determined by online voting during the course of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The award comes one week after Brad Keselowski was named Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, giving the JR Motorsports owner/driver tandem its second consecutive sweep of most popular awards.

Earnhardt Jr. joins Bill Elliott and Richard Petty as the only drivers to win the award at least seven times. His seven in a row falls short only to Elliott, who won 10 straight from 1991-2000. Earnhardt Jr. now sits behind Elliott (16) and Richard Petty (9) for most total awards.

"I'm extremely honored to win this award again, and I'm happy for Brad to be able to win it again in the Nationwide Series," said Earnhardt Jr., who drives the No. 88 Amp Energy/National Guard Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. "As always, I want to thank the fans. They've stuck with us, and I'm always humbled by that. We didn't have the year we were expecting on the Cup side, but Brad and Tony Eury Sr. and everyone at JR Motorsports did a great job this year on the Nationwide side, scored a bunch of wins, and I'm proud of all of them."

Driving the No. 88 GoDaddy.com/Hellmann's Chevrolets in his final year with JR Motorsports, Keselowski finished third in the Nationwide Series points standings with four wins and 22 top-five finishes. Keselowski earned his Most Popular Driver honor during the Nationwide Series banquet at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel on Nov. 23rd. He becomes only the fourth racer to win consecutive Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver Awards.

"It's an honor just to compete in this series and for JR Motorsports." Keselowski said. "One of the biggest things I've learned over the last few years is how awesome our fans are. There's no sport on this planet that can rival NASCAR racing and its fan base. It's amazing to have those fans. To get their vote as most popular driver is truly an honor."

-credit: jrm