Stewart crowned NMPA driver of the year

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart was identified as winner of the 2002 Richard Petty Driver of the Year award at Sunday's National Motorsports Press Association annual convention. Stewart was not on hand to accept his...

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart was identified as winner of the 2002 Richard Petty Driver of the Year award at Sunday's National Motorsports Press Association annual convention.

Stewart was not on hand to accept his award, but sent a videotaped message to the media. He was in Philadelphia helping promote the Daytona 500 for Fox Sports. Stewart appeared on the pre and post game shows from Sunday's NFC game between the Flyers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Stewart had a busy weekend of appearances, he also attended the 14th annual Winston Cup preview on Saturday, where 40 drivers signed autographs in four shifts, and conducted interviews with the media. He was cheerful and seemed optimistic when asked about his aspirations for this season.

"Is my goal to win the Winston Cup championship two years in a row? Absolutely," Stewart said Saturday at the annual T. Wayne Robertson Winston Cup Preview. "But my goal is to have fun this year, and I've had more fun leading up to the season than I've had in a long time."

He also commented on wanting to leave this years season opener with more momentum than last year.

"We started off 43rd in points," he commented of his last place finish in the 2002 Daytona 500. "I don't want to leave Daytona in 43rd place. I don't want to have to battle all the things we went through."

Kevin Harvick was the 2001 winner of the award.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Richard Petty