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Tony Stewart named by NMPA as ‘Richard Petty Driver of the Year’ for 2011

By admin | January 22, 2012

 Press Release:

Tony Stewart put together one of the most exciting NASCAR Sprint Cup seasons in recent history, riding a late wave of success to win his third title.

Not only did he top the Sprint Cup field in the championship race, but he has also been named the winner of the NMPA Richard Petty Driver of the Year award.

It’s the third time the membership of the National Motorsports Press Association has voted Stewart as the winner of the award, which has been given since 1969.

The announcement was made Sunday during the NMPA’s annual convention in Charlotte, N.C.

“It’s an honor to have earned the 2011 NMPA Richard Petty Driver of the Year award,” Stewart said. “Everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing took the opportunity we had of being in the Chase and made the most of it. We took each race one at a time and never quit. It made all the difference. This award is as much theirs as it is mine.”

During the 2011 season, Stewart earned a series-leading five wins, all during the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He posted 19 top-10 finishes, nine of them top fives.

Stewart also won this honor in 2002 and 2005.

Also receiving votes were Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch.

Determined by vote of the membership, the Richard Petty Driver of the Year award has been presented annually since 1969 to recognize the season’s most outstanding driver. It is named in honor of NASCAR’s all-time leader in Cup victories.Richard Petty Driver of the Year
2011, Tony Stewart; 2010, Jimmie Johnson; 2009, Jimmie Johnson; 2008, Carl Edwards; 2007, Jimmie Johnson; 2006, Jimmie Johnson; 2005, Tony Stewart; 2004, Jimmie Johnson; 2003, Ryan Newman; 2002, Tony Stewart; 2001, Kevin Harvick; 2000, Bobby Labonte; 1999, Dale Jarrett; 1998, Jeff Gordon; 1997, Dale Jarrett; 1996, Terry Labonte; 1995, Jeff Gordon; 1994, Dale Earnhardt; 1993, Rusty Wallace; 1992, Davey Allison; 1991, Harry Gant; 1990, Dale Earnhardt; 1989, Mark Martin; 1988, Rusty Wallace; 1987, Dale Earnhardt; 1986, Tim Richmond and Dale Earnhardt; 1985, Bill Elliott; 1984, Terry Labonte; 1983, Bobby Allison; 1982, Darrell Waltrip; 1981, Darrell Waltrip; 1980 Dale Earnhardt; 1979 Cale Yarborough; 1978 Cale Yarborough;
1977, Cale Yarborough; 1976, Darrell Waltrip; 1975, Richard Petty; 1974, Richard Petty; 1973, David Pearson; 1972, Bobby Allison; 1971, Bobby Allison; 1970, Bobby Isaac; 1969, LeeRoy Yarbrough.

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