Dale Earnhardt Jr. surpasses Bill Elliott in popularity awards

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Las Vegas, NV, United States (4E Sports) – Dale Earnhardt Jr. won NASCAR’s NMPA Most Popular Driver Award, becoming the organization’s most popular driver for the 11th straight time.

More than 1 million votes were cast for 39 drivers and Earnhardt received more than 700,000.

The streak allowed Earnhardt to break a tie with 16-time winner Bill Elliott for most consecutive years as winner.

While receiving the award at the annual Myers Brothers luncheon in Las Vegas, he noted that the man he surpassed was a great driver and ambassador for the sport.

“He represents the sport really well to this day, as does his son Chase, who’s coming up and carrying on the family name,” said Earnhardt.

Earnhardt’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon, finished second and third, followed by Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick.

Only 17 drivers have won the most popular driver award since its inception in 1956. Elliott removed his name from consideration following his 16th victory in 2002.

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