Voting Panel

Chris Economaki
Editor/Publisher, National Speed Sport News
Dr. Dick Berggren
Executive editor, Speedway Illustrated
Eli Gold
TV and Radio Broadcaster
Bob Jenkins,
TV Broadcaster
Ken Squier
TV Broadcaster
Steve Ballard
Writer, Indianapolis Star
Lewis Franck
Correspondent for Reuters
Mike Harris
Motorsports Editor, AP
Ed Hinton
Writer, ESPN.COM
John Sturbin
Senior Writer,
Mike Vega
Writer, Boston Globe
Steve Waid
Vice President of Editorial Development, NASCAR Scene
Jim Pedley
Managing Editor,
Bob Varsha
TV Broadcaster, Speed Channel
Mike Brudenell
Detroit Free Press
Nate Ryan
Writer, USA Today
Terry Blount
Dustin Long
Writer, Landmark Newspapers,/ National Motorsports Press Association President
Tom Jensen
Senior NASCAR Editor,
Jenna Fryer
Motorsports Writer, The Associated Press
Home » Driver of the Year, NASCAR - Sprint Cup Series

Johnson Wins Fourth-Quarter DOTY

| , Friday, December 4 2009
Spint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has been named winner of the Driver of the Year award for the fourth quarter of the 2009 season. (File photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Spint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has been named winner of the Driver of the Year award for the fourth quarter of the 2009 season. (File photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Lewis Franck

It was virtually no contest; Jimmie Johnson was voted fourth-quarter winner of the Driver Of The Year award by an elite panel of broadcasters and journalists.

Johnson, the winner of the award in 2006 and 2007, wrapped up his fourth-straight NASCAR Sprint Cup championship two weeks ago at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

He then took 12 out of the 16 first-place DOTY votes and was the only driver named on all ballots. He earned 130 points.

Kyle Busch, his on-track rival, was second with 53 points. NHRA’s Robert Hight was third with 49 points.

Driving the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Johnson had four wins, four poles and only one finish worse than ninth in the quarter, which started on Sept. 20th.

“If there was a NASCAR version of Mr. October, like Reggie Jackson was in Major League Baseball, Jimmie’s the one,” said Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation.

“Especially since NASCAR instituted ‘The Chase,’ I can’t think of any one driver, any one team, that seems to hit all the marks in the 10-race playoffs. The vote is no surprise,” Schmoyer added.

Busch wrapped up his first championship in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing. He also drove full time in the Sprint Cup series, and also scored wins in the Camping World Trucks Series. He received one first-place vote.

The NHRA’s Hight, who scored a Funny Car Championship for owner, John Force, (a DOTY winner in 1996) had two first-place votes. Dario Franchitti, who won his second IndyCar title, finished fourth in the voting with 41 points.

Top Fuel’s Tony Schumacher, last year’s Driver of the Year Award winner, was fifth.

A total of 14 drivers scored points in the fourth-quarter voting.

In it’s 42nd year, the Driver of the Year  is unique and the oldest award of it’s type.  A panel of 20 leading journalists from across the U.S. determines the winner.  In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 basis. Johnson will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch.

A secret ballot to name the 2009 overall winner was conducted last week and results will be announced soon.

Schmoyer is a businessman and sportsman from Sarasota, Fla.

Further information on the award may be obtained from the Foundation, PO Box 49827, Sarasota, Florida 34230 or from (941) 379-2318 or email:

– Lewis Franck is a member of the Driver of the Year voting panel

| , Friday, December 4 2009
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“There is no higher compliment on your driving. Of all the awards, this one is special. The criteria go directly to your performance. It carries an awful lot of prestige.”
– Mario Andretti

“It’s an honor to be named Driver of the Year ... It’s something I take a lot of pride in, especially since one of the guys I’ve always looked up to in racing, A.J. Foyt, won this award back in 1975."
– Tony Stewart

“I said it in December, and I’ll say it again – this award is dedicated to our Army Strong soldiers Their teamwork and passion are inspiring and a huge part of our drive to be successful.”
-Tony Schumacher.

Previous Recipients

2011-Tony Stewart
2010-Jimmie Johnson
2009-Jimmie Johnson
2008-Tony Schumacher
2007-Jimmie Johnson
2006-Jimmie Johnson
2005-Tony Stewart
2004-Greg Anderson
2003-Ryan Newman
2002-Cristiano da Matta
2001-Jeff Gordon
2000-Bobby Labonte
1999-Dale Jarrett
1998-Jeff Gordon
1997-Jeff Gordon
1996-John Force
1995-Jeff Gordon
1994-Dale Earnhardt
1993-Nigel Mansell
1992-Bobby Rahal
1991-Michael Andretti
1990-Al Unser, Jr.
1989-Emerson Fittipaldi
1988-Bill Elliott
1987-Dale Earnhardt
1986-Bobby Rahal
1985-Bill Elliott
1984-Mario Andretti
1983-Bobby Rahal
1982-Darrell Waltrip
1981-Darrell Waltrip
1980-Johnny Rutherford
1979-Darrell Waltrip
1978-Mario Andretti
1977-Cale Yarborough
1976-David Pearson
1975-A.J. Foyt
1974-Bobby Unser
1973-David Pearson
1972-Bobby Allison
1971-Richard Petty
1970-Al Unser, Sr.
1969-Lee Roy Yarbrough
1968-Mark Donohue
1967-Mario Andretti