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

Jimmie Johnson Earns Third DOTY Award

| , Wednesday, December 16 2009
Jimmie Johnson was honored as the 2009 Driver of The Year Award on Wednesday. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson was honored as the 2009 Driver of The Year on Wednesday. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Lewis Franck
Driver of The Year Panelist

Jimmie Johnson made more history Wednesday when he was named Driver of The Year Award for the third time in his career.

Johnson, who won his fourth-straight Sprint Cup championship in 2009, joins Mario Andretti, Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon as three-time winners of the prestigious DOTY award.

Johnson also won the award in 2006 and 2007.

In its 43rd year, the DOTY is the oldest award of its kind.

The award is voted upon by a panel of 20 auto-racing writers and broadcasters. Drivers from all major American racing series are eligible for the award.

Johnson said he was surprised to be honored with the award for 2009.

“It’s fantastic, cool,” he said, adding, “It will take some time to sink in.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment, I’m proud to be considered,” he added. “When you look at the all the people being considered, it’s not a popularity contest.”

The selection of Johnson was by a fairly wide margin.

In a secret ballot, voters gave Johnson 13 votes. Kyle Busch received two votes, and Mark Martin received one vote. Four votes were not tabulated this year.

“While the panel has shown its independence, integrity and ability to look beyond the headlines, there was no contest this year,” Barry Schmoyer, president of the Driver of The Year Foundation said. “It’s a pleasure to honor Jimmie Johnson who is a champion in or out of his race car.”

Johnson will receive a trophy and a Tissot watch.

Andretti was the first DOTY winner in 1967. Among others who have won the award are driving greats like A.J. Foyt, Richard Petty, David Pearson, John Force, Dale Earnhardt and Al Unser Sr.

Last year’s DOTY went to Tony Schumacher, the Top Fuel champion in the NHRA.

Further information on the award may be obtained from DRIVER OF THE

YEAR Foundation, PO Box 49827, Sarasota, Fla. 34230 or (941) 379-2318 or

| , Wednesday, December 16 2009
One Comment

One Comment »

  • Jamerson says:

    I can understand Jimmie receiving the 13 votes that he got. But how does Kyle Busch rate 2 votes to Mark Martin’s 1? By winning a Nationwide title? Puh-lease. Mark Martin returned from semi-retirement to win five races and would have won the championship if not for the dominance of the #48 team. That’s not more DOTY-material than Kyle’s accomplishments for the year?


“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