Jimmie Johnson Earns Third DOTY Award
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.One Comment