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, RacinToday.com
Mike Vega
Writer, Boston Globe
Steve Waid
Vice President of Editorial Development, NASCAR Scene
Jim Pedley
Managing Editor, RacinToday.com
Bob Varsha
TV Broadcaster, Speed Channel
Mike Brudenell
Detroit Free Press
Nate Ryan
Writer, USA Today
Terry Blount
Writer, ESPN.com
Dustin Long
Writer, Landmark Newspapers,/ National Motorsports Press Association President
Tom Jensen
Senior NASCAR Editor, SpeedTV.com
Jenna Fryer
Motorsports Writer, The Associated Press
Home » Driver of the Year, NASCAR - Sprint Cup Series

Keselowski Named Winner Of 2012 DOTY Award

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Thursday, December 6 2012

Brad Keselowski was named winner of the prestigious Driver of the Year award on Thursday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Brad Keselowski capped off The Year of the Beer Thursday when he was named winner of the 2012 Driver of the Year award.

The 28-year-old NASCAR Sprint Cup champion from Rochester Hills, Mich., won the DOTY honor by earning 18 votes from the panel of 19 media members who participate in the annual balloting.

The only other driver to receive a vote for the prestigious 46-year-old award was IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport.

By becoming a DOTY winner, Keselowski joins such elite company as Mario Andretti (first winner of the award), Dale Earnhardt, John Force, A.J. Foyt, Jimmie Johnson, Nigel Mansell, Richard Petty, Emerson Fittipaldi, David Pearson and Jeff Gordon.

“To be honored with the 2012 Driver of the Year is a great way to cap off our championship season,” Keselowski said. “The (drivers) list is definitely a ‘Who’s Who’ in the history of racing. It gives me great pride to see my name there with the likes of Mark Donohue and Mario Andretti, drivers who have transcended one particular discipline or series, and are considered some of the best to ever sit in a race car.”

Keselowski, driver of the famed No. 2 “Blue Deuce” Dodge Charger of Penske Racing, won five Cup races in 2012. During the 10-race, season-ending Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoff, he refused to buckle to

Brad Keselowski takes the top season-ending award. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Gregg Ellman)

pressure put on him by five-time champion Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports.

At season’s end, Keselowski helped give legendary team-owner Roger Penske his first Sprint Cup championship.

“It was a terrific 2012 season by Brad and the entire Miller Lite Penske Racing team,” said Penske, who also owned the car driven by Mark Donohue, second person to win Driver of the Year.

“With five race victories and consistent and productive finishes over the course of the long season, the team put itself in a good position for the Chase,” said Penske, at 75 the winner of a record 15 Indianapolis 500s. “Over the final 10 races of the year, Brad and the team raised the bar and ran aggressive, smart and disciplined races to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. We are proud of all Brad has accomplished this season and we certainly congratulate him on winning the 2012 Driver of the Year award.”

Penske Racing, which began running Cup races in 1972, ended the longest non-championship streak among current ownership. Best previous finish for teams fielded by “The Captain” in the Cup championship standings was second in 1993 with Rusty Wallace, the 1989 champion for car-owner Raymond Beadle.

In addition to his five wins, Keselowski posted 13 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes during the 36-race schedule.

After winning the championship, Keselowski stood in Victory Lane at Miami-Homestead Speedway guzzling down beer from an oversized glass and would later admitted to having a bit of a “buzz” through his many rounds of interviews with the media.

Keselowski, who said he likes to do things a little bit differently than other drivers, repeatedly put his human side on display after winning his championship. He said his post-season goals included dating a celebrity and purchasing a military tank.

Keselowski also was named winner of the fourth quarter DOTY on Thursday in a separate vote.

The Driver of the Year award, originally known as the Martini & Rossi, is the oldest of its kind for motorsports in North America. It is presented annually, as are the four quarterly DOTYs.

Voting members are selected from the ranks of top journalists and broadcasters. Voting currently is conducted under the stewardship of Barry Schmoyer, president of the Driver of the Year Foundation.

In September 2012, the last founding media member of the award, Chris Economaki, passed away at age 91.

Keselowski will be presented with his DOTY trophies and Tissot watches that go to winners during a ceremony to be held next year.

Information on the award may be obtained from the Foundation at PO Box 49827, Sarasota, Fla., 34230; by calling Schmoyer at (941) 928-3033 or emailing him at barrydoty@yahoo.com.

The complete list of Driver of the Year award winners:

2012-Brad Keselowski

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 Jr.

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

Voting Panel

Dr. Dick Berggren, executive editor, Speedway Illustrated and FOX Sports NASCAR racing analyst; Eli Gold, TV and radio broadcaster; Bob Jenkins, retired TV broadcaster; Ken Squier, TV broadcaster; Lewis Franck, correspondent for Reuters; Mike Harris, senior writer, RacinToday.com; John Sturbin, senior writer, RacinToday.com; Mike Vega, sports writer, Boston Globe; Steve Waid, retired editor, Winston Cup Scene Illustrated; Jim Pedley, managing editor, RacinToday.com; Bob Varsha, TV broadcaster, SPEED; Mike Brudenell, sports writer, Detroit Free Press; Nate Ryan, motorsports writer, USA Today; Terry Blount, motorsports writer, ESPN.com; Dustin Long, motorsports writer Media Group USA, National Motorsports Press Association president; Tom Jensen, senior NASCAR editor, speed.com; Jenna Fryer, motorsports writer, The Associated Press; Holly Cain, writer, NASCAR.com; Marty Reid, TV broadcaster, ESPN.

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Thursday, December 6 2012
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Quotes

“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