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Johnson Becomes A Five-Time DOTY Winner

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, January 20 2014

Sprint Cup's Jimmie Johnson added the 2013 Driver of the Year Award to his resume on Monday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Harold Hinson)

NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson was voted the winner of the 2013 Driver of the Year Award, it was announced on Monday.

The 2013 DOTY is Johnson’s fifth, allowing him to eclipse Hendrick Motorsports teammate  Jeff Gordon, who was the only other four-time DOTY winner.

Johnson, the 38-year-old California native, continued to make NASCAR history in 2013. His Cup championship was his sixth. Only Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt have more as they each won seven series titles.

Johnson won six Cup races last season, giving him 66 in 435 career starts in the series. He won three poles in 2013 and finished in the top 10 of races 24 times in 36 starts.

“It’s a great honor to receive the Driver of the Year Award,” Johnson said. “2013 was an incredible season and I’m really proud at how hard everyone at Hendrick Motorsports and Team Lowe’s Racing worked to win races and ultimately the championship. It’s awesome to be recognized for our effort.”

The Driver of the Year Award is the oldest and most prestigious of its kind. It was founded 48 years ago. Its first winner was Mario Andretti. Andretti won the award three times, as has Darrell Waltrip.

The annual award is presented to the top America-based driver as determined by a voting panel of 19 national journalists and broadcasters. RacinToday.com has three members on the panel; Mike Harris, John Sturbin and Jim Pedley.

The panel, which votes in a secret ballot, gave Johnson 12 votes.

NHRA Funny Car driver John Force – the 1996 DOTY winner who won his 16th championship in 2013 –received six votes.

World of Outlaws driver Daryn Pittman received one vote.

Driver of The Year Foundation president Barry Schmoyer, said, “Between Jimmie Johnson and the ageless John Force, panelists had to choose between some historic achievements. As we noted the last time Jimmie won Driver of the Year Award, it will be a long time before anyone will set the bar as high he does.”

In addition to awarding year-ending honors, the DOTY panel also conducts four quarterly votes. Force, it was announced Monday, won the fourth-quarter voting.

Johnson will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch.

Further information on the award may be obtained from Driver of the Year Foundation, PO Box 49827, Sarasota, Florida 34230 or (941) 928-3033or barrydoty@yahoo.com.

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, January 20 2014
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