Media Selects Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson winning his record-tying third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship was voted the sport’s top story for 2008 by members of the media.
Members of the media ranked the top highlights of the 2008 NASCAR season on NASCARMedia.com. More than 180 votes were cast online between Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. Each highlight received 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second-place vote, eight points for a third-place vote, etc. down to one point for 10th.
Johnson’s championship run garnered 75 first-place votes and finished with 1,727 points. Johnson joined Cale Yarborough as the only other driver to win three straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles. Kyle Busch winning a combined 21 races in all three national series – NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – earned 13 first-place votes and finished second with 1,574 points.
Tony Stewart’s announcement that he would be leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to become owner/driver of Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009 was voted the third top highlight of the year. Stewart concluded a 10-year stint at JGR, where he won two series championships and picked up 33 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.
Carl Edwards winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series high nine races and finishing runner-up in both that series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series was named the fourth top moment. Four-time series champion Jeff Gordon’s streak of 14 consecutive seasons of winning a race coming to a close was voted the fifth top story.
The rest of the top 10 highlights of 2008, according to the media, are: Ryan Newman winning his – and car owner Roger Penske’s – first Daytona 500 in the 50th running of the “Great American Race;” Johnny Benson edging Ron Hornaday Jr. to win the second-closest truck series championship; Dale Earnhardt Jr., in his first season with Hendrick Motorsports, snapping a 76-race winless streak by winning on Father’s Day at Michigan International Speedway; Clint Bowyer winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series title; and 18-year-old Joey Logano, competing in 19 NASCAR Nationwide events and winning the race at Kentucky Speedway.
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