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DATE News (chronologically)
01/24/11
racing news
Johnson named driver of the year by National Motorsports Press Association  Five-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has been named the 2010 winner of the Richard Petty Driver of the Year award by the National Motorsports Press Association.

The announcement was made Sunday during the NMPA’s annual convention.

“I just wanted to thank the NMPA for this amazing award,” Johnson, who was not present, said in a segment videotaped and played during the luncheon. “To have won this title five times, and have the namesake of Richard Petty on this award is pretty, pretty amazing.”

Johnson was also the named driver of the year by the organization in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver won six of this year’s 36 points races and overcame a 15-point deficit to Denny Hamlin in the final race of the season to capture his fifth consecutive championship.

“Last year was a much different year for us and I’m very proud of the way we kept our head in the game, worked through some tough times and came back … and won the championship,” he said.

The Richard Petty Driver of the Year award has been presented annually by the NMPA since 1969. It is named after the sport’s winningest driver, Richard Petty, who retired after the 1992 season with 200 career victories and seven Cup championships.

The recipient of the award is determined by a vote of the NMPA membership.

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