1st Quarter Driver of the Year named Kyle Busch won races in all three of NASCAR's top divisions tallying the most first-place votes in the 1st quarter Driver of the Year 2011 balloting by leading broadcasters and journalists in the United States. The driver of the #18 Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup series, #18 Z-Line Designs Toyota in the Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing and is the owner/driver of the #18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Truck series credited his teams for his early 2011 success. "It's been a great start to the season in all three series' and that's because of the great people we have at JGR and KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports)," said Busch.
"This award is testament to all of those guys. Each of my teams have done a great job bringing me good cars to the racetrack each week and if we haven't won, we've been in contention more times than not. In particular, Dave Rogers and all the guys on the M&M's Toyota team and everyone at JGR are working very hard and we hope to have a shot at bringing home a Sprint Cup championship at the end of the year." Busch, 25, won the Bristol Motor Speedway Sprint Cup race, four Nationwide races and one Camping World Truck race in the first quarter voting.
Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation, said "calling Kyle Busch versatile would be an understatement. He certainly proved that he is a triple-threat to win on any given weekend. And he's only 25-years-old. I wouldn't be surprised if, some year soon, I will be handing him the Driver of the Year trophy."
In the voting Busch took nine first-place ballots and totaled 121 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. NASCAR drivers swept the virtual podium with Carl Edwards garnering six first-place votes and 89 points and Kevin Harvick also earning six first-place votes and 84 points. A total of 14 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting. In its' 45th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. A panel of 21 leading journalists from across the U.S. determines the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Busch will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at Infineon Raceway on the SaveMart 350 weekend.
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