Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins Most Popular Driver Award for 12th consecutive year


There’s one instant replay that NASCAR fans just can’t seem to get enough of watching or being part of year after year after year.

For the 12th consecutive year, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was named the sport’s Most Popular Driver Award in fan balloting sponsored by the National Motorsports Press Association and, for the first time ever, Sprint.

Now known as the Sprint NMPA Most Popular Driver Award, Earnhardt thanked fans for voting for him after receiving the award during Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Banquet, giving special acknowledgement to those who follow him on Twitter.

Earnhardt made his first-ever tweet after winning the season-opening Daytona 500 for the second time in his career, and now boasts both over 819,000 followers and has posted nearly 4,700 tweets in just over nine months.

“To be able to connect to the fans like that this year, and to see their efforts, this is for them,” Earnhardt said. “When we had our bad weeks, y’all picked us up. And when we won, we all celebrated together.”

Earnhardt continues to inch closer to Bill Elliott, who owns 16 Most Popular Driver awards, the most in the contest’s history. Elliott will be one of five drivers to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 in January.

The MPD is the only major NASCAR award determined solely by voting of fans.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

MotoGP points leader Fabio Quartararo scores third win of season

MotoGP Fabio Quartararo
LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Fabio Quartararo won the Catalan Grand Prix, recapturing the MotoGP points lead and his championship momentum Sunday with his third victory of the season.

Quartararo, who opened the season with his first two career victories in the premier series, took his first checkered flag in two months by winning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya aboard his Petronas Yamaha SRT.

The French rider opened an eight-point lead (108-100) over Joan Mir, who finished second Sunday. Alex Rins was third.

After winning the previous race, Maverick Vinales slipped to 18 points behind Quartararo after a ninth-place finish.

Andrea Dovizioso was the points leader entering the race but crashed his Ducati in the second turn and placed last. Dovizioso fell three spots to fourth in the championship rankings, 24 points behind Fabio Quartararo in MotoGP.