Voting for 2016 NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award Opens Sept. 4


DARLINGTON, S.C. (Sept. 3, 2016) – Voting for the National Motorsports Press Association Sprint Most Popular Driver Award will officially open Sunday, Sept. 4.

The award, sponsored by Sprint and administered by the NMPA, is the only major NASCAR award determined solely by fan vote. It has been presented annually since 1953.

The 2016 voting period will open at 12 a.m. ET Sunday and close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 20. To vote for this year’s award, fans can visit through either desktop or the NASCAR MOBILE app.

Voting is limited to one vote per person per email address per day. Fans are encouraged to share their votes through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Eligible drivers for this year’s award are those who have declared for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

NASCAR Hall of Fame member and 1988 series champion Bill Elliott holds the record for most MPD awards with 16; Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won the award for the past 13 seasons. Nineteen drivers have earned MPD honors on one or more occasion since its inception.

“The launch of the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award is one of the most anticipated events of the season for many fans,” Kenny Bruce, president of the NMPA, said. “NASCAR fans are the most passionate you’ll find in any sport and the NMPA considers it an honor to allow them to determine the sport’s most popular driver

“We are pleased to present this year’s program once again with series sponsor Sprint, whose help and guidance have been invaluable in bringing the Most Popular Driver program to fans.”

Sprint has been the presenting sponsor of the MPD Award since 2014.

The winner of this year’s award will be announced during the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards program on Friday, Dec. 2 in Las Vegas. NBCSN will air the post-season program beginning at 9 p.m. ET. MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR will carry the awards show live.

A $10,000 donation will be made to the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver’s charity of choice on behalf of the NMPA.


Year – Recipient

2015 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2014 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2013 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2012 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2011 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2010 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2009 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2008 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2007 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2006 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2005 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2004 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2003 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2002 – Bill Elliott

2001 – Dale Earnhardt

2000 – Bill Elliott

1999 – Bill Elliott

1998 – Bill Elliott

1997 – Bill Elliott

1996 – Bill Elliott

1995 – Bill Elliott

1994 – Bill Elliott

1993 – Bill Elliott

1992 – Bill Elliott

1991 – Bill Elliott

1990 – Darrell Waltrip

1989 – Darrell Waltrip

1988 – Bill Elliott

1987 – Bill Elliott

1986 – Bill Elliott

1985 – Bill Elliott

1984 – Bill Elliott

1983 – Bobby Allison

1982 – Bobby Allison

1981 – Bobby Allison

1980 – David Pearson

1979 – David Pearson

1978 – Richard Petty

1977 – Richard Petty

1976 – Richard Petty

1975 – Richard Petty

1974 – Richard Petty

1973 – Bobby Allison

1972 – Bobby Allison

1971 – Bobby Allison

1970 – Richard Petty

1969 – Bobby Isaac

1968 – Richard Petty

1967 – Cale Yarborough

1966 – Darel Dieringer

1965 – Fred Lorenzen

1964 – Richard Petty

1963 – Fred Lorenzen

1962 – Richard Petty

1961 – Joe Weatherly

1960 – Rex White

1959 – Jack Smith

1958 – Glen Wood

1957 – Fireball Roberts

1956 – Curtis Turner

1955 – Tim Flock

1954 – Lee Petty

1953 – Lee Petty


About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.