LAS VEGAS – Jeff Gordon applauded as his teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Shane Parsnow each received awards during Thursday’s NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Award luncheon at the Encore in Las Vegas.
But the driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet couldn’t have been more surprised to hear his name announced as the 2012 recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association’s Myers Brothers Award.
“Oh boy, this is a surprise,” Gordon told the audience. “I’m having a hard time composing myself. Couldn’t someone have warned me first?”
Named for NASCAR racing pioneers Billy and Bob Myers, the award recognizes individuals and groups which have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. Past recipients are a virtual who’s-who of the industry – drivers, owners, track operators, sponsors and members of the media – and include nearly every current member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Gordon’s accomplishments are two-fold: his on-track success, which includes four NASCAR Sprint Cup championships and 87 victories; and his charitable activities when not competing.
“Off the track, he has raised countless funds for charity through his foundation for pediatric cancer research,” said Burt Myers, grandson of Billy Myers, upon presenting the award with brother Jason Myers to Gordon. “He has traveled to Rwanda to aid with health care as well as partnering with an organization to put it on the side of his race car as a drive to end hunger.”
“I am deeply honored, proud of the work that I do on and off the track,” Gordon said. “This is fantastic. Thank you.”
Gordon’s teammates Earnhardt, Johnson and Parsnow were honored earlier in the luncheon.
Earnhardt received the NASCAR NMPA Most Popular Driver Award for the 10th consecutive year. This now ties him with Bill Elliott as the only other drivers to be presented the award 10 straight years. Elliott, however, remains the all-time leader with 16 overall.
Johnson was honored with the lap leader award, the green-flag restart award and the pole award. Johnson’s third-place position in the final standings broke the three-way tie for the pole award.
Parsnow, who works in the Hendrick Motorsports engine department, was named MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year. This is Parsnow’s third time winning the award.