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First-round voting ends Saturday for Most Popular Driver award

First-round voting ends Saturday for Most Popular Driver award

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  – Voting is underway for the 2011 NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Most Popular Driver award. Hendrick Motorsports drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are all contenders for this year’s award.

Fans can vote once a day for their favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup driver until Sept. 10 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Once voting has ended, the 10 drivers with the most votes will be named as finalists, and the vote count will return to zero. Fans then will have 10 weeks to cast their vote once a day until Nov. 20 at 11:59 p.m. CT to determine the 2011 NMPA Most Popular driver. The winner will be announced at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon in December and honored at the awards banquet in Las Vegas.

The NMPA Most Popular driver award is the only NASCAR award completely decided by the fans.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, has been voted Most Popular Driver by the fans for the last eight years.  

"You look at Richard Petty and Bill Elliott,” Earnhardt said in response to last year's award in December 2010, “and I've always felt that if you win this award once then you are in good company. I'm real proud of it. The fans have hung in there and gave me one heck of a Christmas gift."

Click here to vote for your favorite driver.