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LAS VEGAS -- For the 14th consecutive year, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was voted the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver.

But this award felt different after what Earnhardt called "a difficult year for us and our team."

"I want to thank the fans for all the support and all the well-wishes," he said in his speech. "It really motivated me to get healthy and it also motivated me to come back."

Watch the full speech below, courtesy of NBC Sports.