Stewart named Driver of the Year

NASCAR Sprint Cup champ earns 15 of 19 first-place votes

Author: By SportsDirect
Published: Dec 13 2011 06:37:21 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 14 2011 05:13:53 AM EST
Tony Stewart 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup

Tony Stewart was a runaway winner for the 2011 Driver of the Year.

Stewart, who captured the NASCAR Sprint Cup title with a victory in the season-ending race, earned 15 of 19 first-place votes from a panel of leading motorsports journalists and broadcasters.

Carl Edwards, the runner-up to Stewart for the Sprint Cup championship, finished in a tie with Dario Franchitti of the IndyCar Series, Jason Meyers of the World of Outlaws Series and NHRA Top Fuel champion Del Worsham. Each driver received one vote.

“I have a lot of pride in this,” Stewart said. “This is an award that comes from a highly esteemed group. These are the awards that mean the most.”

The Driver of the Year is the oldest and most prestigious award of its kind. In its 45th year, the the award encompasses all racing series and drivers in the United States.

Stewart entered NASCAR's Chase for the Cup without a victory, but he reeled off four wins in the 10-race series to overtake Edwards.

He trailed Edwards by three points entering the final race at Homestead-Miami, but pulled out a dramatic victory over Edwards, who was second in the race.