Kevin Harvick named Richard Petty Driver of the Year

Kevin Harvick may not have won the NASCAR Cup title but he still had plenty to celebrate in 2018.

Kevin Harvick named Richard Petty Driver of the Year
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Jimmy John's
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Busch Light / Mobil 1 wins
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Mobil 1 takes the checkered flag and win
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Busch Light / Mobil 1 celebrates his win
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Jimmy John's celebrates his win
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Mobil 1 celebrates his win in Victory Lane

During this past weekend’s National Motorsports Press Association annual convention in Charlotte, N.C., Harvick was presented with the Richard Petty Driver of the Year award.

Harvick was named on 44 percent of the votes cast by the NMPA membership. The award has been presented annually since 1969 to recognize the season’s most outstanding driver. It is named in honor of the seven-time NASCAR premier series champion.

Harvick, 43, won a career-best eight races last season, all on superspeedways. His final victory of the year came at Texas Motor Speedway, when he locked himself in the Championship 4. He ended his 17th season third in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points behind series champion Joey Logano and second-place Martin Truex Jr.

Harvick also logged 23 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes and also won four poles. He is the 50th driver to receive the Driver of the Year honors.

Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson, a seven-time Cup series champion, is a seven-time recipient of the award.

Among the other NMPA honors over the weekend:

  • Krissie Newman, wife of NASCAR Cup driver Ryan Newman, was named the overall season winner of the NMPA’s Pocono Spirit Award. Newman had been the fourth quarter winner of the award for the work of her non-profit organization, Rescue Ranch, rescuing animals from devastation of Hurricane Florence that struck the Carolinas in September 2018.
  • Russell Branham, director of public relations and consumer marketing for Talladega Superspeedway, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Ken Patterson Helping Others Award. The award is named in honor of Patterson, the former public relations director at Talladega. It recognizes public relations officials in the motorsports industry who have exhibited the kind, generous qualities always demonstrated by Patterson.
  • Longtime motorsports journalist and past NMPA officer, Kenny Bruce, was named the recipient of the Joe Littlejohn Award. The award is named after the former track owner from Spartanburg, S.C., and presented annually by the NMPA in recognition for outstanding service to the NMPA.
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