Most Popular Driver voting open

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Voting opened on Saturday morning for the National Motorsports Press Association’s NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award. The NMPA held a press conference on Saturday afternoon to announce that the award is now sponsored by the Sprint Cup Series’ title sponsor, Sprint.

“On behalf of the NMPA, it is my pleasure to welcome Sprint as a partner for this year’s Most Popular Driver Award,” NMPA President Kenny Bruce said. “Their involvement in the program has already generated a significant increase in interest in the award and we look forward to working with them as we continue to push this fan-driven program forward.”

Fans have until 8 p.m. ET Nov. 17 to cast their votes and may vote once daily per e-mail address at sprint.com/speed. There is also an opportunity for fans to share their votes on Facebook and Twitter. Fans who do so automatically have their votes counted twice.

“I would also like to thank the thousands of fans who continue to participate in the program each year,” Bruce said. “We appreciate your patience as well as the passion and loyalty you have displayed for your favorite drivers.”

Drivers up for voting are those who are collecting points toward the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and have entered all points-paying racings between Jan. 1 and July 1, according to a press release from the NMPA.

The winner of the award will be announced during the NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon during Sprint Cup Champion’s Week in Las Vegas in early December. As part of the award, a $10,000 donation will be made to the winning driver’s charity of choice.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the 11-time reigning winner of the award. Bill Elliott has won the Most Popular Driver Award more than anyone — 16 times. He won the award 10-consecutive years between 1991 and 2000.

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