(AP Photo/Terry Renna)
LAS VEGAS (AP) Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrapped up his final season as a NASCAR driver with one last piece of hardware. He won the Most Popular Driver Award on Thursday night for the 15th consecutive time.
The award is based on a fan vote and sponsored by the National Motorsports Press Association. Only Bill Elliott won the award more than Earnhardt - 16 times between 1984 and 2002 - before he removed his name from consideration.
"It always comes back to the fans, it really does, and I've got to thank them for keeping the train on the track and rolling all these years," said Earnhardt, who retired as a full-time driver following NASCAR's season finale. He will move to NBC's broadcasting team next year.