Tuesday, May 17

Hall of Fame Inductees Won Hearts of NASCAR Fans

When the NASCAR® Hall of Fame inducts its 2011 class on Monday, the shrine to the sport's biggest legends will include five drivers who also won fans' hearts. 2011 inductees David Pearson and Bobby Allison, and 2010 inductees Richard Petty, Junior Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, are all past winners of the NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Wheaties FUEL® Most Popular Driver award.

The annual award is granted to the driver who earns the most fan votes over the course of the NASCAR season. Petty earned the award nine times (1962, 1964, 1968, 1970, 1974-78), Allison six times (1971-73, 1981-83), Pearson twice (1979-80), Johnson once (1959) and Earnhardt once, in the year of his death (2001).

"That's really the bottom line for any driver," Allison once said of the Most Popular Driver honor. "To go out there and to do well, that's the first urge. But to be appreciated by the fans and to really get that great feeling - that happiness that you get to share with the fans - is really the benefit of all the effort that you put out."

In current-day voting, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is on an eight-year run in winning the Most Popular Driver award. The 2011 campaign kicked off in February, allowing fans to vote once a day for their favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver at www.WheatiesFuelMostPopularDriver.com.

Following the race event at Richmond International Raceway, voting for the full field of 36 eligible drivers will end on September 10 at 11:59 PM CT. At that point, the 10 drivers with the most votes will be announced as finalists and the vote count will reset to zero. Fans will then have 10 race weeks to cast their vote once a day to determine the 2011 NASCAR Wheaties FUEL Most Popular Driver winner from the final field of 10 drivers. Voting will conclude November 20 at 11:59 PM CT. The winner will be announced at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon in December.

By Champions. For Champions. Wheaties FUEL was developed in 2009 with the help of Peyton Manning, triathlete Hunter Kemper, Kevin Garnett, gold medal-winning decathlete Bryan Clay, Albert Pujols and sports nutritionist Dr. John Ivy. After a year-long development process, the result is a delicious honey cinnamon crunch that helps meet the nutritional needs of today's champion athletes and delivers long-lasting energy from complex carbohydrates, B vitamins to help your body release energy provided by food, and provides an excellent source of fiber to help you feel full.

For more information and to vote on the NASCAR NMPA Wheaties FUEL Most Popular Driver Award, fans should log on to www.WheatiesFuelMostPopularDriver.com.


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