By AMANDA VINCENT
Kyle Busch, 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, was named 2015 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Richard Petty Driver of the Year during the NMPA convention in Concord, N.C., on Sunday.
“I just want to thank the National Motorsports Press Association for voting me as the Richard Petty Driver of the Year,” Busch said upon receiving the award. “Last year was the most challenging, yet rewarding year of my career. While this honor has my name on it, I don’t think it would have been possible without the hard work and dedication from everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development).”
Busch missed the first 11 races of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season because of injuries sustained in a crash during the season-opening NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Not long after returning, Busch won three-straight races during a string of four wins in five races to get himself into the top-30 of the points standings to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Once in the Chase, Busch advanced from round to round and won the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to claim his first Sprint Cup.
“On the personal side, I can’t thank the doctors and everyone at OrthoCarolina enough for helping me get back into racing shape, but also my wife Samantha and my entire family for all they did to get me back on my feet,” Busch said.
By season’s end, Busch’s Sprint Cup stats included 12 top-fives and 16 top-10 finishes in 25 points-paying races.
Other drivers receiving votes for 2015 Driver of the Year included Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.
NASCAR.com writer Holly Cain received the 2015 NMPA Spirit Award, Jeff Gordon’s public relations representative Jon Edwards received the Ken Patterson Helping Others Award, and Sprint Corporation was presented the Joe Littlejohn Award.
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