November 23, 2016 - 1:21pm
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The fans have spoken.
More than 47,000 votes were cast world-wide for the 2016 NASCAR touring series’ Most Popular Driver Awards and six drivers have earned the honor of fan favorite.
The 2016 Most Popular Driver Award winners are:
• Austin Theriault (Fort Kent, Maine), NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
• Salvatore Iovino (Los Angeles), NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
• Melissa Fifield (Wakefield, N.H.), NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
• Trey Hutchens (Lexington, N.C.), NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
• Jason Hathaway (St. Thomas, Ont.), NASCAR Pinty’s Series
• Alon Day (Ashdod, Israel), NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
The list includes four repeat winners – Melissa Fifield, Trey Hutchens, Jason Hathaway and Alon Day.
There was also nearly an historic first: Hutchens, who competed in both the K&N Pro Series East and Whelen Southern Modified Tour this year, finished a close second to Theriault in the K&N Pro East voting while taking the top honors in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour for the second straight year.
Fifield won the award for the third straight season in the Whelen Modified Tour.
Iovino emerged in front in a close three-way battle in the K&N Pro West with Jesse Iwuji and series champion Todd Gilliland.
Hathaway, who announced he was retiring from full-time competition after racing in all 121 events in series history, ran away with the award in the Pinty’s Series.
Day, who was selected to the NASCAR Next program as one of the sport’s rising stars, won the award for the second consecutive season.
The award was open to any driver who competed in at last half of the races in their respective series.
Monday, Elliott Sadler (NASCAR XFINITY Series) and Tyler Reddick (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) received the Most Popular Driver Award for their respective series in their awards gala at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.
The NASCAR touring series Most Popular Drivers will be recognized on stage as part of the NASCAR Touring Series Night of Champions on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Charlotte (North Carolina) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.