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Wed, 5 Dec 2007, 10:08 AM

Driver of the Year Fourth Quarter Results
By Norm Froscher

It was a unanimous list of first place votes for one driver in the fourth quarter Driver of the Year balloting, but don't get excited, they didn't go to a drag racer.

No, as may have been predictable, NASCAR Nextel Cup's Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Lowe's No. 48 Chevrolet, picked up all 17 nods from the media panel for the quarter.

Johnson, winner of four races during the quarter, is the defending Driver of the Year and off this result looks like a strong favorite to repeat. The overall Driver of the Year will be selected by a secret ballot and then announced in 2008 and presented at Talladega, Alabama's International Motorsports Hall of Fame inductions ceremony.

The sweep of first-place votes gave Johnson 153 points and an insurmountable lead over second place Sebastien Bourdais, who had seven second place votes and 71 points.

Panelists vote for six drivers from all forms of motorsports competition each quarter and points are awarded on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 scale. A final secret vote is then take at year end to determine the Driver of the Year.

Johnson's teammate, Jeff Gordon, winner of two races, was third with 48 points.

Tony Schumacher, NHRA's Top Fuel Champion, made the top six, but was in fifth place, behind the World Of Outlaws Donny Schatz. Schatz had 29 points and Schumacher 25.

Sixth place went to NASCAR Nextel Cup's Kyle Busch with 24 points.

The Driver of the Year now has its own web site, which is

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