I'm sure it's no surprise.  With the NASCAR racing season over for another year, one of the longest streaks of dominance has continued regarding the sport's most popular driver.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. was once again named NASCAR's most popular driver. This is the ninth year in a row that Junior has won this award.

Earnhardt's nine years of winning the most popular driver award is just shy of Bill Elliott's record ten-in-a-row titles.  Elliott won the award 16 times overall and had ten straight from 1991 through 2000.  Then he asked them to not include him any more in the voting.

"I'm pretty sure my fans wear this award as a badge of honor, as they should because the award is theirs," Earnhardt said at NASCAR's year-end luncheon. "It's a privilege to compete in front of millions of fans every week and the credit goes to them for the success the sport has had since the beginning."

Earnhardt finished seventh in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, a vast him improvement after placing in the 20's in the point standings the last two years and his best showing in six years.