NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski was named Richard Petty Driver of the Year by the National Motor Press Association at its awards dinner Saturday night in Charlotte. He accepted the award and thanked the media members for their coverage.
Keselowski won the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship giving owner Roger Penske his first title in NASCAR’s premier series. Penske Racing, which entered the NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 1972, ended the longest non-championship streak among current ownership.
Keselowski also picked up one of the quarterly Spirit Awards, designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.
Andy Hillenburg, the former racer who brought NASCAR competition back to Rockingham Speedway, was named the recipient of the 2012 NMPA/Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award. Other quarterly winners were Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer.
Track owner Dr. Joseph Mattioli, broadcaster Ken Squier and NASCAR official Jim Hunter were inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame during ceremonies Saturday.
The National Motorsports Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame was founded in 1965 to recognize excellence and leadership in the sport of auto racing. There are 94 members in the Hall, located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C.
For all the latest news from the NASCAR Media Tour this week, follow @RThompsonwriter on Twitter. Rosalie will be visiting NASCAR shops, interviewing drivers and giving her readers a head start on the 2013 racing season.