DARLINGTON, S.C. – Kevin Harvick, who finished third in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series point standings last season, was named as the National Motorsports Press Ass’n’s Richard Petty Driver of the Year over the weekend.

Harvick was honored as part of the annual NMPA convention and awards ceremony. He won a Cup Series-best eight races last year and made it to the final four in the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.

This is Harvick’s third time receiving the Driver of the Year Award, after previously earning the honor in 2001 when he took over for the late Dale Earnhardt and again in 2014 following his first Cup Series championship.

The Richard Petty Driver of the Year award has been presented annually since 1969 to recognize the season’s most outstanding driver. It is named in honor of the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and all-time wins leader.

Several other special awards were also handed out, including the following:

NMPA Pocono Spirit Award: Krissie Newman/Rescue Ranch

The NMPA Pocono Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.

Ken Patterson Helping Others Award: Russell Branham, Talladega Superspeedway

The Ken Patterson Award is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership. The award has been presented annually since 2004 and is named in honor of Patterson, the former public relations director at Talladega.

It recognizes public relations officials in the motorsports industry (team, track and sanctioning body) who exhibit the kind, generous qualities demonstrated by Patterson.

Joe Littlejohn Award: Kenny Bruce

The award is named after the former track owner from Spartanburg, S.C., and is presented annually by the NMPA in recognition for outstanding service to the NMPA.

George Cunningham Writer of the Year: Ryan McGee, ESPN


Barney Hall Award: Joe Moore, MRN
Broadcaster of the Year: Mark Garrow, PRN
Producer of the Year: Kent Bernhart, PRN


Charlie Harville Award: Jonathan Merryman
Producer of the Year: Lauren Jones, NASCAR Race Hub


T. Taylor Warren Photo of the Year: Chris Anderson
Howard O’Reilly Award: Will Lester