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Drivers 'thank' Tony Stewart
Competitors and friends give thanks to retiring Tony Stewart at the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Banquet.
Tony Stewart and Dale Jr. reminisce on past
Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to talk about some of their best memories on the track together and what they will remember most about racing alongside each other.
Stewart's dual legacies honored with speeches, surprises
RELATED: Competitors pay tribute to Stewart LAS VEGAS -- For a guy known for his sharp wit and bold attitude, Tony Stewart was decidedly more reflective and humbled on his last official night as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. The entire NASCAR industry celebrated the three-time premier series champion at Friday night's Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet at the Wynn Las Vegas with video honors and nods from the speaker podium, from team owners and fellow drivers. A surprise appearance and tribute from Eddie Vedder, the frontman of Pearl Jam, clearly caught Stewart off guard, however. "I'm Tony's surprise," Vedder said, smiling. So many praised the "retiring" 49-race winner for his massive ability behind the wheel. Vedder came on stage to also speak about Stewart's impact away from the race track, the money he has donated to various charities, the time he has spent visiting with sick children. It's truly a toss-up as to which legacy Stewart will most be celebrated for.
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder honors Stewart
Musician Eddie Vedder honors Tony Stewart's for his amazing career and what Stewart has meant to him as a friend and to the NASCAR community.
Round of 16 drivers reflect on season
Tony Stewart, Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher and Jamie McMurray reflect on their 2016 season and making it into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Dale Jr. wins NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award
MORE: Junior through the years " Relive all of Dale Jr.'s win s DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Although he missed one half of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season due to injury, race fans still overwhelmingly selected Dale Earnhardt Jr . as the National Motorsports Press Association Sprint Most Popular Driver. Earnhardt's selection was announced Friday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards program at the Wynn Las Vegas. A $10,000 donation to the charity of his choice will be made on behalf of the NMPA. It is the 14th consecutive season Earnhardt has been voted the series' MPD. The award is the only major NASCAR honor to be determined solely by fan vote. Only one other driver, Bill Elliott , has won the award more often. Elliott was named the series' most popular driver 16 times between 1984 and 2002. Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports , was sidelined at midseason after suffering concussion-like symptoms following on-track incidents at Michigan International Speedway and Daytona International Speedway . He is expected to return to competition for 2017. RELATED: Junior injury timeline "The Most Popular Driver Award is always very humbling to receive, even more so this year with my injury and time out of the car," Earnhardt Jr. said. "The fans continue to amaze me with their loyalty and the support they've shown throughout my career no matter the circumstance. "I try not to think about winning or losing the Most Popular Driver award; it's a bit of a gift, you know. Whether we win the award or not, we get a lot of great support from our fans all season long. I certainly got some extra support this year through the injury and all that stuff; it's unfortunate to be in that position but the fans were great. That was an incredible motivator for me during my recovery to get healthy. Not a lot of people that go through those types of support groups, but the fans really made a world of difference. "I was pretty open and transparent in sharing the process and they were certainly open and honest replying and wishing us well. It made the bad days better and once I started feeling good about coming back it gave me a lot of motivation, maybe a reminder I guess of why I want to be back in the car. You race to have fun and win races, but it wouldn't even be worth making the trip if the fans didn't show up. They're a huge reason why we want to get back in the car and be back at the track next year." Junior also tweeted a message to his fans after receiving the award. Thank you fans! You guys are such a huge part of our team and help motivate us in so many ways. pic.twitter.com/hvEek8hkux — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) December 3, 2016 Sprint has been the presenting sponsor of the Most Popular Driver Award program since 2014. Forty drivers received one or more votes from fans during this year's 12-week voting period. Aside from Earnhardt Jr., others finishing in the top 10 in vote totals were (in alphabetical order): Kyle Busch , Carl Edwards , Chase Elliott , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Matt Kenseth , Danica Patrick , Tony Stewart and Martin Truex Jr . The Most Popular Driver Award has been presented annually since 1953 and the recipient was originally determined by a poll of competitors. It became a fan-driven program in 1984 under the guidance of the NMPA. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Harvick: 'It was another season to be proud of'
Kevin Harvick speaks on the No. 4 teams' season, as well as, his relationship with Tony Stewart at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet.
Stewart: 'It's been a great journey'
Tony Stewart reflects on his final season and long-time career in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Tony Stewart's final race is its own reward
RELATED: Full race results " Drivers tell Stewart tales " All of Stewart's 49 wins HOMESTEAD, Fla. – It was a loose and laughing Tony Stewart who climbed behind the wheel of the No. 14 Chevrolet for the last time Sunday, an illustrious driving career coming to an end here in sunny South Florida. Seventeen years, nine months and six days after Stewart made his premier series debut, the Indiana born and bred racer made his final start as a full-time NASCAR competitor, finishing 22nd in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Days from now, the final result won't be recalled. No one remembers who finished second, no one remembers who finished 22nd. Stewart's NASCAR career, though, won't be forgotten. Three championships, 49 wins, 308 top-10s, 15 poles. One of the best pure racers ever to grip a steering wheel. "I've been looking forward to this day," a composed Stewart said afterward, surrounded by media as he leaned against his Stewart-Haas Racing entry on pit road. "If I was never coming to a NASCAR race again I would feel much different and be a lot more emotional. But I'm going to be in Daytona in I don't know how many more weeks from now … I'll be there just in a different capacity. I've been ready to make a change and that starts now."
Tony Stewart's special Miami paint scheme
MORE: '14 days of Smoke' tribute " Buy tickets for Miami STORE: Stewart commemorative Homestead shirts One more race, one final paint scheme. Stewart-Haas Racing revealed Wednesday the special No. 14 Chevrolet that driver and co-owner Tony Stewart will pilot Sunday in Miami for what is expected to be his last race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. A tribute video (watch it below) shows the details. "Always a Racer, Forever a Champion" on the hood. A list of his 49 career Sprint Cup Series wins on the back. And the signature of every Stewart-Haas Racing employee all over the quarter panels. Take one final ride with @TonyStewart this Sunday at @HomesteadMiami . #AlwaysRac14g pic.twitter.com/3ml67pcxIg — Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) November 16, 2016 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;