The National Motorsports Press Association apparently could have named the most popular driver of 2017 based on merchandise sales and the result would have remained the same.
Lionel Racing tweeted a picture Thursday, revealing that Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s cars accounted for six of the 10 best-selling NASCAR diecasts of 2017. The top-10 list proves that NASCAR fans actually put their money where their mouths are, as 68 percent of fan-submitted votes for the most popular driver award similarly were for Earnhardt.
The No. 88 Chevrolet sported multiple looks during Earnhardt’s final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, with one-off paint schemes for the Ford EcoBoost 400, NASCAR All-Star Race and various other races. But one of the special paint jobs didn’t crack the top-10: Earnhardt’s AC Delco-themed ride.
Many fans weren’t a fan of the Axalta-branded throwback scheme, as it wasn’t one of the more recognizable designs from the 43-year-old’s career. But Earnhardt noted at the time that it was significant to him, given that it was the car that launched his career.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images