The votes are in and Kenny Wallace has been named the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series Most Popular Driver.

Wallace is the only three-time winner of the award. He also won in 1991 and ’94. The award is determined by a ballot in NASCAR Insider Magazine, the official NASCAR Membership publication and a part of Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated.

The award and trophy were given to a surprised Wallace at the NASCAR Busch Series Awards Banquet on Dec. 8 at the Grand Floridian Hotel in Orlando, Fla. Wallace finished 11th in the 2006 point standings, just missing a place at the banquet reserved for the top 10 finishers in the final rankings. Wallace had finished in the top 10 in points in each of his nine previous full-time seasons in the NASCAR Busch Series.

“I’m humbled by this award,” he told the capacity crowd during a lively yet serious off-the-cuff speech. “I’m totally surprised. This means more to me than you’ll ever know.”

Wallace, who has 327 career starts in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, will return full-time to that series next season.

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