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Jeff Gordon, who racked up 13 victories on the way to another Winston Cup championship, has been named the 1998 Driver of the Year.

The 27-year-old Gordon joined longtime racing stars Darrell Waltrip and Mario Andretti as three-time winners of the prestigious annual award.

Gordon, who has won the honor following each of his championship seasons, was the unanimous choice of a 15-member nationwide panel of motorsports journalists.

"The Driver of the Year is a very special award, and for me to be in the same sentence with that caliber of race car drivers just blows me away when I think about it," Gordon said. "I'm really proud of what we accomplished.

"After a fine season last year, I was asked what we would do for an encore and I said we'd just go out there and try to win more races and try to win another championship. That's what it's all about for us, but last year was hard to top."

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