The 2019 season was a successful one for both Justin Allgaier and Ross Chastain.
The two drivers made it into the Championship 4 of their respective series (Xfinity Series for Allgaier, Truck Series for Chastain). Although they both came up a little short of reaching their goal of becoming a champion in 2019, both drivers took home another prestigious honor on Wednesday — the title of Most Popular Driver.
Allgaier collected one win in the 2019 season, which came at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, but he was ultra-consistent all year long. Allgaier racked up an impressive 24 top-10 finishes on the year, and he has been rewarded with his first-ever Most Popular Driver Award.
— NASCAR Xfinity (@NASCAR_Xfinity) December 4, 2019
Chastain collected three wins — well, four if you include his Iowa victory which ended in a post-race inspection disqualification — and finished runner-up in the year-end NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series standings. What’s interesting is at the beginning of the year, Chastain had elected to run for the Xfinity Series title. Then, as he saw the potential of his Niece Motorsports equipment, Chastain swapped to run for the Truck championship. Now, he is a Most Popular Driver.
No one captivated fans quite like @RossChastain!
🍉 The Watermelon Man is the Gander Trucks Most Popular Driver! 🍉 pic.twitter.com/e4j4ub6tbq
— NASCAR Gander Trucks (@NASCAR_Trucks) December 4, 2019
Another interesting nugget about the two drivers who took the Most Popular Driver awards in Xfinity and Trucks: They had a feud during a race in 2019.
Chastain made contact with Allgaier in the Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen. Allgaier, who had mounted frustrations over missing out on several win opportunities retaliated by sending Chastain hard into the tire barrier that day.