For the sixth consecutive year, Chase Elliott has been named the winner of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Most Popular Driver Award.
Elliott, the son of 16-time Most Popular Driver Award winner Bill Elliott, had the most difficult season of his young career in 2023, missing seven events – six due to an injury and one due to a suspension – and failing to visit victory lane.
Missing the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs as a driver, Elliott still managed to carry the Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet to the ‘Round of 8’ in the Owner’s Playoffs, before being eliminated after the penultimate event of the season at Martinsville.
A native of Dawsonville, Georgia, Elliott would finish the season 17th in final point standings for the NASCAR Cup Series, on the strength of seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes across 29 races. 33
Of note, it’s the 33rd straight season that a driver from either the Elliott or Earnhardt family has captured the award, dating back to 1990, when Darrell Waltrip picked up his second consecutive Most Popular Driver award.
Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Ross Chastain, and Kyle Larson were part of the list of top-five candidates released by NASCAR on Monday, but all fell short – once again – of Chase Elliott.
In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Justin Allgaier has claimed a record-matching fourth NMPA Most Popular Driver Award victory, all of which have come in the last five seasons driving the No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.
The victory by Allgaier extends the streak of consecutive seasons with Most Popular Driver victories for JR Motorsports drivers to 12 — Allgaier (4), Elliott Sadler (3), Chase Elliott (2), Noah Gragson (1), Danica Patrick (1), and Regan Smith (1).
A native of Riverton, Illinois, Allgaier finished runner-up in NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings on the strength of four victories – Charlotte, Daytona, Bristol, and Martinsville – 15 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes.
Josh Berry, Sheldon Creed, Cole Custer, and Josh Williams were listed in the top-five candidates released by NASCAR on Monday, but once again, Allgaier eked out the award with the influence of JR Nation.
Hailie Deegan has become the second driver to win three consecutive Most Popular Driver Awards in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, taking the award in what will be her final season before graduating to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2024 with AM Racing.
Deegan, who moved to ThorSport Racing to pilot the No. 13 Ford F-150 for the 2023 NASCAR Truck Series season, brings home the first Most Popular Driver Award for the Sandusky, Ohio-based organization.
The 22-year-old racer struggled to get a handle on the NASCAR Truck Series, matching her career-high mark of two top-10s this season – a sixth at Texas, and most recently an eighth-place finish at Talladega.
According to a list released Monday by NASCAR, Deegan beat out Matt DiBenedetto, Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar, and 2023 NASCAR Truck Series champion Ben Rhodes for the award.