Sunday, February 5 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Chase Elliott didn’t have the finish he wanted to 2022 despite five Cup Series victories this year, but he continued as a winner off the race track as well.

Elliott has won the Most Popular Driver award for the fifth consecutive year. Elliott’s father, Bill, won the award a record 16 times during a NASCAR Hall of Fame career. The Elliott family is synonymous with NASCAR with its deep history of drivers, engine builders and mechanics.

Prior to Chase Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the award 15 consecutive times. The award is conducted by online voting.

“I came into a very fortunate situation,” Elliott said following the NASCAR awards ceremony Thursday at Nashville’s Music City Center.

“Dad had a great connection with the fans. Beyond him, I look at him as an extension of his career and my uncle’s and my grandfather and the path and the work ethic that they had to be able to get to where they did.”

The 2022 season was one where drivers had more interaction with fans as practice and qualifying returned for all weekends. In 2020 and 2021, many of the races featured weekends where the drivers were at the track for just one day, only to race with no practice nor qualifying. Many tracks saw their highest attendance in the last several years.

“When there is a good crowd and people show up like they did, which seemed like a lot this year, it brings a different level of excitement to what we do and I think that rubs off on everybody,” Elliott said.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver had a chance to win the title Nov. 6 at Phoenix but finished fourth in the standings after a crash in the finale when he was headed into Turn 1 and had contact from Ross Chastain, who was making a move from the inside at an area where drivers often spread out and use the apron to make the pass.

Elliott said after the race that he wasn’t sure what happened. He elaborated a little more Thursday.

“I wasn’t throwing a block at all,” Elliott said. “It never really crossed my mind. I was really trying to get to the end of the race. … On my end, it was not a crazy block or anything that was super aggressive.”

Winning the Xfinity most popular driver award was Noah Gragson; the most popular driver for NASCAR’s truck series was Hailie Deegan.

Top stories from FOX Sports:

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.

Get more from NASCAR Cup Series Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more

in this topic


NFL Week 13: Should you bet on Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins to have a big game against the 49ers?


NFL Week 13: Should you bet on Derrick Henry and the Titans to have a big game against the Eagles?

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

‘We’re not leaving’: How Wendell Smith, Sam Lacy and Black press pushed to integrate MLB during 1930s and 1940s

In February for Black History Month, USA TODAY Sports is publishing the series “28 Black Stories in 28 Days.” We examine the issues, challenges and opportunities Black athletes and sports officials continue to face after the nation’s reckoning on race following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. This is the third installment of the series. […]

Read More

Chris Duarte injury update: Pacers guard out 4-6 weeks with ankle sprain, per report

Getty Images The Indiana Pacers will be without second-year guard Chris Duarte for 4-6 weeks as he recovers from a Grade 2 left ankle sprain, per ESPN. The injury occurred during Indiana’s Friday night game against the Miami Heat, where Duarte tweaked his ankle midway through the first quarter. As Duarte jumped to try and […]

Read More

When are 2022 MLB Winter Meetings?

When are 2022 MLB Winter Meetings? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea As baseball reaches the final stages of the 2022 MLB season, our sights can move to the exciting events still to come. One of the big events of the sport that’s still to hit the calendar this year is the MLB Winter Meetings, […]

Read More