For the sixth consecutive year, Chase Elliott has been named the recipient of the NMPA Most Popular Driver Award for the NASCAR Cup Series, the sanctioning body confirmed on Wednesday at its post-season banquet in Nashville, Tennessee.
The 28-year-old racer has received the award since 2018, his second full season at NASCAR's top level, taking over the role of perennial Most Popular Driver when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. retired from NASCAR Cup Series racing.
Elliott is the son of 16-time Most Popular Driver Award winner Bill Elliott, who won the award from 1984-1988, 1991-2000, and 2002. The Elliott and Earnhardt families have swept the award for the last 33 years, dating back to consecutive triumphs for Darrell Waltrip in 1989 and 1990.
"Just want to give a quick thank you to those who voted, and those who support us throughout the season," Elliott said in a social media video posted on Wednesday. "I never take it lightly, always appreciate seeing you guys at the track and this award has always been about you. I appreciate the support you've shown to me and my family over the years and hopefully we can have a little better 2024 than we did 2023."
Driving the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro for Hendrick Motorsports, Elliott had a difficult NASCAR Cup Series season in 2023, missing seven events - six for injury and one for a suspension - and failing to qualify for the NASCAR Playoffs for the first time in his career.
A native of Dawsonville, Georgia, Elliott finished the season 17th in final point standings, standing on the strength of seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in 29 starts.
However, throughout the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, Elliott was heavily involved in the storyline of the Owner's Playoffs, as he continued to move his Hendrick Motorsports team through the rounds and into the 'Round of 8'.
At season's end, the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro was credited with a 10th-place finish in NASCAR Cup Series Owner Points, after being eliminated following the penultimate event of the season at Martinsville Speedway.
Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Ross Chastain, and Kyle Larson were among the drivers inside the top five in votes as of Monday, per NASCAR, with each driver falling short of taking down the annual favorite for the award.
Justin Allgaier was named the Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for a record-tying fourth time, while Hailie Deegan collected her third consecutive Most Popular Driver Award in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Image Credit: Sean Gardener, Getty Images