Chase Elliott wins Most Popular Driver in NASCAR Cup Series

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 05: Chase Elliott accepts the Most Popular Driver Award as he attends the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards at Music City Center on December 05, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, has been named 2019 National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver presented by Hooters. The award is the second of his five-year Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

Elliott’s selection was announced Thursday during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards program at the Music City Center in Nashville.

The 24-year old native of Dawsonville, Ga. was named through 39 percent of the votes cast by fans. His father, 1988 Cup Series champion Bill Elliott, has won the NMPA Most Popular Driver Award 16 times between 1984 and 2002.

The young rising star won races in 2019 at Talladega, AL., Watkins Glen, N.Y. and Charlotte, N.C. and finished 10th in Monster Energy Cup Series points.

Completing the top-five in this year’s voting were 2019 Cup series champion Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Matt DiBenedetto, driver of the Leavine Family Racing Toyota, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota and Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Racing Ford.

Elliott was excited to receive the award for the second year in a row and, once again, he gave the credit to the fans, saying the coolest thing is seeing their support by wearing No. 9 hats, shirts and other gear. For the humble driver him, the fans are more important than hardware.

“I’m honored to have two. Last year, I was honored to have one,” Elliott said. You try to learn things here and there. And as I have told several people, it is really more than a trophy or an award, it is about the people at the racetrack. Some of them are hear tonight and I really enjoy seeing them wear your hat or t-shirt.”

Chase Elliott won three races for the second straight year in 2019 and had 11 top-five finishes and 15 top 10s. His win at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval in the Round of 16 finale led to one of the most memorable burnouts and celebrations of the year.

Greg Engle