HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Following Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Chase Elliott was named the 2016 Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
The 20-year-old driver has led the Rookie of the Year standings all season over other contenders Ryan Blaney and Chris Buescher.
Elliott joins the ranks of other Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne, who were both previously named Rookie of the Year in 1993 and 2004, respectively.
“I definitely think it’s a really cool honor and I’ve been proud to be a part of it this year racing against Ryan (Blaney), Chris (Buescher) and Brian (Scott)," Elliott said. "It’s been fun to be a part of that group and I appreciate the sportsmanship those guys have shown throughout the year."
Elliott -- who debuted as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup competitor this year -- led an impressive rookie campaign.
The 20-year-old kicked off his debut season by earning the pole award at his first Daytona 500 in February and followed it up with a second pole at Talladega Superspeedway in May.
Although a win eluded Elliott during the 2016 season, he posted 10 top-five finishes along with 17 top-10s. The rookie led a total of 358 laps throughout the season and claimed his career-best finish of second at Michigan International Speedway – in both the June and August races.
Elliott capped off his first full-time Cup season with an 11th-place finish Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.