NASHVILLE – Chase Elliott has won the 2022 National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver Award presented by Hooters.
The award was announced during Thursday night’s NASCAR Awards at the Music City Center.
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"Thanks to all the fans for voting and coming out and supporting us," Elliott said during his NASCAR Awards interview with Marty Snider.
This marks Elliott’s fifth straight Most Popular Driver Award. He is coming off a season that saw the Dawsonville, Georgia, native win five times – the most in the series. Elliott also earned his first regular-season championship. For the third straight year, the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 reached the Championship 4.
The NMPA Most Popular Driver Award is one of the longest-running awards in the sport as it was first given out in 1953. A Hendrick Motorsports driver has now won the award 17 times in its history. Darrell Waltrip took the honor in both 1989 and 1990. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the award all 10 years he was with the Rick Hendrick-owned organization from 2008 to 2017 as part of a record 15-year in a row run of taking home this hardware.
The Elliott family now has 21 Most Popular Driver Awards between Chase (five) and his NASCAR Hall of Fame father Bill (16). Bill has won the award the most times in the sport’s history followed by Earnhardt Jr.’s 15.
"I came into a very fortunate situation," Elliott said. "Dad had a great connection with the fans and beyond him, I look at the connection as an extension of his career and my uncles and my grandfather. The path and the work ethic they had to get to where they did and to achieve the goals they did. I think a lot of people really connected with them because of their approach and how they went about things. They were a little different than the rest.
".. I completely understand that a lot of the folks that supported them and my family over the years have migrated to support me. I’m grateful for it. Grateful for the other side of the fence as well, and grateful for the new fans that I feel like I’ve made along the way, too."
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The 2022 NASCAR Awards will air on Peacock on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. ET.