NASHVILLE – Chase Eliott has won the 2023 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Most Popular Driver Award presented by Hooters.
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The award was announced during Thursday night’s NASCAR Awards at the Music City Center.
"I'm always grateful for the honor and always grateful to have the support that we've had," Elliott said.
This marks Elliott’s sixth straight Most Popular Driver Award. The 28-year-old driver is coming off an adversity-filled season that saw him miss seven NASCAR Cup Series races and come up short in reaching the driver playoffs. Elliott did help guide the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team to the Round of 8 in the owner playoffs. Overall, for the season, he finished with seven top-five finishes and 15 top-10s in 29 starts.
"Last year was rough in a lot of ways but that’s life," Elliott said when looking back on the 2023 campaign. "You learn to continue to grow and reinvent yourself in new ways. As I continue down this journey, you experience things that you never experienced before and this year was one of them for me. I look at next year as an opportunity to grow and be a better driver and be a better person. I am looking forward to the opportunity and excited to get started."
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 18 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.
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The Elliott family has 22 Most Popular Driver Awards between Chase (six) 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.
"This award has always been in my eyes a reflection and extension of my family’s place in this sport and the success that they have had over the years," Elliott said. "The fans have been great to all of us, not just myself, but my entire family. That is how I look at it. Certainly, respect it and appreciate all that they do for me. Looking forward to seeing those folks back on the road next year."
The 2023 NASCAR Awards will air on Peacock on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. ET.