Chase Elliott Wins 2018 NMPA Most Popular Driver Award presented by Hooters

by Official Release On Fri, Nov. 30, 2018

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, has been named 2018 National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver presented by Hooters. The award is the first of his four-year Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

Elliott’s selection was announced Thursday during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards program at the Wynn Las Vegas.

The 23-year old native of Dawsonville, Ga. was named through 46 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 Monster Energy races in 2018 at Watkins Glen, N.Y., Dover, DE. and Kansas City, KS and finished sixth in Monster Energy Cup series points.

“I’m so honored to win this award,” Elliott said. “With all of its history, the success Dale Earnhardt Jr. has enjoyed and the success of the Elliott’s and Earnhardt’s (winning Most Popular Driver) for so many years is awesome. It’s kind of crazy to watch that come full circle. To be able to receive the award this year is special and I’ll certainly enjoy it.”

“Performance on track and wanting to do well is my biggest hope. I just want to make all of the people proud that voted for us all year. Those are the things that mean so much to me.”

Completing the top-five in this year’s voting were Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota, Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Racing Ford and Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.

The Most Popular Driver Award is the only major NASCAR award determined solely by fan vote. It has been presented annually since 1953; the recipients were originally determined by a poll of competitors. It became a fan-driven program in 1984 under the guidance of the NMPA.

In addition to hosting the voting platform for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series MPD award, fan votes to determine the Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series were also hosted on NASCAR.com.

Elliott Sadler won the NASCAR XFINITY Series MPD award while Noah Gragson was voted Camping World Truck Series Most Popular driver. Sadler and Gragson will be honored Dec. 9 during NASCAR Champions Week in Charlotte.

MPD Winners
Year – Recipient
2018 – Chase Elliott
2017 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2016 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2015 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2014 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2013 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2012 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2011 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2010 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2009 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2008 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2007 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2006 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2005 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2004 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2003 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2002 – Bill Elliott
2001 – Dale Earnhardt
2000 – Bill Elliott
1999 – Bill Elliott
1998 – Bill Elliott
1997 – Bill Elliott
1996 – Bill Elliott
1995 – Bill Elliott
1994 – Bill Elliott
1993 – Bill Elliott
1992 – Bill Elliott
1991 – Bill Elliott
1990 – Darrell Waltrip
1989 – Darrell Waltrip
1988 – Bill Elliott
1987 – Bill Elliott
1986 – Bill Elliott
1985 – Bill Elliott
1984 – Bill Elliott
1983 – Bobby Allison
1982 – Bobby Allison
1981 – Bobby Allison
1980 – David Pearson
1979 – David Pearson
1978 – Richard Petty
1977 – Richard Petty
1976 – Richard Petty
1975 – Richard Petty
1974 – Richard Petty
1973 – Bobby Allison
1972 – Bobby Allison
1971 – Bobby Allison
1970 – Richard Petty
1969 – Bobby Isaac

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