Chase Elliott Wins his First NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Author: Sonali Pathak


Chase Elliott wins the Most Popular Driver Award of the NASCAR Cup Series. With this win, he put an end to a 32-year old streak when Dale Earnhardt Jr has been winning the award for the straight 15 seasons until 2017 when he retired from the sports. These are two celebratory wins for Elliott as he won the award for 2020. 

In 1988, after his father, Bill won the award for the most popular driver and the championship for straight sixteen times, the winner for the championship and the most popular driver of the year award has always been different. 

Chase Elliott puts an end to the Streak.

Chase Elliott won the Phoenix Raceway season finale, clenching his career’s title in the fifth season. Before a week, he won at the Martinsville Speedway, his first career Championship 4 berth, and ended the streak to become the first driver to have won both after his father won the same in 1988. 

It was only in 1989 & 1990 that Darrell Waltrip won the award as it was Bill Elliott who won it continuously from 1984 through 1988 & 1991 through 2000. In 2002, it was the sixteenth & for the final time, that bill won the award. A year before, in 2001, the award was awarded posthumously to Dale Earnhardt. In 2002, Bill withdrew his name and that is when the 15-year journey of Dale Jr. began, which lasted from 2003 until 2017. 

Before Bill won both the title and the award in 1988, there were four other drivers in the race -- it was Lee Petty in 1954, Rex White in 1960, Richard Petty in 1964, 1974, and 1975 & Bobby Allison in 1982. With this award, Chase Elliott becomes the sixth driver to have won the championship and the award both in the same year.

Most Popular Driver Award for the third consecutive year.

By winning the most popular driver of the year, the NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott, adds to his collection. Elliott was announced the winner on November 19, 2020, Wednesday. This was the year-end celebration after the outbreak of COVID-19. In addition to the award, Elliott in the 90-minutes special was also awarded the winner of his first Cup Series championship. 

The fans voted Elliott top through the balloting that was open from September 6 to November 9. With this, Elliott won his fifth most popular Driver honor, which was an addition to the two awards he had won in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2014-15.

With this award, Elliott also added to the family history. Bill Elliott, Chase's father and also the NASCAR Hall of Famer, had won the Most Popular Driver award for consecutive 16 times. This year, Chase scored his career’s best five victories with his last two wins coming in consecutive weekends. 

Chase Elliott’s NASCAR Cup Series championship

Elliott won the NASCAR Cup Series championship at Phoenix Raceway in Arizona. Elliott held off Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Denny Hamlin, at the one-mile oval track and overtook Joey Logano with 43 laps. 

Winning the championship at the age of 24, Elliott became the third-youngest driver to win the NASCAR Cup Series championship. With this, he and his father Bill become the part of the race where the father-and-son combinations have been winning the NASCAR Cup Series title -- including Ned and Dale Jarrett & Lee and Richard Petty. 

Chase also celebrated his birthday in the same month he won the title -- it was a double celebration for Chase. Despite some technical glitches occurring, Chase’s performance was outstanding, which led to him the series title. That moment when Chase was racing at the Phoenix Raceway, it was a spectacular scene. It was an amazing victory for the Elliott family. And, the most popular driver of the year award had obviously added to that victory. 


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