Chase Elliott wins NMPA Most Popular Driver Award


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Chase Elliott won his fourth consecutive NMPA Most Popular Driver Award on Thursday night.

The announcement was made during the NASCAR Awards Show. The show will air from 7-9 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN.

“I can’t thank the fans across the country enough,” Elliott said. “I was really mindblown on a few occasions this year of that support. I see the hats and the T-shirts. All that stuff is noticed, and I can’t say thanks enough.”

Elliott is one of only four drivers to win the award since 1984.

Bill Elliott won it from 1984-88, 1991-2000 and 2002. Dale Earnhardt won the award posthumously in 2001. Darrell Waltrip won it in 1989-90. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won it from 2003-17.

Justin Allgaier won Most Popular Driver in the Xfinity Series. Hailie Deegan won the honor for the Camping World Truck Series.

Also, the Myers Brothers Award was announced during the program. The award has been presented annually since 1958. It is named in honor of former NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers and recognizes individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. Each year, the NMPA Myers Brothers Award winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership. 

This year’s honor went to the late broadcaster Bob Jenkins, who died in August after a battle with brain cancer.


2021 – Chase Elliott

2020 – Chase Elliott

2019 – Chase Elliott

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

1968 – Richard Petty

1967 – Cale Yarborough

1966 – Darel Dieringer

1965 – Fred Lorenzen

1964 – Richard Petty

1963 – Fred Lorenzen

1962 – Richard Petty

1961 – Joe Weatherly

1960 – Rex White

1959 – Jack Smith

1958 – Glen Wood

1957 – Fireball Roberts

1956- Curtis Turner

1955 – Tim Flock

1954 – Lee Petty

1953 – Lee Petty


COTA Truck starting lineup: Ross Chastain wins pole


Ross Chastain will start on the pole for Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

Chastain earned the top starting spot in Friday’s qualifying with a lap of 91.877 mph. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (91.490 mph).

More: COTA Truck starting lineup

Ty Majeski qualified third with a lap of 91.225 mph. Rookie Nick Sanchez (90.993) will start fourth, and Christian Eckes (90.937) will complete the top five.

Alex Bowman failed to make the race. Bowman had a flat right front on his qualifying lap.

Tyler Reddick leads Cup practice at COTA


Tyler Reddick posted the fastest lap in Friday’s Cup practice at Circuit of the Americas.

Reddick, who won two road course races last season, topped the field in his 23XI Racing Toyota with a lap of 92.989 mph. Kyle Larson was next, posting a lap of 92.618 mph around the 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Cup practice results

Ross Chastain, who won this race a year ago, was third on the speed chart in practice with a lap of 92.520 mph. He was followed by Kyle Busch (92.498 mph) and Daniel Suarez (92.461 mph).

Jordan Taylor, subbing for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, was 10th on the speed chart in practice after a lap of 92.404 mph.

Former world champion Jenson Button, driving for Rick Ware Racing, was 28th in practice with a lap of 91.759 mph. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, driving the Project 91 car for Trackhouse Racing, was 32nd in practice after a lap of 91.413 mph.

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, driving in his first race for Legacy Motor Club since the Daytona 500, was 36th in practice after a lap of 91.072 mph. IndyCar driver Conor Daly was last among the 39 cars in practice with a lap of 90.095 mph.

Cup qualifying is Saturday. The series races Sunday.


Saturday COTA Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather


Austin Hill, the dominant driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series through the early weeks of the season, will be looking for his first Xfinity road course win Saturday.

Hill has won three of the season’s first five races, scoring victories at Daytona, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

Hill has been close in previous road course runs. He has a second at COTA, a third at Portland, a fourth at Road America and a ninth at Indianapolis.

MORE: Dr. Diandra takes a look at top Cup road course drivers

Kyle Busch and AJ Allmendinger own wins in the previous Xfinity races at COTA.

Allmendinger and three other Cup Series regulars — Aric Almirola, William Byron and Ty Gibbs — are scheduled to race in the Xfinity event.

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 5:08 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled at 5:19 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 2 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Jordan Thiessen of Pit Boss Grills at 5 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by recording artist Payton Keller at 5:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 46 laps (156 miles) on the 3.41-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 14. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 5 p.m. … NASCAR RaceDay airs at 4 p.m. on FS1. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. and can be heard at …SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Mainly sunny. Temperature of 82 at race time. No chance of rain.

LAST TIME: AJ Allmendinger won last March’s Xfinity race at COTA. Austin Hill was two seconds behind in second place. Cole Custer finished third.

NASCAR Friday schedule at Circuit of the Americas


NASCAR’s new Cup Series aerodynamic package for short tracks and road courses will be tested in competition on a road circuit for the first time this weekend as the tour stops at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

All three major national series will be in action at the 3.41-mile, 20-turn track this weekend. The schedule begins Friday with practice for all three series and qualifying for Xfinity and Trucks.

MORE: Drivers say North Wilkesboro’s worn surface will be challenging

The Friday practice was added for Cup teams because of the new competition package, providing 50 minutes of on-track time for adjustments. Teams also will be racing with a new tire compound this weekend.

Chase Elliott (2021) and Ross Chastain (2022) are winners from the previous Cup races at COTA. Elliott won the inaugural event in a race shortened by rain, and Chastain won after a last-lap battle with AJ Allmendinger and Alex Bowman. The victory was Chastain’s first in the series.

A look at Friday’s schedule:

Circuit of the Americas (Cup, Xfinity and Truck)

Weekend weather

Friday: Thunderstorms in the morning. Mostly sunny later. High of 87 with an 80% chance of rain.

Friday, March 24

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 11:30 a.m. .- 6:30 p.m. — Truck Series
  • 1:30 – 8:30 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 2:05 – 2:55 p.m. — Cup practice (No live broadcast; tape-delayed version airing at 8 p.m. on FS1)
  • 4:30 – 5 p.m. — Truck practice (No live broadcast)
  • 5 – 6 p.m. — Truck qualifying (No live broadcast; tape-delayed version airing at 9 p.m. on FS1)
  • 6:30 – 7 p.m. — Xfinity practice (FS1)
  • 7 – 8 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying (FS1)