LAS VEGAS — Hunt Elliott has been voted NASCAR’s best accepted driver, catastrophe a 15-year run for superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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Earnhardt presented Elliott the accolade during NASCAR’s anniversary season-ending awards commemoration Thursday at the Wynn Las Vegas.
Earnhardt won the accolade for 15 afterwards years until his retirement aftermost season. His band fell one abbreviate of the almanac of 16 set by Hunt Elliott’s father, Bill Elliott.
“Definitely a big passing,” Elliott said told Earnhardt on stage. “So cool, though, that it backward amid Elliott and Earnhardt for so long. I am glad, though, that you abdicate a year afore you bankrupt Dad’s record, so that’s appealing cool. I’m appealing blessed about that. We got it aback in the appropriate name. I’m a little biased. Sorry.”
The accolade is based on a fan vote and sponsored by the National Motorsports Press Association. Bill Elliott won the accolade every year amid 1984 and 2002, until he removed his name from consideration.
Now, the accolade has alternate to the Elliott family.
Chase Elliott won three times in the Cup Alternation in 2018, including alert in the playoffs.
“I was in some acceptable situations with some fast cars and I was able to get a few wins. It was a acceptable year,” Elliott said. “We couldn’t accomplishment it off as able as those brace months there in the summer, backward summer, but attractive advanced to ’19 and aflame to get aback going.”
His aboriginal cruise to achievement lane was years in the making.
Elliott won the Xfinity Alternation championship in 2014, back he was 18 and assuredly acceptable to run a abounding NASCAR season. Plans were formed in 2015 for his move to the big leagues with Hendrick Motorsports as he replaced backward four-time best Jeff Gordon. Elliott was in the bench not continued afterwards his 20th birthday.
Chase entered the alternation with a congenital fan abject that badly capital him to bout his father’s success. Because he collection for assertive Hendrick, in Gordon’s old ride, abounding ample wins would appear immediately.
Elliott did affirmation the pole for his Daytona 500 debut, but he accomplished 37th. His amateur division netted bristles finishes of additional or third, a 10th-place accomplishment in the standings and no wins.
Year 2 was similar. The pole afresh at Daytona and annihilation to appearance for that effort. Even worse? Bristles runner-up finishes and about assertive achievement snatched abroad at Martinsville Speedway. Elliott was arch backward in the hunt at the Virginia clue with alone a few laps actual afore what would accept been both his aboriginal achievement and an automated atom in the championship finale.
Elliott was instead ashore by Denny Hamlin. He didn’t win, didn’t beforehand to the final four and two weeks after at Phoenix retaliated to ensure Hamlin wouldn’t hunt for the title, either.
He assuredly bankrupt through on the alley advance at Watkins Glen to cleft his aboriginal win. That August achievement bound him into the playoffs, and he bookended the additional annular of the championship hunt with victories at Dover and Kansas.
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