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chase elliott bill elliott AP Photo/Ralph Freso
AP Photo/Ralph Freso

At the NASCAR Awards show on Wednesday night, Chase Elliott became the first NASCAR driver in 32 years to win both the NASCAR Cup Series Most Popular Driver award and the Cup Series title in the same season. The last driver to accomplish such a feat? Chase’s father, Bill Elliott, in 1988.

Driving the No. 9 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, the 24-year-old Chase Elliott won his first NASCAR Cup Series Championship on November 8 at Phoenix Raceway. On November 18, the Dawsonville, Georgia native won MPD honors for his third consecutive year, while his dad won it a whopping 16 times during his career. That makes Bill Elliott, a.k.a. Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, the most decorated NASCAR driver with that regard, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. hovering around at 15. The award is voted on by NASCAR fans around the United States and presented by the National Motorsports Press Association.

Besides the Elliotts, other drivers who were MPD winners and NASCAR Cup Series champions in the same year include Lee Petty (1954), Rex White (1960), Richard Petty (1964, 1974, and 1975) and Bobby Allison (1982).

Other big winners from the 2020 NASCAR Awards included Justin Allgaier, who was named Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He became the fourth driver from JR Motorsports to win the award more than once, along with Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Elliott Sadler. Zane Smith was the Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Truck Series, and Jimmie Johnson won the Bill France Award of Excellence.

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Most Popular Driver Award Winners in the NASCAR Cup Series

1949: Curtis Turner
1950: Not awarded
1951: Not awarded
1952: Lee Petty
1953: Lee Petty
1954: Lee Petty*
1955: Tim Flock
1956: Curtis Turner
1957: Fireball Roberts
1958: Glen Wood
1959: Jack Smith
1960: Rex White*
1961: Joe Weatherly
1962: Richard Petty
1963: Fred Lorenzen
1964: Richard Petty*
1965: Fred Lorenzen
1966: Darel Dieringer
1967: Cale Yarborough
1968: Richard Petty
1969: Bobby Isaac
1970: Bobby Allison
1971: Bobby Allison
1972: Richard Howard
1973: Bobby Allison
1974: Richard Petty*
1975: Richard Petty
1976: Richard Petty
1977: Richard Petty
1978: Richard Petty
1979: David Pearson
1980: Bobby Allison
1981: Bobby Allison
1982: Bobby Allison
1983: Bobby Allison*
1984: Bill Elliott
1985: Bill Elliott
1986: Bill Elliott
1987: Bill Elliott
1988: Bill Elliott*
1989: Darrell Waltrip
1990: Darrell Waltrip
1991: Bill Elliott
1992: Bill Elliott
1993: Bill Elliott
1994: Bill Elliott
1995: Bill Elliott
1996: Bill Elliott
1997: Bill Elliott
1998: Bill Elliott
1999: Bill Elliott
2000: Bill Elliott
2001: Dale Earnhardt**
2002: Bill Elliott
2003: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2004: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2005: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2006: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2007: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2008: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2009: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2010: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2011: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2012: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2013: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2014: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2015: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2016: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2017: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2018: Chase Elliott
2019: Chase Elliott
2020: Chase Elliott*

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* Won the NASCAR Cup Series Championship
** Award posthumously

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