Nashville Hosts NASCAR Awards for 2023 Season

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Nashville, TN — December 1, 2023

Last evening, the NASCAR Community gathered in Nashville to celebrate the 2023 season and pass out awards significant to the sport. While NASCAR Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney received his championship ring, two individuals were honored with prestigious recognition.

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Ryan Blaney is honored at the NASCAR Awards Ceremony in Nashville. / NASCAR Photo

The National Motorsports Press Association’s Most Popular Driver award went to a familiar name, and the Myers Brothers Award was bestowed posthumously.

Other NASCAR national series champions were also feted. Driving for Stewart-Haas Racing, Cole Custer bested Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, and John Hunter Nemechek to win his first NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.

In the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Ben Rhodes won his second title for ThorSport Racing, beating Grant Enfinger, Carson Hocevar, and Corey Heim in the Championship 4 finale.

All three of NASCAR’s premier series were won by Ford Performance drivers, a first for the Blue Oval in the same calendar year.

Most Popular Driver

Although it was a disappointing NASCAR Cup Series season for Chase Elliott, his fan support remains strong with the recognition of the National Motorsports Press Association’s Most Popular Driver. It is the sixth consecutive year Elliott has been voted the winner, and he has won the award in six of his eight seasons as a NASCAR Cup Series driver.

The only major NASCAR award determined solely by the vote of race fans, Elliott earned 104,534 votes. The newly-crowned NASCAR Cup Series champion, Ryan Blaney, was second to Elliott in the voting. Kyle Larson, Elliott’s teammate, was third.

“This award has always, in my eyes, a reflection and extension of my family’s place in the sport and I recognize my spot in line and recognize what they’ve done,” Elliott said. “The reason that it’s special is because of the fans and how supportive they have been to my entire family, myself included, our team, over the years. I’m grateful for that. I don’t take it lightly, ever. I know you said you weren’t stunned, but I still take it very seriously, and I’m grateful for what they do for us. They’ve been phenomenal. So, I appreciate that.”

A driver must have declared for NASCAR Cup Series points to be eligible for the award.

Elliott’s father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, holds the record for the most award wins at 16. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the award 15 times.

The Most Popular Driver award has been presented to either an Elliott or an Earnhardt for 33 consecutive years.

Elliott went winless in 2023 and failed to earn a berth in the playoffs, finishing 17th in the championship standings. It is the worst finish of Elliott’s Cup Series career. A snowboarding incident in the spring sidelined Elliott for six weeks while he recovered from surgery for a fractured left tibia. A one-race suspension from NASCAR for hooking Denny Hamlin in the Coca-Cola 600 made it a total of seven races Elliott missed during the year.

The NMPA Most Popular Driver Award is one of the longest-running awards presented annually by the National Motorsports Press Association.

JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier was voted Most Popular Driver in the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series. For the third consecutive season, ThorSport Racing’s Hailie Deegan won the award for the Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series.

NASCAR Photo

Myers Brothers Award

Presented annually since 1958, the award, named in honor of former NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers, 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.

Philanthropist Sherry Pollex is the winner of the 2023 National Motorsports Press Association’s Myers Brothers Award, the NMPA announced Thursday night.

Sherry Pollex / NASCAR Photo

As a mainstay in NASCAR, Pollex launched a foundation with Joe Gibbs Racing driver and former longtime partner Martin Truex Jr. in 2007 to help children and families affected by cancer. Her work led to the annual “Catwalk for a Cause” event in 2010, which has raised more than $4 million.

“Catwalk for a Cause” was an annual event many always looked forward to attending. It allowed children battling cancer to walk the catwalk in a fashion show, often accompanied by drivers and other individuals from within the NASCAR industry who supported the fight against childhood cancer.

Pollex was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014 and bravely fought the disease, always exhibiting her #SherryStrong message. She died in September at age 44.

Pollex’s legacy continues throughout NASCAR and beyond. In 2020, her foundation opened the “Sherry Strong Integrative Medicine Oncology Clinic” at Novant Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This is the second time Pollex has been the recipient of the Myers Brother Award. The other nominees were Julie Giese, Kerry Tharp, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Other Awards

Ty Gibbs earned the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year trophy. Gibbs posted four top fives and 10 top 10s over the 36-race season in the No. 54 for Joe Gibbs Racing. He led 112 laps, including 102 laps in the fall Bristol night race, where he finished fifth. His top finish was fourth place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.

Ty Gibbs poses for photos with the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year trophy on the red carpet prior to the NASCAR Awards and Champion Celebration at the Music City Center on November 30, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee. / NASCAR Photo

The NASCAR Foundation announced Molly Moran of Walpole, Massachusetts, as the 13th annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award winner during Thursday’s NASCAR Awards in Nashville, Tenn. As the award winner, Moran secured a $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation to Comfort Zone Camp, a bereavement organization that transforms the lives of children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, primary caregiver, or significant person.

Race fans can watch a broadcast of the Awards ceremony on Sunday, December 3rd, at 7 pm on the Peacock Network.