NASCAR drivers Chase Elliott fans can root for: No. 5 – Chase Elliott
Aside from being the obvious answer in that Chase Elliott is still set to compete in races the playoffs, unlike when ratings dropped significantly during his extended absence in March and April, there is another obvious reason to keep rooting for the sport’s most popular driver.
Chase Elliott can still win the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Sort of. While he has been eliminated on the driver side and cannot become a two-time champion this year, the No. 9 team locked into the owner playoffs over Bubba Wallace’s No. 23 team, even though Wallace himself earned the 16th and final spot in the driver playoffs.
Owner points are tied to the car, not the driver, so while Elliott missed more than one quarter of the regular season, the points scored by his replacements during his seven missed starts bolstered the No. 9 team’s point total. Those seven races were highlighted by a runner-up finish by Josh Berry at Richmond Raceway.
Given the fact that Elliott is still set to compete, I don’t expect ratings to be down nearly as much as they were in the spring when he was sidelined.
He is still set to have the strongest fan representation among all drivers as goes for his sixth consecutive Most Popular Driver Award, and while his playoff streak ended at seven, he still has 10 chances to make the 2023 season his sixth straight winning season.
And multiple playoff wins would make him the only driver with an active streak of six straight multi-win seasons. Given the fact that only five of last year’s 10 playoff races were won by drivers still championship eligible at the time of their victories, it’s not out of the question.
Darlington Raceway is scheduled to open up the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs with the Cook Out Southern 500 this Sunday, September 3. USA Network is set to broadcast the race live beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV today and don’t miss it!