The fans have spoken. The Most Popular Driver Awards for both the NASCAR XFINITY Series as well as the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series competition have been named.
For NXS, the Most Popular Driver for the first time of his career.
Allgaier, 33, takes the mantle from former teammate Elliott Sadler, who had won the fan-voted honor for three consecutive years. Sadler retired from full-time racing following the conclusion of the 2018 season, paving the way for Allgaier’s ascension in the voting this year.
The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet finished fourth in the final Xfinity Series standings after making it to the Championship 4 for the third time in four years. His victory in the penultimate race of the year at ISM Raceway in Phoenix clinched a spot in Miami, where he finished 14th.
Allgaier is known for his affable attitude and fan-friendly demeanor. He often is surrounded by wife Ashley and daughter Harper on pit road before strapping in. The veteran finished the year with that one win in Phoenix, 16 top-five finishes and 24 top 10s in 33 races. He’s up to 11 wins all time in the Xfinity Series.
The award for Allgaier continues an eight-year run for JR Motorsports drivers. Other former JRM drivers to earn the honor during that time include Sadler (2016-18) Chase Elliott (2014-15), Regan Smith (2013) and Danica Patrick (2012).
For Trucks, the award went to Ross Chastain.
Chastain didn’t even plan to even be a full-time Gander Trucks driver in 2019, but he quickly became the busiest driver in NASCAR after his 2018 plans fell through, driving as many races as he could in all three NASCAR national series.
The fans took notice as Chastain won the award for the first time, with the news coming on his 27th birthday.
In June, Niece Motorsports – which supplies the No. 45 Chevrolet for Chastain – announced Chastain would change his points declaration from the Xfinity Series to Gander Trucks, allowing the driver to compete for the series championship … and the Most Popular Driver in this series.
While Chastain fell short of lifting the big trophy, he provided a summer stretch for the ages that saw him grow into one of NASCAR’s most successful drivers on any level, and introduced a new celebration in the process – smashing a watermelon to smithereens.
Chastain won three Gander Trucks races this season (plus one for good measure in the Xfinity Series) while logging 10 top-five finishes and 19 top 10s in 23 starts. He advanced to the Championship 4, finishing second on the season to champion Matt Crafton.