The ESPYS are quickly approaching, and a star-studded lineup of athletes are preparing to hear their names called during the annual awards show. NASCAR star Chase Elliott is among this group, but he will face some big names in a stacked category. He is one of the nominees for Best Driver.
ESPN released the complete list of ESPYS nominations on Wednesday, June 16. There were four names in the Best Driver category. Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton represented Formula 1, while Elliott represented NASCAR. Six-time champion Scott Dixon added IndyCar to the list. Four-time Camping World Pro Stock champion and the winningest female driver in NHRA history Erica Enders rounded out the group.
The ESPYS will air on July 10 at 8 p.m. ET. ABC will broadcast the awards show and highlight the biggest names in several sports as they accept their trophies. NASCAR fans can vote for the three-time Most Popular Driver (2018-2020) on ESPN’s website.
Elliott Had a Truly Memorable 2020 Season
The son of Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, the driver of the No. 9 faced big expectations when he began his Cup Series career. He has since become one of the best drivers in the field. Elliott has a reputation as the best road course racer in NASCAR’s top series, and he is within reach of breaking Jeff Gordon’s all-time road course wins record.
Elliott entered the 2020 season with six career wins and 44 top-five finishes. These were solid numbers overall, but they were only a glimpse of what was to come. He proceeded to turn in the best season of his career while dealing with COVID-19 and an altered schedule, winning a career-high five races and punching his ticket to the playoffs.
Elliott entered the championship chase with two regular-season wins. He was a fairly under-the-radar driver at the time considering that Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick were the two points leaders. Elliott also dealt with finishes outside the top 20 in the Darlington and Las Vegas playoff races.
While he remained in danger of falling below the cutline, Elliott mounted a comeback. He started by winning a race at the Charlotte Roval, the final event in the Round of 12. He then won the final Round of eight race at Martinsville and locked up the final spot in the championship four alongside Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Joey Logano. Elliott capped off his season in Phoenix by recovering from a pre-race penalty that dropped him to the rear of the field, racing his way to the front, and winning the first Bill France Cup of his career.
Elliott is Heading Back to the Playoffs to Defend His Title
While Kyle Larson is the main Hendrick Motorsports driver creating headlines, he is not the only one with a win in 2021. Alex Bowman has two trips to Victory Lane while William Byron and Elliott each have one.
The defending Cup Series champion punched his ticket to the playoffs with a win at Circuit of the Americas. Though he did not achieve this goal while racing a peer toward the checkered flag. Instead, Elliott learned that he won during a red flag halt in the action.
The first-ever NASCAR weekend at COTA took place on a rainy weekend. The inclement weather caused problems for all three series, to the point that a lack of visibility led to multiple wrecks in the Cup Series race.
The rainfall and standing water forced NASCAR to bring out the red flag midway through the race on Sunday, May 23, bringing the race to a halt while the Air Titans attempted to dry the track. The drivers were able to return for more laps around the Austin road course, but further issues brought the race to an end with 14 laps remaining. Elliott had the lead at the time and became the fourth HMS driver to win in 2021.
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