Aside from Joey Logano proclaiming that he will become NASCAR's most popular driver in wake of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s retirement, most other drivers believe Chase Elliott will win the 2018 most popular driver award, ending Junior's streak of 15 consecutive seasons.
Chase's father, Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott currently holds the record for the most Cup Series popular driver awards with 16. Could Chase be following in his father's footsteps with Junior retired from the sport?
Here's what other drivers had to say during Wednesday's Daytona 500 media day.
Jimmie Johnson: "Chase Elliott — I think he’s already won the 2018 most popular driver award."
Martin Truex Jr.: "It sounds to me like Chase Elliott is on his way, from what everybody says. I guess there's no telling. We'll just have to wait and see."
Denny Hamlin: "Usually you see the most popular drivers are guys like Chase, where they're leading a legacy that preceded or followed before them."
Kevin Harvick: "I really think Chase Elliott is our biggest tie to our grassroots NASCAR fan. I’ve said this a number of times, but I feel like he’s one of the most important ingredients in what NASCAR racing does going forward because his family name and he has the legacy that’s already been built in this sport by his dad and he’s come into this sport with a great name and already proven that he’s going to be competitive. He has those southeast NASCAR ties to those core fans that none of the rest of us will ever have, and he’s the guy."
Brad Keselowski: "Chase without a doubt. I don’t think that’s even close. I think we’ve been seeing that for the past two or three years and he’s coming into a perfect spot of having the ability to ascertain the southern fan base, along with the family namesake fan base. He’s in the right time with the right name to kind of inherit it in a great way."
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: "I think we’re all under the consensus that Chase is gonna take that back over. His dad had it before Dale Jr. ever came along, so I don’t see why that wouldn’t go back to him."
Kurt Busch: "I would say Chase Elliott. The way his father carried this sport with many, many, many most popular driver awards, that’s the easy choice in my mind, but it could turn out different. It could be to where fans want to see that guy dominating and getting those race wins and is that most popular from that fashion."