Kyle Larson believes that NASCAR’s most popular driver Chase Elliott will be dethroned from his position by Ross Chastain. Larson reckons that the Trackhouse Racing driver can become the sports poster boy, given his rise in popularity in recent years.
Chase Elliott has been voted as NASCAR’s most popular driver for the past five years since Dale Earnhardt Jr’s retirement. While the #9 Chevrolet driver is still the most popular driver on the grid, Ross Chastain’s aggressiveness on and off the track has been gaining its own fanbase.
Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson reckons that the ‘Melon Man’ has the potential to be NASCAR’s most popular driver. The 2021 Cup Series champion said on his podcast High Limit Room:
“I think he’s (Ross Chastain) got the potential to be more popular than Chase Elliott…He’s moving the needle.”
Larson’s bold statement might come as a surprise for most as he was one of Chastain’s latest victims, after getting wrecked in Dover. However, he still thinks highly of the #1 driver’s off-track potential, which could help the sport reach new fans.
Since his full-time Cup Series debut, Ross Chastain has been a standout driver. Chastain broke into the limelight in 2022, with his breakout season with Trackhouse Racing. He delivered the results on the track winning two races and finishing runner-up in the championship fight.
Chastain’s ridiculous move in the playoff race at Martinsville last year put NASCAR on a global stage, meanwhile earning him worldwide fame. The #1 driver also made waves last weekend in Kansas, after landing a punch on Noah Gragson after being provoked.
However, for his off-track drama to be in the headlines he must win races. While he leads the drivers’ standings, his last victory came a year ago.
NASCAR has not had a character like Chastain for a long time. The Alva, Florida native has got the perfect combination of speed and drama to make the sport entertaining and attract new fans.
Chase Elliott enters SLM races at North Wilkesboro Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway
Chase Elliott returns to Super Late Model racing after announcing plans to compete at North Wilkesboro Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway.
Chase Elliott will compete in the ASA STARS National Tour events this month with his first outing scheduled on Tuesday, May 16. The next race at Hickory Motor Speedway is on Thursday, May 25. The 27-year-old has scored victories on both tracks in Super Late Models when he competed in the series back in 2009-10.
The 2020 Cup Series champion is the latest driver to announce participation in the Late Model races at North Wilkesboro Speedway, in the buildup to the All-Star Race.