Playoff Contenders Top Xfinity Series Most Popular Driver Rankings

Getty Ty Gibbs celebrates a win at Phoenix Raceway.

NASCAR has released the top 10 vote-getters for the Xfinity Series Most Popular Driver Award. This list includes several playoff drivers, as well as the reigning champion.

NASCAR unveiled the list on November 21 and revealed which drivers  — in alphabetical order –have been receiving the most votes through the first two weeks. This list includes Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Josh Berry, Jeremy Clements, Sheldon Creed, Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, Austin Hill, Brandon Jones, and Sam Mayer.

There are some interesting details in this list of Xfinity Series drivers. For example, all but two of the drivers belong to Chevrolet. Gibbs and Jones are both part of Toyota Racing Development.

There are no Ford Performance drivers in the top 10, but this is less of a surprise considering that the OEM has less of a presence in the series. Only Stewart-Haas Racing, SS Green Light Racing, and RSS Racing bring Ford Mustangs to the track on a regular basis. BJ McLeod Motorsports and MBM Motorsports both field Ford entries on occasion for specific drivers.


1 Name on the List Created Some Surprise

Ty Gibbs

GettyTy Gibbs has received numerous votes for Most Popular Driver.

There was little surprise among NASCAR fans when they saw Gragson and Allgaier inside the top 10. Gragson won Most Popular Driver in the Camping World Truck Series in 2018 while Allgaier has won the award in the Xfinity Series three straight years.

One name that stood out as a surprise to some fans based on recent events is Ty Gibbs. The reigning Xfinity Series champion has experienced some changes in his fanbase throughout the 2022 season. He had numerous supporters early when he was winning multiple races, but he also sparked criticism after multiple on-track incidents.

The biggest shift occurred after the elimination race at Martinsville Speedway. Gibbs won the race after punting teammate Brandon Jones into the wall and wrecking him. This incident led to a chorus of boos from the crowd after the race and even more during driver introductions at Phoenix Raceway the following week.

The outrage may have been short-lived, based on Gibbs securing a spot inside the top 10. The other scenario is that members of his fanbase put in the time to vote for him every single day during the opening weeks.


Multiple Drivers Will Leave the Xfinity Series After This Vote

AJ Allmendinger

GettyAJ Allmendinger will return to the Cup Series in 2023.

There are some names inside the top 10 who will likely compete for Most Popular Driver in 2023. This includes Austin Hill, Jeremy Clements, Sheldon Creed, Josh Berry, Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, and Brandon Jones.

Three other drivers, for comparison, will no longer be eligible for Xfinity Series Most Popular Driver after the awards banquet on December 1. Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs, and AJ Allmendinger will all move up to the Cup Series on a full-time basis.

Gragson and Gibbs will both be eligible for the Cup Series Most Popular Driver Award for the first time in 2023 as they take on their rookie seasons. Allmendinger will be eligible once again after several full-time seasons at the top level of NASCAR. Though his previous seasons featured Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003-2017) and Chase Elliott (2018-present) winning Most Popular Driver.

 

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