February 26, 2024

Winners of the Fan Choice Awards

After a week of voting for the 2023 NASCAR Fan Choice Awards Supercharged by Worldwide Express, the votes have been tallied and the results are in.

Fans were given the opportunity to vote for an array of categories, including Best Race, Best Paint Scheme, Crew Chief of the Year, Most Improved, and Most Dominant Performance.

Person of the Year goes to Kevin Harvick. Competing in his final full-time Cup Series season, it was only fitting that the 23-year veteran would get the nod for the award in NASCAR’s 75th anniversary.

The Best Race of 2023, chosen by the fans, was the inaugural Chicago Street Race. In a first for NASCAR, a Cup Series event was held on a street course. It was Cup debutant Shane van Gisbergen, who had a thrilling battle with Justin Haley in the closing laps to take the checkered flag in the race.

Best Scheme goes to Kevin Harvick’s No. 29 throwback that he rocked during the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. The number was Harvick’s first when he debuted in the Cup Series in 2001, and he won his first Cup race with the scheme at Atlanta Motor Speedway in just his third start.

Crew Chief of the Year goes to Jonathan Hassler, who guided Ryan Blaney to the 2023 Cup Series title. The duo won three races during the title campaign, including victories in the Coca-Cola 600, Talladega, and the Martinsville playoff race, which secured Blaney’s bid to the Championship 4 race at Phoenix.

Most Improved goes to Chris Buescher. Buescher tallied three victories in 2023, the most in a single season during his Cup career. Nabbing a second appearance in the playoffs, Buescher made the most of it, reaching the Round of 8 before his elimination in the penultimate race of the year at Martinsville. Buescher set career bests for top fives (9), top 10s (17), laps led (255) and average finish (12.1).

Most Dominant Performance goes to Kyle Larson’s masterclass in the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro. The No. 5 Chevrolet led 145 of the 200 laps around the 0.625-mile short track and lapped half the field before taking the checkered flag. Larson celebrated in style with a burnout around the entire track.

Best Scanner Moment goes to drivers reacting to Brad Keselowski driving in circles under the red flag during the Cup Series regular-season finale at Daytona. The RFK co-owner smelled a fire in his No. 6 Ford and proceeded to do what he could to put it out, causing drivers behind him to be awestruck.

Best Rivalry goes to Kyle Larson vs. Denny Hamlin. The off-track friends had a handful of run-ins during the 2023 season. On the final lap of the Kansas spring race, Hamlin made contact with Larson down the backstretch, forcing Larson into the wall while Hamlin took the checkered flag. A few months later, Hamlin squeezed Larson into the barrier during a late restart at Pocono Raceway. Larson showed his frustration to Hamlin under caution, but the No. 11 driver was able to walk away with the win.

Best Driver on Social Media goes to Corey LaJoie. The “Stacking Pennies” co-host delivered some flair across social media routinely, whether it be promoting his podcast or unveiling a paint scheme in grand fashion.

Last but not least, Best Celebration/Burnout goes to Larson’s track-long burnout at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Larson was the class of the invitational event, leading 145 of 200 laps and lapping half the field. Larson pushed his No. 5 Chevrolet to the limit after the checkered flag was waved, putting on a clockwise smoke show for the fans in NASCAR’s return to the short track after 27 years.

Results Courtesy of NASCAR
Photo by Vanessa Markov