Ross Chastain Named Richard Petty Driver of the Year

January 24, 2023
Photo provided by NMPA board member Jerry Jordan.

CONCORD, N.C. – Ross Chastain had a breakthrough 2022 season in the NASCAR Cup Series, including thrilling many with his last-lap move at Martinsville Speedway. As a result, he has been named the Richard Petty Driver of the Year by the National Motorsports Press Association.

Chastain was voted the recipient of the award by the press membership, taking the honor over new two-time series champion Joey Logano. It was a one-vote difference.

The Trackhouse Racing driver scored his first career win in March at Circuit of the Americas after a frantic final lap duel with AJ Allmendinger and Alex Bowman. It was also the first win for Trackhouse Racing. A month later, Chastain picked up his second win, also making the winning pass on the last lap, at Talladega Superspeedway.

A watermelon farmer from Florida, Chastain turned heads all year with his never-say-die attitude and not being afraid to ruffle a few feathers. It was a season highlighted by an improbable run to the Championship 4, which came after Chastain made a video game move on the last lap at Martinsville, where he rode the wall from Turn 3 to the start/finish line to gain five positions.

Chastain finished second in the championship to Logano.

Other drivers receiving multiple votes were Erica Enders (NHRA), Ron Capps (NHRA), Max Verstappen (Formula 1), and Chase Elliott (NASCAR).

The award was announced Sunday, Jan. 22, during the annual NMPA convention and award luncheon held at Great Wolf Lodge.

The Richard Petty Driver of the Year has been presented annually since 1969 to recognize the season’s most outstanding driver. It is named in honor of the seven-time NASCAR premier series champion

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