The proposed Alabama sports betting measure currently being floated among state lawmakers won’t have an impact for wagering on this year’s NASCAR season. But the Cup series is getting cranked up all the same and fans in the Yellowhammer State will eagerly await the action.
This Sunday, the Daytona 500 gets the season underway, as NASCAR’s biggest event starts at 1:30 p.m. Central (Fox) at Daytona International Speedway.
That made us wonder: Who is the most searched NASCAR driver in each state? And who claims that honor in Alabama? After all, Alabama is the home to Talladega Superspeedway — NASCAR’s fastest track, even over Daytona — and has some of the most devoted stock car racing fans in the nation.
But which driver are they most curious about? AlabamaBets.com, where you’ll find the best Alabama sportsbook promo codes when they become available, sought to find out. We used Google Trends to count the number of searches for the term “NASCAR” over 12 months (Feb. 7, 2023, to Feb. 7, 2024), then we refined it by the top NASCAR driver in search volume for each state. Any full-time or part-time NASCAR Cup Series drivers were included.
NASCAR Drivers Winning Most States
Alabama Picks Most Popular NASCAR Driver
Two teammates at Hendrick Motorsports share the honor as the drivers searched most often in the most states. Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson each earned that distinction in eight states.
For Elliott, one of those states was Alabama. The other states that chose the former Cup series champion were Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota and West Virginia. The son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott has been named the most popular driver in the series the past six years in a row and hails from Dawsonville, Georgia, about 160 miles northeast of Talladega.
Larson, also a former series champion, was the most-searched driver in Hawaii, Idaho, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Wyoming. A couple of interesting notes about our research: Kevin Harvick won three states but has retired as a driver and will be in the Fox Sports broadcast booth as an analyst this year; while Jimmie Johnson (four states) is only driving part-time in the Cup series, just like last season.
As of Monday morning, Elliott was one of five co-favorites for the Daytona 500 at BetMGM Sportsbook in neighboring Tennessee. He’s even with defending series champ Ryan Blaney, three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, plus Brad Keselowski and Chris Buscher. That many drivers being atop the odds in a tight pack — how appropriate for a NASCAR superspeedway race — speaks to the unpredictable nature of Daytona.
This year’s two Cup Series races at Talladega are the Geico 500 on April 21 and the YellaWood 500 on Oct. 6, the second race in the playoffs in the Round of 12. There won’t be wagering at Alabama sports betting apps activated yet, but maybe next year.