Music City Center, Nashville, TN — December 3, 2020
NASCAR held its annual awards banquet and championship celebration at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday, December 1st. It will be televised Saturday, December 3rd, at 8 pm on the Peacock TV streaming service.
Of course, we know that Joey Logano will be crowned the NASCAR Cup Series Champion.
Ty Gibbs will receive the NASCAR Xfinity Series trophy.
And the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, Zane Smith, will be honored.
Here are some additional insights that may or may not make the television version of the celebration, courtesy of The Lasco Press live coverage of the event.
Thursday’s celebration day began with the Champion’s Breakfast at the Omni Hotel adjacent to the Music City Center convention hall in downtown Nashville. Hosted by Pennzoil, Logano’s sponsor on the Team Penske Ford Mustang, media, and select guests were invited.
All 16 drivers that qualified for the Cup Series Playoffs cycled through the media center for interview opportunities. Cup Champion owner, Roger Penske, visited as well.
In addition to winning the Cup Series Championship, Team Penske won the 2022 Indy Car Series Championship with driver Will Power. The first time a team owner captured both major U.S. Motorsports championships in the same season.
Kyle Busch and Tyler Reddick talked about making adjustments with new teams. Ross Chastain was asked again about the “Watermelon Slide,” the video game move at Martinsville Speedway that allowed him to qualify for the Championship Four race at Phoenix Raceway. NASCAR revealed the video highlight of the wall-scrapping move by the popular watermelon farmer turned stock car driver had been viewed online over 200 million times.
Kyle Larson revealed he and his wife are expecting their third child to be born soon. Ty Gibbs did attend, despite the recent death of his father, who passed away in his sleep the night Ty won the championship race. He thanked the media for their expressions of condolences but did state he only wanted to speak about racing. The family tragedy was still too raw emotionally to address in interviews.
The Red Carpet
Stunning dresses adorned the wives, fiances, and girlfriends of the NASCAR drivers in attendance. The beautiful ensembles of Samantha Busch and Whitney Dillon topped the fashion parade. Julia Piquet, daughter of three-time F1 champion Nelson Piquet and fiance of Daniel Suarez, wore the most provocative gown of the evening with a waist-high slit revealing her right leg and thigh.
Joey Logano stepped up to the black X on the red carpet and introduced Brittany as his “hot *ss wife.” The nickname was introduced to a national television audience during the premier of the “Race for the Championship” NASCAR Docuseries on the USA Network. While filming Logano making a phone call to Brittany, who was about to deliver their third child and first daughter Emilia, the digital display on the dashboard featured the endearment as the name Joey has her saved under in his cell phone.
The Award Ceremony
The glittering ballroom in the Music City Center was adorned with the NASCAR Colors Logo displayed on guitar-pick-shaped placards. Logano’s #22 Ford Mustang sat to the right of the stage with Zane Smith’s #38 Ford F-150 and Ty Gibbs’ #54 Monster Energy racecar on the left.
Mario Andretti was in attendance to introduce the now two-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion, Joey Logano, prior to Joey speaking to the guests. Andretti’s handsome tuxedo was complimented by his black and white checkered flag pattern socks peeking out from under the pant’s legs.
The National Motorsports Press Association Awards
The National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) membership votes on the winner of the NMPA Myers Brothers Award. The award recognizes individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. This year’s recipient is Trackhouse Racing founder Justin Marks.
Current NMPA President Kelly Crandall, a two-time George Cunningham Writer of the Year award winner, was on hand to provide the results of the Myers Brothers Award selection and fan vote totals for the NMPA Most Popular Driver award.
For the fifth straight year, the honor went to Chase Elliott. Elliott’s father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, holds the record for the most award wins at 16.
Press releases for the two prestigious announcements are included below.
NMPA Myers Brothers Award
DARLINGTON, S.C. – Trackhouse Racing founder Justin Marks is the winner of the 2022 National Motorsports Press Association’s Myers Brothers Award, the NMPA announced Thursday.
Presented annually since 1958, the award, named in honor of former NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers, recognizes individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. Each year, the NMPA Myers Brothers Award winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership.
Marks founded Trackhouse Racing in 2021 and expanded his operation in 2022 by sending
shockwaves through the industry by buying Chip Ganassi’s NASCAR operation. It allowed Marks to make his operation fully independent and field two full-time entries in the NASCAR Cup Series for Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez.
On the racetrack, Trackhouse Racing won three races in 2022 and competed for the
championship with Chastain. Chastain finished a career-high second in the championship
standings. Marks field a third car in a one-off race for Kimi Raikkonen over the simmer at Watkins Glen, a venture he titled PROJECT91. The program will continue to give NASCAR opportunities to more international race car drivers in the future.
Off the racetrack, Marks and Trackhouse have embraced being a brand that goes racing. Pop superstar Armando “Pitbull” Perez invested in the team, and the organization is always looking for ways to disrupt the motors sports space while investing in its future.
In the future, as Trackhouse Racing continues to succeed in NASCAR, Marks also has an eye on the organization, making a presence in other racing arenas.
Myers Brothers Award Winners
2021, Bob Jenkins; 2020, Jimmie Johnson; 2019, Darrell Waltrip; 2018, Jim France; 2017, Martin Truex Jr., Sherry Pollex; 2016, Betty Jane France; 2015, Darlington Raceway; 2014, Dale Earnhardt Jr.; 2013, Tony Stewart; 2012, Jeff Gordon; 2011, Drs. Joseph and Rose Mattioli; 2010, Jim Hunter; 2009, Barney Hall; 2008, T. Taylor Warren; 2007, Bill France Jr.; 2006, Benny Parsons; 2005, Rusty Wallace; 2004, Kyle and Patti Petty; 2003, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 2002, Mike Helton; 2001, Dale Earnhardt; 2000, Kyle Petty; 1999, Junie Donlavey; 1998, T. Wayne Robertson; 1997, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1996, Rick
Hendrick; 1995, TNN: The Nashville Network; 1994, Brickyard 400/Indianapolis Motor Speedway; 1993, Goody’s Manufacturing Co.; 1992, Richard and Lynda Petty; 1991, Harry Gant; 1990. Dick Beaty; 1989, Bill France Jr.; 1988 Richmond International Raceway; 1987, ESPN; 1986, Hayride 500; 1985, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1984, Charlotte Motor Speedway; 1983, CBS-TV; 1982, MRN; 1981, Junior Johnson; 1980, STP and Champion Spark Plug Co.; 1979, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1978, Busch Beer; 1977, First National City Travelers Checks; 1976, Junior Johnson; 1975, Bill France Sr.; 1974, H. Clay Earles; 1973, Wood Brothers; 1972, Winston Cigarettes; 1971, Richard Petty; 1970, Richard Howard; 1969, David Pearson; 1968, Wood Brothers; 1967, Richard Petty; 1966, Norris Friel; 1965, Ned Jarrett; 1964, Richard Petty; 1963, Marvin Panch; 1962, Hank Schoolfield; 1961, Ned Jarrett; 1960, Russ Catlin; 1959, Lee Petty; 1958, Bob Colvin.
NMPA Most Popular Driver Award
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Chase Elliott might have had a disappointing end to the NASCAR Cup Series season, but his fans continue to make their support loud and clear.
For the fifth straight year, Elliott has been named NMPA Most Popular Driver, presented by
Hooters, the only major NASCAR award determined solely by the vote of race fans. Elliott, who finished fourth in the championship standings, was announced as the winner during the NASCAR awards banquet celebrating the 2022 season.
Elliott’s father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, holds the record for the most award wins at 16. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the award 15 times. With the younger Elliott adding to his streak, the Most Popular Driver award has been presented to either an Elliott or an Earnhardt for 32 consecutive years.
Alongside Elliott were his three Championship 4 rivals (Joey Logano, Ross Chastain and
Christopher Bell) finishing among the top 10 vote-getters for this year’s award. Also in contention were Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, and Martin Truex Jr.
The NMPA Most Popular Driver Award is one of the longest-running awards presented annually by the National Motorsports Press Association. It is the only major NASCAR award to be determined solely by a fan vote.