NASCAR honors champion Kyle Busch and legend Jeff Gordon during emotional night

Kyle Busch speaks during the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Show at Wynn Las Vegas on December 4, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Kyle Busch speaks during the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Show at Wynn Las Vegas on December 4, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It was a night that featured a young tough as nails driver who celebrated his first NASCAR Sprint Cup title, and one that had a great deal of emotion as the sport said farewell to one of its legendary competitors.  NASCAR held its season ending awards banquet in Las Vegas Friday night . Kyle Busch was honored as this year’s series champion and Jeff Gordon was the center of attention as he made one last appearance as a driver.

Those were not the only highlights in an evening that was more memorable than many of the NASCAR awards banquets in recent memory.   Dale Earnhardt Jr. collected his 13th consecutive NMPA Most Popular Driver Award and thanked his legion of fans known as the Junior Nation.  He also poked fun at the Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano feud that started at Texas, saying that at one point he thought Kenseth had the title wrapped up . An on track incident at Martinsville with Logano earned Kenseth a two race suspension taking both he and Logano out of the title picture however.  Earnhardt joked to Logano that the remark was mean. He then relayed that Logano had asked him for a ride to Phoenix at the last minute and Earnhardt obliged.  Earnhardt said on the following Monday, Logano made a $10,000 donation to Earnhardt’s foundation truly showing the person he is.

Martin Truex Jr. made his first appearance in NASCAR’s Chase in 2015. He finished fourth in the season standings. His speech Friday night centered on his longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex, who is in the midst of a fight with ovarian cancer.

“We’ve learned that life isn’t just about living, it’s about being alive,” Truex said.MORE>>>

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