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.
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>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.