News & Media

Four series champs honored at awards banquet

November 19, 2012, Official Release,

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Stenhouse Jr., Buescher, JGR, Turner Motorsports celebrated after series titles

Four of NASCAR's brightest young stars occupied the spotlight Monday night as champions in two national series were crowned.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 25, and James Buescher, 22, officially were proclaimed champions of the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series, respectively, at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

Stenhouse was honored for becoming the sixth driver to win consecutive Nationwide titles. Buescher becomes the second-youngest champion in the Truck Series' 18-year history. Stenhouse won six times, while Buescher's four victories were most in among truck drivers.

Joe Gibbs Racing won the Nationwide owner championship, with Joey Logano winning seven times in the No. 18 Toyota. The title is JGR's fourth in the past five seasons, matching Richard Childress Racing for most in the series. JGR's last one came in 2010.

Turner Motorsports won its first Truck Series owner championship. Texan Steve Turner's No. 31 Chevrolet, with Buescher behind the wheel, won the title in the organization's fifth season in the series.

Austin Dillon, 22, won the Nationwide Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. Dillon is the third driver to win rookie championships in the Nationwide and Truck Series. Ty Dillon, 20, won the Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. The Dillon brothers are the first siblings to capture rookie truck titles.

Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish Jr. and Michael Annett finished second through fifth in the Nationwide championship standings and were honored along with Stenhouse.

Timothy Peters, Joey Coulter, Ty Dillon and Parker Kligerman were second through fifth in the Truck Series final points and joined Buescher on stage.

After fans cast nearly 120,000 combined votes on NASCAR.COM, each series' Most Popular Driver was revealed. Danica Patrick and Nelson Piquet Jr. were chosen by fans in the Nationwide and Truck Series, respectively. Each was honored for the first time.

SPEED'S Rick Allen and Krista Voda hosted the event, which will air 8-10 p.m. ET Thursday, Nov. 29, on SPEED. Rock band NEEDTOBREATH performed during the show.