The first Champion’s Week in Las Vegas came to a close with the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony Friday evening at the Wynn Las Vegas.
The week was very busy for four-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who kicked of the Champion's Week tour in his home state of California before coming to Las Vegas for the festivities that began with Wednesday’s landmark photo shoot.
In spite of the large number of events, Johnson said he enjoyed them all, and said this Champion’s Week was completely different than his previous three that took place in New York City.
“I think it was much more relaxed,” Johnson said of this year's Champion's Week. “We didn’t have to commute across town, getting around was much easier. I had a blast. Everyone across the industry just had fun together. We were hanging out with people from different teams across the sport every night. It was a lot of fun. This has been a much better experience.”
“Being at my elementary school [Crest Elementary in El Cajon, CA] and giving out the grants was the best part,” Johnson said. “There are a lot of things on its heels as second-favorite, but that was the best.”
Johnson passed out nearly $1 million in grants to 26 different schools on the first day of Champion's week.
Friday evening’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony honored the entire No. 48 Lowe's team, as well the top 10 drivers in the final series points standings. The event was hosted by Mike Joy and Krista Voda, and featured performances by country music stars Brooks and Dunn, comedian Frank Caliendo and singer David Gray.
2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Champion: Jimmie Johnson
2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Owner Champion: Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports
Final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12: 1. Jimmie Johnson, 6,652; 2. Mark Martin, 6,511; 3. Jeff Gordon, 6,473; 4. Kurt Busch, 6,446; 5. Denny Hamlin, 6,335; 6. Tony Stewart, 6,309; 7. Greg Biffle, 6,292; 8. Juan Pablo Montoya, 6,252; 9. Ryan Newman, 6,175; 10. Kasey Kahne, 6,128; 11. Carl Edwards, 6,118; 12. Brian Vickers, 5,929.
Raybestos Rookie of the Year: Joey Logano