The 2020 NASCAR season has concluded.  After a chaotic season of no practice and no qualifying runs, the engines are quiet and it is time to hand out the trophies for the annual end of the year ceremonies.

In a scaled down celebration from Nashville, Tennessee NASCAR crowned series champions in the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck, Xfinity, and NASCAR Cup Series; along with Rookies of the Year and Most Popular Driver awards.

With NBC Sports broadcaster Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast serving as hosts for the gala event, NASCAR president Steve Phelps and vice president of racing development Ben Kennedy presented the awards to drivers who traded in their colourful fire suits for a suit and tie.

Award winning Country music star Chris Stapleton opened the ceremonies with a debut of his new single “Arkansas”.

While he hasn’t won a race in three years, Jimmie Johnson retires from stock car racing with 83 career Cup Series wins and seven series championships – including five in a row.  NASCAR honoured Johnson with the Bill France Award of Excellence for his contributions and accomplishments to NASCAR and stock car racing.  Actor Matthew McConaughey paid homage to Johnson via a video message.  Johnson joins fellow award winners Richard Childress, Roger Penske, Joe Gibbs, and former team mates Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Accepting the award that is not presented every year, Johnson said, “what an honor this is.  I am so grateful and thankful for your contributions and what your future holds for you in our sport. So thankful for the contributions of your family and the vision that your family had to create this premier form of racing in the country, and to play a part of that and to have had the success I’ve had in this sport is so meaningful to me.

Zane Smith earned his first Most Popular Driver award in the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series; Justin Allgaier earned his second MPD award with Chase Elliott earning the award for the third time.  His father Bill Elliott was presented with the award 16 times.  Elliott also has two MPD awards from the Xfinity Series.

In his first year in the Truck Series, Zane Smith was also presented with Rookie of the Year honours.  Harrison Burton earned ROY honours in the Xfinity Series; with Cole Custer taking home the trophy in the Cup Series.

Seen as the face of change in NASCAR, Bubba Wallace was presented with the Comcast Community Champion of the Year award for his philanthropic work this year.  The award comes with a $60,000 donation to Wallace’s his Live to Be Different Foundation.

The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award is presented to NASCAR fans for their contributions to charities and causes.  This year Charlene Greer won the award for her contributions to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Volusia and Flagler Counties of Florida.  NASCAR also made a $100,000 contribution to Greer’s charity.

NASCAR’s primary sponsors Busch, Coca-Cola, GEICO, and Xfinity were presented with the NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award.

Along with the drivers earning a championship, the vehicle manufacturers also compete for a championship title.  In the Gander RV and Outdoor Truck Series and the Xfinity Series, Chevrolet won the award; while Ford took the prize in the NASCAR Cup Series.

In the biggest awards of the night Sheldon Creed was crowned champion in the Gander Truck Series, Austin Cindric took top honours in the Xfinity Series; and following his father, who won the award in 1985, Chase Elliott was crowned Cup Series champion.  The Elliotts become just the third father/son duo to win the sport’s championship.