NASCAR descends on Nashville for Champions Week

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NASHVILLE — The 2021 NASCAR season officially concluded Thursday night as all three national series champions were officially awarded during the 2021 NASCAR Awards show in Nashville. 

The week’s festivities began Wednesday, with each of the Playoff drivers doing burnouts on Broadway. Thousands lined the street in awe as NASCAR’s Champions and Playoff drivers did burnouts between First and Second avenue. The crowd was mixed – diehard NASCAR fans traveled just to see the event, while others who just happened to stumble into the action on a dreary night.

On Thursday, NASCAR officially crowned their champions in each respective series: Kyle Larson, Daniel Hemric, and Ben Rhodes. 

With being the series champion comes a lot of responsibilities. Numerous interviews and events are conducted across the country and essentially become the face of the sport. 

“It’s been cool to enjoy all the championship stuff, all the interviews, pictures, everything—all the stuff that you wouldn’t normally have fun with, I’ve been enjoying doing it this time,” Larson said on Thursday at the Music City Center during an interview session with reporters before the NASCAR Awards. 

“Being a champion, I went into this, and I want to enjoy every interview, every picture, every moment that I have.” 

Even with rising to popularity, Larson said he does not seem to be getting noticed anymore in the general public.

“I don’t know if any more people recognize me, now that I’m a champion,” Larson said. “I went to Disneyland and only had a handful of people recognized me, which was cool. Going to race the dirt stuff out West, there were a lot more people hanging around the pit area and taking pictures than normal. 

“And all that stuff can get overwhelming at times, but again, it’s really cool. I want to just enjoy all of that.”   

Larson was also presented with one of the sports’ most unique trophies, Goodyear’s golden car trophy that is awarded to the Cup champion each season.

Some other awards were given out. Chase Elliott was also awarded the National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver Award Presented by Hooters for the fourth consecutive season. Justin Allgaier won most popular in the Xfinity Series, and Hailee Deegan took the title in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. 

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Matt Courson
Matt Courson returns to Kickin' The Tires for a third year in 2021. He resides in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where he attends Middle Tennessee State University. He will graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Sports Media, as well as a minor in Marketing. When not at the racetrack, he enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.

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