CHARLOTTE, N.C. - NASCAR traded the heat of Miami Beach for an unseasonably chilly Saturday evening in Charlotte for its annual XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series Awards. But there was no less warm a reception for two fresh-faced champions in a special night of appreciation at the sport's home base.
William Byron (XFINITY) and Christopher Bell (Trucks) were the toast of the annual gala, taking home the heaviest of hardware at the Charlotte Convention Center. The evening was part celebration and part farewell for the two, as both depart for their next step up the NASCAR ladder next season.
Byron, 20, will embark on his first season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series next year, driving the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. The 22-year-old Bell will set sail for the XFINITY Series ranks, wheeling the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Both got their national series start with Kyle Busch Motorsports, teaming together in 2016.
The rest of the Championship 4 for both series - Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier and Daniel Hemric in XFINITY, and Johnny Sauter, Austin Cindric and Matt Crafton in Trucks - were also honored.
Several other awards and recognitions were made:
Mobil 1 Driver of the Year: Kyle Busch (XFINITY) and Christopher Bell (Trucks)
Mahle Engine Builder of the Year Award: Doug Yates of Roush Yates Racing (XFINITY) and Mark Cronquist of Joe Gibbs Racing (Trucks).
Duralast Brake in the Race Award: Kyle Busch (XFINITY) and Christopher Bell (Trucks)
Sunoco Rookie of the Year: William Byron (XFINITY) and Chase Briscoe (Trucks)
Manufacturer championship: Chevrolet (XFINITY) and Toyota (Trucks)
Comcast Community Champion: Chip Ganassi Racing pit crew department
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NOTE: The ceremony will air tape-delayed on Sunday, December 17 at 9:00 PM on NBCSN.