Dale Jr. wins Myers Brothers Award, Harvick earns seven honors DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.– In recognition of his career achievements as a champion driver, team owner and philanthropist, Dale Earnhardt Jr . was named the recipient of the 2014 NMPA Myers Brothers Award, a prestigious accolade recognizing those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. "This doesn't even seem real," said an emotional Earnhardt after receiving the honor at the 2014 NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon held at Wynn Las Vegas. "The truth is obviously I’m extremely humbled by this award, but I feel like I share it on so many levels - my sister Kelley (Earnhardt Miller) along with everyone at JR Motorsports is as deserving of this as anyone. I have a lot of passions with NASCAR, but I wouldn't be able to know how to make them realities without all those folks." An accomplished driver, evidenced by his 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories and two NASCAR Nationwide Series championships, Earnhardt was cited just as much for his achievements outside his No. 88 Chevrolet, namely as the owner of JR Motorsports and a tireless community benefactor. This season, JR Motorsports driver Chase Elliott became the youngest competitor to win a NASCAR national series championship after clinching the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series title. The 18-year-old will likely join Brad Keselowski , Aric Almirola , Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt as Sprint Cup regulars who have developed under Earnhardt full time at the Nationwide level. In addition to his Nationwide Series program, Earnhardt contributes to racing at its grassroots levels, fielding Late Model or Street Stock cars since founding JR Motorsports. His Late Model drivers Josh Berry and William Byron finished first and second, respectively, this season in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Hickory Motor Speedway. Earnhardt's work extends off the track into the community. He has made 235 appearances on behalf of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a number that ranks in the top five among professional athletes. Furthermore, his Dale Jr. Foundation raised $913,000 to be distributed to more than 70 different charities. "I'm just as proud of what we've accomplished there as anything we've ever done on the race track," Earnhardt said about his foundation. The NMPA Myers Brothers Award has been presented annually since 1958 in the names of pioneer NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers and its winner is chosen by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association. Past recipients are a virtual who's-who of the industry – drivers, owners, track operators, sponsors and members of the media – and include nearly every current member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Seventeen other awards were given out at the luncheon, spanning from achievements in marketing, performance on the track and exemplary work in the garage. 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick garnered seven honors, including the 3M Lap Leader Award and Mobil 1 Driver of the Year. "This is really the first time I've gotten to stand up here and actually realize what we've accomplished," Harvick said. "Thank you to everyone who has participated in making our sport what it is." Here is the complete list of Thursday’s award winners from the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: • NMPA Myers Brothers Award: Dale Earnhardt Jr . • Buddy Shuman Award: Bill Joyner, Sunoco’s Manager of Automotive Events • NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Toyota • 3M Lap Leader Award: Kevin Harvick • American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Kevin Harvick • Coors Light Pole Award: Brad Keselowski • Duralast Brakes “Brake in the Race” Award: Kevin Harvick • Freescale “Wide Open” Award: Kevin Harvick • Goodyear Tires Award: Kevin Harvick • MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award: Billy Davis, Hendrick Engines No. 4 team • Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 team • Mobil 1 Driver of the Year Award: Kevin Harvick • MOOG Steering & Suspension Problem Solver of the Year Award: Luke Lambert, crew chief No. 31 Richard Childress Racing team • Sherwin-Williams Fastest Lap Award: Matt Kenseth • Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Kevin Harvick • Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award: Kyle Larson • Champion Sponsor Award: Budweiser • Champion Crew Chief: Rodney Childers Champion’s Week will conclude tomorrow with the following events (all times local PT unless noted): Friday, Dec. 5 • Pit Pass Check-In: Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 3, fans can pick up a Pit Pass at NASCAR fan headquarters, Champion’s Week Live at The LINQ Promenade, and start checking in at various locations around the city where NASCAR partners will feature displays, including show cars. Running from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day, check-in locations include Tropicana (Ford), Treasure Island (Daytona International Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway ), Paris Las Vegas (Las Vegas Motor Speedway), Caesars Palace (Chevrolet), Lagasse Stadium at The Palazzo (Toyota), and Excalibur (Mechanix Wear). • 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: This black-tie celebration will be held at Wynn Las Vegas, where the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion driver and owner and the other Chase drivers will be honored. The drivers and stars will walk the Red Carpet from 4 – 5 p.m. and NASCAR.com will live stream the arrivals from 4:30 – 5 p.m. FOX Sports 1 will air the show live beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will begin coverage at 8 p.m. ET. • Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Reveal: The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award will be given to one dedicated NASCAR fan who has made a profound impact on children in his or her community. The NASCAR Foundation will announce the national award winner during this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. Fans can cast their vote for the 2014 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award winner by visiting www.NASCAR.com/Award before 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 4. For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, visit www.NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek . MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Dale Earnhardt Jr. accepts the 2014 NMPA Myers Brothers Award.
Honored as a driver and owner, supporting racing from local to national series
Show to feature interviews with Dale Jr., Edwards, Harvick, Johnson and more
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After career year, Las Vegas experience will be different for 'Happy' RELATED: Full schedule for Champion's Week The speech Kevin Harvick gave at the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards captured the veteran driver at a career crossroads, leaving Richard Childress Racing for his new digs at Stewart-Haas Racing . Though he wrapped up a lame-duck final season, Harvick called his third-place result "anything but lame." One year later and with a new life chapter in the books, things keep getting less and less lame. Harvick will be the toast of Las Vegas this year at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week, a season-ending celebration culminating with Friday night's banquet at the Wynn Las Vegas. He'll be afforded the luxuries befitting a champion, sitting at the head table and getting more than the customary few minutes to address the NASCAR community. Harvick raced to his first championship in NASCAR's premier series with a victory last month in the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway , topping the new-look Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs with a winner-take-all moment at the checkered flag. For Champion's Week, he'll accordingly be first in line for a full schedule of fan-friendly events. Tuesday, Harvick will be the featured guest on a special interactive broadcast of "NASCAR Live" with the Motor Racing Network's Eli Gold at the Wynn. The event is free and fans are invited to participate in the program. A free fanfest presented by nearby Las Vegas Motor Speedway kicks off the Wednesday festivities, giving fans a chance to get up close with all 16 Chase qualifiers from last season. Three events -- all streamed live on NASCAR.com -- fill up a huge Thursday slate. The day opens with the National Motorsports Press Association Myers Brothers Awards luncheon (2 p.m. ET). The quote-unquote dessert will be the NASCAR Victory Lap (6:30 p.m. ET) with this year's Chase drivers thundering down Las Vegas Boulevard, performing burnouts in the heart of Sin City. Thursday evening, the Chase drivers sit down in the sold-out After the Lap (8 p.m. ET), an off-the-cuff, unfiltered forum made famous by Jeff Gordon 's impromptu breakdancing routine in 2011. The event -- sponsored by Ford, Coca-Cola and Sprint -- will feature a performance by country recording artist Cassadee Pope. The NASCAR industry gussies up for one last send-off to the 2014 season in Friday night's black-tie awards event (9 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1), hosted by comedian Jay Mohr. This year's top performances will be honored and musical interludes by Lady Antebellum, Aloe Blacc, and Lennon and Maisy Stella will highlight the evening. For Harvick, sitting up on stage with his team and family at the head table will be anything but lame. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Four-time champion explains late stop in season finale LAS VEGAS-- Jeff Gordon appeared to have a race-winning car in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway , but a decision to pit for four tires late in the race dropped him far back in the running order and relegated the driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to a 10th-place finish. In tying up that loose end from Homestead, Gordon explained that his decision was dictated by a choice made earlier in the race. "I think the question really needs to be about, before that, why we didn't pit," Gordon told the NASCAR Wire Service after the Myers Brothers Luncheon. "You take all the information you have from past history of long green-flag runs to the end of the race, track position, who's coming, who's not… "We dominated that race, had a car that I think could have and should have won that race. But we all came in and got four tires, they throw the green, and caution comes out in three or four laps. We stay out, and I think we went one more round of green-flag run, four or five laps, and caution comes out again. "At that point, that's where the race changed for us and really took us out of contention, because we decided to stay out, and all those other guys decided to come in, and there were just too many cautions at the end." Gordon scoffed at the suggestion that he might not have wanted to restart up front on old tires at the end of the race, with the potential to effect the outcome of the championship battle. "Heck, no, that had nothing to do with it," Gordon said. "It was all about winning the race, and knowing that those guys behind us had fresh tires, because they elected to pit—and that place eats tires up… "What's really interesting is, when you look at (Sprint Cup champion) Kevin Harvick 's position, he came down pit road and took four (tires) where some other guys took two, and he saw his championship chances completely go out the window. If you listened to his radio communication, it was 'We're done, we’re done.' "But enough cautions fell after that to bring them back into it, and he did a great job, obviously, moving up through there. And that exact same thing that helped win him the championship is what cost us the win for that race." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Larson accepts the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award at the Myers Brothers Awards Banquet in Las Vegas.
Sunoco Race Fuel Representative Bill Joyner accepts the Buddy Shuman Award at the Myers Brothers Awards Banquet.
Rodney Childers accepts the Champion Crew Chief Award at the Myers Brothers Awards Banquet in Las Vegas.