Champions Week is in full swing. All five of NASCAR’s touring series title winners, along with the champion of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, have made their way to the center of the NASCAR world for a full week of activities leading up to the NASCAR Touring Series Awards Gala and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet.
NASCAR champions Jason Bowles (Camping World Series West), George Brunnhoelzl III (Whelen Southern Modified Tour), Donny Lia (Whelen Modified Tour), Philip Morris (Whelen All-American Series), Andrew Ranger (Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1) and Ryan Truex (Camping World Series East) are on hand to celebrate their achievements over the course of the 2009 season.
After taking part in several media interviews in the morning hours including an appearance by Morris and Truex on the FOX News Rising program from the studios of WCCB in Charlotte, the six champions geared up for the highlight of the day – the Second Annual NASCAR Toyota Champions/Media Go-Kart Showdown presented by Sirius XM Radio.
Held at Victory Lane Karting, an indoor karting facility located in Charlotte housing a challenging .333-mile track, Truex made the Camping World Series East proud by taking the checkered flag.
“It was a lot of fun out there,” said Truex. “There were really a lot of talented drivers out there. It’s a great track and an honor to win. I’d really like to thank NASCAR for having us all here. They really make you feel like a champion.”
Jay Pennell from allleftturns.com turned in a solid performance from the media portion of the field with a runner-up finish. Jason Bowles took the final podium spot in third.
Ranger and Brunnhoelzl rounded out the top five. Morris, who competed in the first event in Anaheim, Calif., finished ninth, and Lia spun while battling for a top five spot on the final lap and finished 12th.
“That was really a lot of fun,” Bowles said. “To get an opportunity to race against that caliber of competition just for fun was pretty amazing.”
The Sirius NASCAR Radio show “Tradin’ Paint” with hosts Rick Benjamin and Chocolate Myers was on hand and broadcasted live from the event.
Following the karting challenge, the champions resumed their media tour with appearances at Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Performance Racing Network (PRN).
The six NASCAR title winners then made their way to the still under-construction NASCAR Hall of Fame for a special photo shoot commemorating their championship seasons. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is slated to open in May 2010.
The day’s activities will conclude Tuesday evening with a VIP dinner at the Sam Bass Gallery in Concord that features the work of NASCAR’s first officially licensed artist.
The rest of the week’s activities are scheduled to include the Jim Hunter Golf Invitational on Wednesday, along with the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series State Champions Dinner on Thursday and the Driver Briefings Friday morning.
The week culminates with the two award ceremonies. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet will take place Friday evening at the Concord Convention Center with track and state champions to be honored along with Morris, the national champion. The NASCAR Touring Series Awards Gala, which will honor the championship seasons of Bowles, Brunnhoelzl, Lia, Ranger and Truex, will be held at the same venue on Saturday evening. Both banquets will be streamed live online at www.nascarhometracks.com.