NASCAR Introduces Regular Season Championship Hardware for First Time in 2018
Kyle Busch and Johnny Sauter have each earned trophies in their respective leagues with the Xfinity Series regular season title still undecided.
NASCAR has begun the tradition this year of awarding trophies to the overall points leaders at the end of the regular season in each of its three national series—Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck. Two of those trophies already have been claimed by Kyle Busch in the Cup Series and Johnny Sauter in the Camping World Truck Series.
The trophies are made by Jostens and composed of steel and aluminum, standing two feet tall and weighing approximately 35 pounds. Each trophy features spires, with each one representing a regular season race with the name of the track hosting the respective event engraved on it.
Busch captured his regular season championship on Sept. 10 after the Big Machine Vodka 400 at The Brickyard, the 26th and final race of the 2018 Cup Series regular season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Cup Series playoffs start this Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the running of the South Point Hotel & Casino 400.
“It feels really good. They give away a trophy, and we were able to go out and get it,” Busch said in Indianapolis. "Pretty cool to have our opportunity that we had because of M&Ms and Toyota and Skittles and Interstate Batteries, and Snickers, Pedigree, and Joe Gibbs Racing. Everybody on this team, they work so hard all year long, and to get us to where we’re at here today; it was certainly hard-fought, especially today."
Sauter received his trophy two races ago at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee on Aug. 16. Friday night’s race at LVMS will be the second playoff race for the Truck Series.
“I’m so proud of this team,” Sauter said after winning the Truck Series regular season title and the race at Bristol.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series remains the only undecided level in terms of its regular season champion. This weekend's DC Solar 300 in Las Vegas marks the final contest for those in search of the new trophy. Justin Allgaier is likely to become the champ on Saturday, but he’s not a lock yet as Cole Custer still has a slim mathematical chance at the title.