CHARLOTTE, NC – Past, present and future were celebrated at the NASCAR Hall of Fame as the six champions from NASCAR's developmental series were honored in the Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala.
The festivities featured the champions and top drivers from all of NASCAR's North American regional touring series, who gathered for the special year-end celebration.
The 2011 champions included Griffin, Georgia's Max Gresham (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East), Greg Pursley (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West), Scott Steckly (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series), Germán Quiroga (NASCAR Mexico Series), Ron Silk (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) and George Brunnhoelzl III (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour).
"These six series represent the future of our sport," said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. "There is some remarkable talent on hand tonight that provided close, exciting competition all season long."
Gresham, of Griffin, Ga., earned the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship in just his second full season of competition.
Pursley of Newhall, Calif., captured his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West title in dominating fashion with six victories in the season's first eight races.
Steckly of Milverton, Ontario, Canada, picked up his second NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship after winning his first in 2008.
Quiroga of Mexico City, Mexico, picked up his third consecutive NASCAR Mexico Series championship and is the only driver in series history with multiple titles.
Silk of Norwalk, Conn., won his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title in a thrilling points battle that went down to the closing laps of the season.
Brunnhoelzl of West Babylon, N.Y., collected his second NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship following up his 2009 title.
Enrique Contreras III (NASCAR Mexico Series) and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series collected Rookie of the Year honors while Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards were presented to Austin Pack (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour), Patrick Emerling (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), Alex Bowman (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East) and Dylan Kwasniewski (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West).
Additionally, the Most Popular Driver Awards for each series were also presented during the ceremony. The six drivers honored with the prestigious award – voted on by fans online at NASCAR.com – were Justin Bonsignore in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Jason Myers of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, Jorge Arteaga in the NASCAR Mexico Series, Jason White in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Moses Smith of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and Dawsonville, Georgia's Chase Elliott from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
The top 10 drivers and car owners from each of NASCAR's developmental series also were recognized during the gala event – which featured Mike Joy and Dr. Dick Berggren of NASCAR on FOX and SPEED as co-hosts.
Special award and year-end contingency award winners were honored Saturday morning at the Grand Champions Breakfast.
The awards celebration capped a week of festivities in the Charlotte area aimed at providing the top drivers and track operators in NASCAR's weekly and touring series an up close and personal look at the hub of stock-car racing. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet on Friday honored champions from across North America in the series that is NASCAR's grassroots foundation.