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2023 NASCAR Champion’s Week in pictures

The event, for the longest time held in New York City and then Las Vegas, has taken place in the ‘Music City’ since 2019.

Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang, Ben Rhodes, ThorSport Racing, Ford F-150

Photo by: Lesley Ann Miller / Motorsport Images

Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang, Ben Rhodes, ThorSport Racing, Ford F-150

All three champions from the national divisions were honored in Nashville. While Ryan Blaney earned his maiden Cup title for Team Penske, Cole Custer captured his first Xfinity Series title with Stewart-Haas Racing, and Ben Rhodes became a two-time champion of the NASCAR Truck Series with ThorSport Racing.

Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang, Ben Rhodes, ThorSport Racing, Ford F-150

Photo by: Lesley Ann Miller / Motorsport Images

Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang, Ben Rhodes, ThorSport Racing, Ford F-150

Each champion drove their championship-winning machine down Broadway as part of a parade with many fans in attendance. It was a Ford sweep in 2023, an accomplishment not seen since Chevrolet did it over two decades ago during the 2001 season.

Custer’s NASCAR Xfinity Series championship story is one of redemption. He was demoted by SHR after three years at the Cup level, and he made the most of it. He was the NXS runner-up in both 2018 and 2019, but an older and wiser Custer got the job done this year with a three-wide pass on a late-race restart at Phoenix.

Ben Rhodes, ThorSport Racing, Kubota Ford F-150

Photo by: Lesley Ann Miller / Motorsport Images

Ben Rhodes, ThorSport Racing, Kubota Ford F-150

Rhodes survived the carnage in the Truck Series title-decider, but not completely unscathed. After two of his title rivals eliminated each other, he suffered nose damage on a restart melee but still hung on against a hard-charging Grant Enfinger to earn his second championship in the last three years.

Toyota Drivers, Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, Columbia Sportswear Company X-wing Toyota Camry, Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Toyota TIE Fighter Toyota CamryChristopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Rheem - DEWALT Toyota Camry, Martin Truex Jr, Joe Gibbs Racing, Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry

Photo by: Lesley Ann Miller / Motorsport Images

Toyota Drivers, Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, Columbia Sportswear Company X-wing Toyota Camry, Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Toyota TIE Fighter Toyota CamryChristopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Rheem – DEWALT Toyota Camry, Martin Truex Jr, Joe Gibbs Racing, Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry

Of course, the champions weren’t the only ones taking part in the festivities. Each manufacturer had their own vehicle with all 16 Cup Series playoff drivers present. You see the Toyota group pictured above. They ended the year with one driver [Christopher Bell] in the Championship 4, who finished fourth in the standings after exiting the finale early with a mechanical failure.

Chevrolet drivers, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, JTG Daugherty Racing, Fry's/Cheez-It Chevrolet Camaro, Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing, Worldwide Express Chevrolet CamaroWilliam Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Axalta Chevrolet Camaro, Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Lesley Ann Miller / Motorsport Images

Chevrolet drivers, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, JTG Daugherty Racing, Fry’s/Cheez-It Chevrolet Camaro, Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing, Worldwide Express Chevrolet CamaroWilliam Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Axalta Chevrolet Camaro, Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro

Pictured above are the Chevrolet drivers. There was no dramatic wall-ride for Ross Chastain this time around, but he did manage to make a bit of history again as the first driver in the Championship 4 era to win the final race without actually making the final four. Kyle Larson was the highest-placing Chevrolet driver in the standings, unable to hold off Blaney on a late-race restart and coming home as the championship runner-up.

Ford drivers, Joey Logano, Team Penske, Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang, Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports, Love's / Delo Ford Mustang, Chris Buescher, RFK Racing, Fastenal Ford MustangKevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch Light Harvick Ford Mustang, Brad Keselowski, RFK Racing, Castrol Edge Ford Mustang

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Ford drivers, Joey Logano, Team Penske, Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang, Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports, Love’s / Delo Ford Mustang, Chris Buescher, RFK Racing, Fastenal Ford MustangKevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch Light Harvick Ford Mustang, Brad Keselowski, RFK Racing, Castrol Edge Ford Mustang

And here are the Ford drivers. It was a great year for RFK Racing, who went from failing to make the playoffs at all in 2022 to putting both drivers inside the top-ten this year. Chris Buescher led the effort, winning three races for the team. Blaney was of course the best of the Ford bunch in the final standings, and was their only representative in the Championship 4.

Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang Crew

Photo by: Rusty Jarrett / NKP / Motorsport Images

Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang Crew

The championship-winning No. 12 team got their moment of recognition as well, led by crew chief Jonathan Hassler. 2023 was Hassler’s second as Blaney’s crew chief, the duo winning three races together including the Coke 600.

Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang

Blaney interacts with some fans. 2023 was Blaney’s seventh consecutive year in the playoffs but his first appearance in the Championship 4. He has ended every season inside the top-ten in the final standings since 2017.

Nascar House, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang, Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Haas Automation Ford Mustang, Ben Rhodes, ThorSport Racing, Kubota Ford F-150

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Nascar House, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang, Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Haas Automation Ford Mustang, Ben Rhodes, ThorSport Racing, Kubota Ford F-150

At the ‘NASCAR House’ on Broadway with the three champs answering questions.

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx Toyota Camry

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx Toyota Camry

Before the awards ceremony, all drivers were made available to the media. Denny Hamlin arrived with his arm in a sling, still recovering from a planned shoulder surgery and casting some doubt over his participation in the February’s exhibition race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Axalta Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Axalta Chevrolet Camaro

Onto the red carpet, pictured above is William Byron and his girlfriend, Erin Blaney. While Byron led the Cup field with six victories in 2023, he ended the year third in the championship standings. But Erin can’t be too disappointed, as her brother Ryan captured the Bill France Cup. 

Joey Logano, Team Penske, Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Joey Logano, Team Penske, Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang

The recently dethroned Joey Logano and his wife Brittany. Logano was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs this year after winning the 2022 title, but Team Penske remains undefeated in the Next Gen era.

Roger Penske

Photo by: Rusty Jarrett / NKP / Motorsport Images

Roger Penske

The awards ceremony finally kicked off on Thursday evening following hours of media interviews and fan engagements. 

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro

For the sixth consecutive year, Chase Elliott was again voted NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver. Justin Allgaier won the award in the Xfinity Series while it was Hailie Deegan in the Truck Series.

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch Light Harvick Ford Mustang

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch Light Harvick Ford Mustang

Kevin Harvick ends his final season as a NASCAR Cup Series driver 13th in points and just missing out on victory in multiple races. He ends his Hall of Fame-worthy career with 826 starts, 60 wins, 251 top-fives, 444 top-tens, 31 poles, and the 2014 Cup title.

Kurt Busch

Photo by: Rusty Jarrett / NKP / Motorsport Images

Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch was also honored at the end-of-the-year banquet. After being sidelined by a concussion during the 2022 season, he had hoped to return to the race seat but was never able to. He officially announced his retirement in an emotional press conference earlier this year, ending his own career with 776 starts, 34 wins, 161 top-fives, 339 top-tens, 28 poles, and the 2004 Cup title.

Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing, Monster Energy Toyota Camry, Sunoco Rookie of the Year

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing, Monster Energy Toyota Camry, Sunoco Rookie of the Year

Ty Gibbs was named the NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year for the 2023 season. After winning the Xfinity title last year, he moved up to the Cup Series with Joe Gibbs Racing. He ended the year 18th in points, scoring four top-fives and ten top-tens. His only competition was Noah Gragson, who did not complete the season after being suspended by NASCAR and parting ways with Legacy Motor Club.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr, JTG Daugherty Racing, Fry's/Cheez-It Chevrolet Camaro, Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports, Love's / Delo Ford Mustang

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Ricky Stenhouse Jr, JTG Daugherty Racing, Fry’s/Cheez-It Chevrolet Camaro, Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports, Love’s / Delo Ford Mustang

The 2023 season ended with Blaney hoisting the Bill France Cup, but it started with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hoisting the Harley J. Earl trophy. Stenhouse won the season-opening Daytona 500, snapping a six-year winless streak and earning JTG Daugherty Racing its first victory in nearly nine years.

Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang car owner Roger Penske.

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang car owner Roger Penske.

The 2023 NASCAR Cup title was Roger Penske’s fourth as a team owner, winning twice before with Logano in 2018 and 2022, as well as Brad Keselowski in 2012. It was the 44th title overall for Penske across the motorsports world.

Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang

Photo by: Rusty Jarrett / NKP / Motorsport Images

Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang

The man of the hour. Blaney took to the stage for his championship speech, ending it with the traditional Team Penske toast: “To us and those like us … cheers.”


The event can be seen by all at 7 p.m. ET Sunday, Dec. 3, streamed on Peacock. More photos from Champion’s Week and the awards ceremony can be found HERE.

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