SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Greg Biffle, accepting his 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship awards Thursday, became the circuit's first driver to win $1 million in a single season. The 30-year-old driver of the Roush Racing's Grainger Ford, winner of five races during the 2000 season, won $1,002,510 in combined race and post-season awards. He broke the five-year-old series' money winning mark of $915,407 set in 1998 by Ron Hornaday. The Vancouver, Wash native's career winnings reached $2,127,530 making Biffle just the fourth series driver to win $2 million or more. Biffle also was named the year's Most Popular Driver in ceremonies held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort, attended by more than 500 persons. The evening marked a clean sweep by the Detroit-based truck teams owned by Jack Roush. Biffle's driving partner, Kurt Busch, accepted the tour's rookie-of-the-year and second-place point awards. Busch's season winnings of $745,632 ranked first all-time among freshman drivers and fifth among all season money winners. Biffle's championship is the first in NASCAR for Roush who'll continue to field cars for the pair in 2001. Busch is moving to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series while Biffle will compete in the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division. "I have to say, Grainger, Roush Racing and Greg Biffle have become a pretty good combination," said Biffle. "The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has given me the personal recognition and the opportunity to become a NASCAR Busch Series driver. The series wouldn't be what it is today without the support of Craftsman. "They've helped introduce truck racing and drivers like me to America." Biffle also acknowledged NASCAR's role in the series reaching "the level of professionalism it had this year." Roush was feted as the owner of the championship team, as was Randy Goss, Biffle's crew chief during the three seasons in which he competed on the series. The team's winnings included the $10,000 Clevite Engine Builders Award to Jerry Carcone, $10,000 Featherlite Long Haul Award, $10,000 Ford Motor Company Award, $12,500 Gatorade Front Runner Award, $10,000 Goodyear Tire Award, $10,000 Tosco 76 Award and $10,000 Ventvisor Super Deflector Award. The top-20 drivers in the 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series split nearly $1.6 million in post- season awards, making the past season the richest ever. More than 100 drivers competed for nearly $11.6 million in total posted awards in the season's sixth year. The night's speakers included Craftsman Brand Manager Henry Ferris who noted that the company has been involved with the series since its first event. "I think we are all amazed at how our series has grown, changed and matured since 1995," he observed. "But we are also sure that the same growth curve will continue. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is literally racing into the future and, at Craftsman, we're glad to be along for the ride." NASCAR Director of Operations Kevin Triplett, speaking for the sanctioning body, called the season a "year of growth and transition, a year of building tradition and, at the same time, a year of new beginnings. This year began with a lot of uncertainty. What would or wouldn't the Y2K bug do?" said Triplett. "What kind of racing at Daytona, Kentucky, Dover and Chicago do? And what kind of challenges would be created. "Well, like the Y2K bug, we believe those questions have been answered. We believe the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has been declared Y2K OK." The 2001 season is due to begin on Feb. 16 at Daytona International Speedway. Final 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series money winnings" : 1. Greg Biffle $1,002,510; 2. Kurt Busch $745,632; 3. Andy Houston $614,539; 4. Mike Wallace $624,505; 5. Jack Sprague $567,536; 6. Joe Ruttman $578,086; 7. Dennis Setzer $431,711; 8. Randy Tolsma $447,892; 9. Bryan Reffner $375,542; 10. Steve Grissom $310,529; 11. Rick Crawford $311,316; 12. Marty Houston $305,529; 13. Jimmy Hensley $317,936; 14. Terry Cook $291,883; 15. Rick Carelli $299,201; 16. Lance Norick $259,848; 17. Carlos $243,755; 18. Rob Morgan $256,573; 19. Randy MacDonald $254,155; 20. Scott Riggs $192,012.
* Reflects team winnings