Mike Duncan Crowned 2004 Champion in NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Dec. 11, 2004) - Mike Duncan was presented with the championship trophy and post-season awards representing more than $130,000 during a special awards ceremony for the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series at The Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday.

The ceremony featured remarks by NASCAR President Mike Helton and culminated with Duncan being crowned as the 2004 champion. The prestigious NASCAR championship ring was presented by NASCAR Vice President, Corporate Communications Jim Hunter.

Duncan is a former minor league baseball player from Bakersfield, Calif. - who transitioned to stock car racing after cutting short his career on the diamond. After coming within 14 points of the series championship in 2003 - he returned to clinch this year's title by 16 points in another hotly contested battle that was not decided until the checkered flag fell in the final race.

The end-of-season awards pushed his team winnings for this year to $220,592. In addition to a $60,000 bonus, he will also receive $37,000 in team winnings from the NASCAR point fund. Duncan, who dominated qualifying this season, took home the Bud Pole Award. The 42-year-old driver also received a special trophy and $3,000 from Goodyear.

In addition to the trophy for the driver's championship, Duncan was presented with the Champion Owner trophy. The Champion Sponsor Award was presented to the Special Events Manager for Lucas Oil, Greg Scheidecker, and the Champion Crew Chief Award went to Bill Sedgwick.

In addition to receiving accolades for his runner-up finish in the championship standings - Austin Cameron of El Cajon, Calif., received the Most Popular Driver Award for the second consecutive year. Meanwhile, David Gilliland of Riverside, Calif., took home the Auto Meter Rookie of the Year Award and third-place honors overall.

Series veteran Scott Gaylord of Lakewood, Colo., garnered two special year-end awards. In addition to winning the POWERade award, he received the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award.

The Driver Improvement Award went to Tim Woods III of Chino Hills, Calif. Canadian drivers - Carl Harr and his son, Daryl - shared honors as both were presented with the Sportsmanship Award for 2004.

This year's awards ceremony featured the voice of NASCAR on Fox, Mike Joy, as master of ceremonies.