ERIC HOLMES CROWNED 2006 CHAMPION IN NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, AUTOZONE WEST SERIES
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Dec. 9, 2006) -- Eric Holmes was presented with the championship trophy and post-season awards representing more than $135,000 during a special awards ceremony for the NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series at The Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday.
The championship celebration culminated with Holmes being presented with the prestigious NASCAR championship ring by NASCAR's Managing Director of Racing Operations, George Silbermann.
Holmes of Escalon, Calif., is a second-generation driver who grew up watching his father race at nearby Stockton 99 Speedway. He clinched this year's title in his first full season of competition in the AutoZone West Series.
The end-of-season awards pushed his team winnings for this year to $210,996. In addition to a $60,000 bonus, he will receive more than $37,000 in team winnings from the NASCAR point fund. Holmes garnered the Budweiser Pole Award for 2006, along with a check for $5,478. He was also presented with a special trophy and $3,000 from Goodyear.
Other championship awards included the presentation of the Champion Owner trophy to Allen Beebe and the Champion Sponsor trophy to Mark Paul of Paul Oil Company. The Champion Crew Chief Award went to Ty Joiner.
In addition to the championship hardware, there were several other honors presented during the ceremony. Austin Cameron of El Cajon, Calif., received the Most Popular Driver Award for the third time in the four years. Meanwhile, Peyton Sellers of Danville, Va., took home the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award and fifth-place honors overall.
Another series rookie, Brian Ickler of San Diego, received the Driver Achievement Award. The Sportsmanship Award for 2006 went to Modesto, Calif., driver Mike David, who finished second in the championship standings.
Johnny Borneman of Ramona, Calif., received $7,826 to go with the POWERade Award -- while the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award and $6,261 went to Jim Inglebright of Fairfield, Calif.
This year's awards ceremony featured SPEED television commentator and former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Phil Parsons as master of ceremonies.