CHAMPIONS CELEBRATE CROWNING ACHIEVEMENTS
Seven Touring Titlists Close Out 2015 In Spotlight
young, rising stars received their first NASCAR
championships, and four veteran drivers added to
their already impressive resumes.
On a night where the remarkable achievements of 2015
were recognized, it was seven drivers who stood on
stage at the Charlotte Convention Center Saturday at
the conclusion of the NASCAR Touring Series Night of
Champions who accomplished the sport's ultimate
“After my first championship in 2012, nine-time
NASCAR champion Mike Stefanik shook my hand and said
to me, ‘You know they don’t just hand these things
out to anyone,’ and that’s something that has stuck
with me every time I have been here,” said Doug
Coby, who celebrated his third NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour title Saturday.
The evening was a coronation for Coby and six fellow
2015 NASCAR touring series champions:
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion Ander Vilariño,
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1
champion Scott Steckly, NASCAR Mexico Series
champion Rubén García Jr., NASCAR Whelen Southern
Modified Tour champion Andy Seuss, NASCAR K&N Pro
Series West champion Chris Eggleston and NASCAR K&N
Pro Series East champion William Byron.
For 26-year-old Eggleston and 17-year-old Byron,
their NASCAR K&N Pro Series trophies were the
results of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities in their
young careers that they transformed through skill
and determination into a championship run.
Eggleston’s first full season with Bill McAnally
Racing produced the sixth NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
title for the venerable car owner. Byron joined the
likes of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Joey
Logano and Kyle Larson in simultaneously earning the
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East crown and Sunoco Rookie
of the Year honors.
García completed a four-year run that took him from
NASCAR Mexico Series rookie of the year in 2012 to
the series champion, as he clinched the title in the
season finale just one day after his 20th birthday.
García and Byron are members of the NASCAR Next
program – an industry initiative designed to
spotlight the sport’s best young talent.
As Eggleston, Byron and García received their
championship rings from NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike
Helton, the other four have made a steady habit of
collecting hardware. Combined, they’ve won 12 titles
Coby continued his amazing career resurgence. The
36-year-old from Milford, Connecticut, has raced on
the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for all or part of
14 seasons. In the last four, though, he’s earned
three championships and one runner-up finish.
Steckly, 42, from Milverton, Ontario, hasn’t
finished worse than fourth in the championship
standings over the last nine years. He led an
astonishing 1,090 laps over 11 races – winning three
times – en route to the Canadian national title.
A year after watching Anthony Kumpen grab the NASCAR
Whelen Euro Series crown, Vilariño wrestled it back
for his third championship in the series’ four-year
history under the NASCAR banner. The 36-year-old
from San Sebastian, Spain, added three more
victories to his series record win total.
“The third time here…am I dreaming right now?,”
Vilarino pondered in his acceptance speech. “Losing
the 2014 championship by just one point was hard to
accept, and that puts this 2015 championship as the
best of the three I’ve won.”
Seuss, a 28-year-old Hampstead, New Hampshire,
native became just the third driver in NASCAR Whelen
Southern Modified Tour history to win back-to-back
championships. Seuss has finished in the top five in
points in each of the last eight seasons and is
second only to four-time tour titlist George
Brunnhoelzl III in career wins.
The championship car owners and crew chiefs were
also recognized Saturday night.
Those weren’t the only trophies handed out, though.
In addition to the championship awards, each series
rookie of the year was honored. The Sunoco Rookie of
the Year Award winners were Byron, Noah Gragson in
the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Chase Dowling in the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Trey Hutchens III in
the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Top rookie
performers in the three international series were
Gary Klutt in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series,
Manuel Gutierrez in the NASCAR Mexico Series and
Alon Day in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
The Most Popular Driver Awards for each series were
also presented during the ceremony. The seven
drivers honored with the award, which was voted on
by the fans through NASCAR.com, were Rico Abreu in
the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Nicole Behar of the
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Jason Hathaway in the
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Rodrigo Marban of the
NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series, Alon Day from the
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Melissa Fifield from the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Hutchens from the
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
The top-10 drivers and car owners from each of
NASCAR's touring series also were recognized during
The awards ceremony was streamed live online at
NASCARHomeTracks.com – the official online
home of NASCAR’s touring series – in English, French
Jason Christley /
December 12, 2015