Joe Gibbs was honored with the Bill France Award of Excellence, capping a year in which he was elected to NASCAR’s Hall of Fame, won his fifth Cup championship as a car owner and thoroughly dominated the competition.
Gibbs was surprised with the honor, given at the start of Thursday night’s season-ending awards ceremony.
“Our family, we just appreciate everything about this sport,” Gibbs said. “We were worried about coming into NASCAR, and we were welcomed in. It’s a thrill for us.”
The award named for NASCAR’s late founder is not given every year. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the last recipient in 2017 and it was not awarded last year. There have been only 26 winners since the award began in 1965. Gibbs received the award from Ben Kennedy, the great-grandson of its namesake.
— Associated Press —