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      William Byron officially accepts Rookie of the Year Award


      © Phil Cavali Photography

      William Byron received the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in Las Vegas on Wednesday night at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers 2018 Awards.

      Byron became just the second driver to win rookie honors in the Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series.

      “From driving the No. 24 flames car at Daytona, to racing at my hometown in May, it was surreal,” Byron said. “You go from running at the quarter-mile track at Charlotte four years ago to racing in front of tens of thousands of people. … Six years ago, it would have been crazy to imagine that I would be racing side-by-side with idols of mine. The first race of the year, lining up against Jimmie Johnson in the Duel: the lights, the colors, it was a lot brighter than in an Xfinity car. Then, it was time to lock in, and race.

      “As I look towards next year, I’m excited and ready to get going,” he said. “No more rookie meetings, and that’s a freedom I haven’t had in my short NASCAR career thus far. With that being said, I’m ready take those rookie stripes off.”

      Other awards handed out on Wednesday:
      Champion Buddy Shuman Award: Grant Lynch, Talladega Superspeedway Chairman
      Busch Pole Award: Kurt Busch, No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
      NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: ExxonMobil’s Mobil 1 brand
      Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year: No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew
      MOOG Go the Extra Mile Crew Chief of the Year Award: Adam Stevens, No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
      MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award: Doug Yates, Roush Yates Engines for performance of No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
      Mobil 1 Performance Award: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
      American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
      Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Joey Logano, No. 22 Team Penske Ford
      Goodyear NASCAR Series Champion Award: Joey Logano, No. 22 Team Penske Ford
      Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Sponsor Award: Shell-Pennzoil
      Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Crew Crew Award: Todd Gordon, No. 22 Team Penske Ford
      NMPA Myers Brothers Award: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France