Matt Crafton placed an eloquent, emotional postscript on his 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers' championship at the 19th annual series' awards ceremony at the Loew's Miami Beach (Fla.) Hotel.
Friday afternoon and evening Crafton and his wife Ashley will be NASCAR's guest at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series awards celebration at the Wynn Las Vegas, beginning with the red carpet procession at 4:17 p.m. PT, to a France family reception and finishing with the championship gala honoring 2013 Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, like Crafton a California native.
The Sprint Cup celebration will be shown on FOX Sports 2 at 9 p.m. ET Friday, with a replay on Sunday at 12 p.m. on FOX Sports 1. MRN.com will have a live audio stream of the ceremony beginning at 8 p.m. Friday.
"This is pretty neat and we appreciate NASCAR including us as a representative of the Camping World Truck Series," said Crafton, who traveled to Las Vegas from a holiday break running his custom sand rail in the dunes of Glamis, Calif.
"This coming year is going to be interesting, with all the events we'll have a chance to participate in as the champion of our series, and it's just another reason to appreciate all that (ThorSport Racing team owners) Duke and Rhonda Thorson enable us to do."
Crafton's participation at the Sprint Cup awards celebration is an apt kickoff to the coming holiday season. As he closed his remarks at the recent Truck Series championship celebration of his No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra team, Crafton shed tears -- and prompted many in the full Americana Ballroom to do the same -- when he said words to the effect, "who would believe a 37-year-old man could celebrate this championship with a trophy as perfect as the daughter, Elladee, that Ashley and I have?"
With ThorSport's company Christmas and holiday party and a special public open house at the ThorSport Racing shop from 4-7 p.m. ET on Monday, Dec. 16, Crafton and his family will have plenty of reasons to celebrate as the month moves ahead.