The NASCAR Awards Banquet has a new home. On Wednesday, NASCAR announced that the annual banquet will move from Las Vegas to Nashville, Tennessee.
Nashville will be the new host city for Champion’s Week and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards, the annual postseason celebration that sees drivers, industry luminaries and celebrities alike strut the red carpet and formally crown the series champion. The Awards will be held Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville.
Other Champion’s Week events will be announced at a later date, but fans should expect to have more access at the Awards than ever before.
“This year, we set a course to look at everything we do through a different lens, including how we celebrate the champions of our sport,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR President. “Nashville’s energy, vibrant entertainment scene, and deep-rooted lineage in motorsports informed our decision and we believe our fans and industry will embrace the move to the Music City.”
NASCAR has held the ceremony since 1981 which first started in New York City. Their reign ended in 2008 and was since moved to Las Vegas for 2009. Now, Nashville takes over in 2019.
“Nashville’s history with NASCAR is indisputable, and coupled with our event experience we are a perfect match for NASCAR Champions Week,” said Butch Spyridon, President and CEO, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. “We look forward to welcoming NASCAR back home to Music City.”NASCAR and Nashville have a history, too. Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville hosted 42 Monster Energy Series races from 1958-1984, with the circuit visiting twice a year from 1973-84. Tennessee native Darrell Waltrip made the venue his own personal playground, winning eight races there — including four in a row from 1981-83, and five of the last seven Cup races held there. Nashville also hosted what is now the Local Series Awards for a number of years.
Additionally, dates for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and NASCAR Regional, International and Local Awards will shift and be held before the Monster Energy Series Awards. Once again held at the Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, the 2019 Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series Awards are Friday, Nov. 22, following by the Regional, International and Local Awards on Nov. 23.
Those events will be held the week after the NASCAR national series crown three champions in Miami, but before Thanksgiving.