Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Tonight concluded the final part of the 2023 NASCAR season with its annual awards and red-carpet celebration at the Music City Center in Downtown Nashville.
While the awards and red carpet seemed to be about the same as we have seen in the previous years, they have come to Music City, the overall fan and parade experience seemed a lot less interactive than before.
Yesterday, the parade which went around a four block radius of the famous Broadway Ave, it just didn’t have a ton of fans that came solely to see their favorite drivers, it seemed to be the regular Nashville visitors and a few people that came to see Cup Series Champion Ryan Blaney along with Cole Custer take their cars down for a victory lap along with the other drivers in a manufacturers float, where as in previous years they took their cars for a burnout lap at night with a stage at the end of Broadway. A few fans we spoke with said they missed that part of the week.
Tonight was all about the drivers having their final look backs at the 2023 season, where Roger Penske grabbed another title for Penske Racing.
The NASCAR Cup title was the second in a row for Penske, who won the 2022 championship with driver Joey Logano. But the championship was the 12th for Team Penske over the last six years across all series, including NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA and V8 Supercars.
Blaney was asked about his hardware this year and gave a lot of props to Penske and his team.
For Blaney, it’s gratifying just to be part of the massive Team Penske record.
“To be a small part of that success is great,” Blaney said. “I felt the same way winning my race for the Wood Brothers. Those guys had 98 other wins, but it means a lot that you’re a small part of the journey and the success.