LAS VEGAS – Joey Logano was honored for his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship Thursday evening inside Wynn Las Vegas.

Logano earned his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title with a victory in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 18. He earned three victories this year en route to delivering Roger Penske his second series championship and first since 2012.

“Who’d have thought … 23 years ago, Santa Claus brought me a go-kart,” Logano said. “Who’d have thought I’d be a NASCAR champion?”

For Penske, Thursday’s NASCAR awards ceremony served as the bookend to an incredible season that included victories in the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500 as well as championships in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Logano and the Australian V8 Supercars series with Scott McLaughlin.

“To see this whole championship unfold over 38 weekends and to culminate here in Las Vegas — sitting up on the stage there with Joey, all the sponsors and Ford Motor Company and my wife Kathy, that she hangs out with me for over 45 years is amazing,” Penske said.

Also honored during Thursday’s ceremony was Chase Elliott, who was named the winner of the National Motorsports Press Ass’n’s Most Popular Driver Award for the first time. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who had won the award the last 15 years, presented the honor to Elliott.

Twenty-three-year-old Elliott’s father, Bill Elliott, was voted Most Popular Driver a record 16 times.