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Big NASCAR weekend in Charlotte

Kevin Harvick officially celebrated his 2014 Sprint Cup Series championship last weekend, but NASCAR isn’t done honoring its champions.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Crown Ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center will host the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards on Friday and the NASCAR Touring Series “Night of Champions” on Saturday.

Between the two events, eight more NASCAR champions will be crowned this season.

Whelen All-American Series: Anthony Anders of Easley, S.C., won NASCAR’s national championship of weekly short track auto racing and became the first new champion in the division since 2010.

Anders, 43, ousted two-time defending champion Lee Pulliam by 12 points (720-708). He finished with 30 wins, 44 top-five and 48 top-10 finishes in 51 starts.

His wins came at South Carolina ovals Greenville Pickens Speedway and Anderson Speedway.

K&N Pro Series East: Ben Rhodes made quite an impact during his rookie campaign in the East division of NASCAR’s premiere development series. Rhodes, 17, also won rookie of the year honors.

Rhodes finished with five wins, 11 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in 16 starts. He also made four starts in the NASCAR Truck Series with a best showing of fifth at Phoenix in November.

K&N Pro Series West: Greg Pursley, 46, gave car owner Gene Price his third championship in the past four years. Pursley drove Price’s No. 26 to two wins, 11 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes.

Pursley also won the West crown in 2011 and he collected a NWAAS national championship in 2004.

Whelen Modified Tour: Doug Coby won his second tour championship in the past three years. Coby, 35, finished second last season in the standings and used a consistent campaign to get back to the top this year.

Coby ended the season with one win, nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 13 races. He also won the non-points 2014 season opener in the UNOH Battle At The Beach at Daytona in February.

Whelen Southern Modified Tour: Andy Seuss, 27, broke George Brunnhoelzl III’s record-setting three-year title streak in winning his first tour championship.

Seuss recorded three wins in 2014, leading wire-to-wire in two triumphs at Caraway Speedway, and he led 149 of 150 laps in his other win at South Boston (Va.) Speedway.

Whelen Euro Series: Anthony Kumpen, 36, became the first driver to unseat two-time defending champion Ander Vilariño in winning his first title in NASCAR’s newest touring series. A native of Hasselt, Belgium, Kumpen won numerous championships in Belgium GT racing before moving to NASCAR in 2013.

Kumpen finished the season with one win, 10 top-five and a series-best 12 top-10 finishes in 12 races.

Canadian Tire Series: After racing for a team based in Ontario, Canada, L.P. Dumoulin decided to align with an organization closer to his Quebec home and the end result was two wins, a series-best nine top-five finishes and top-10 finishes in all 11 races.

Dumoulin’s crew chief is former NASCAR driver and fellow Quebec native Mario Gosselin.

Mexico Toyota Series: Abraham Calderón, a native of Monterrey, Mexico, proved consistency can bring you a championship, and in the process he helped the famed Telcel Racing team win a fifth crown.

Although winless, Calderón finished the season with five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes beating Rubén Garcia Jr. by nine points in the final standings.

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