Authors: By JENNA FRYER
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- There's a sadness to the celebration for Tony Stewart's championship season.
The Friday night awards ceremony marks the final time Stewart is paired with crew chief Darian Grubb, and the two are seated three seats apart at the head table at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort.
Grubb has been fired as Stewart's crew chief, even though he led him to five wins in the 10 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship races. It was good enough to give Stewart his third Cup championship and become the driver to end Jimmie Johnson's five-year reign.
But the decision to let Grubb go was made midway through the Chase, and Stewart said there was no going back, even after winning the title.
Grubb says his dismissal has made NASCAR's Champion's Week awkward.