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LAS VEGAS -- To close this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet, Jimmie Johnson stepped to the podium.

There, he delivered a memorable speech as a newly minted seven-time champion.

"To be here on this stage tonight with our seventh championship, I'm going to be honest, it's still sinking in," Johnson said. "This is mind-blowing."

The driver shared memories from the path to this point, and thanked those that helped him all along the way.

And it was his closing line that eloquently capped the evening.

"In closing, I spent some time trying to study up for this night and fortunately could find Dale Earnhardt's acceptance speech," Johnson said. "I took a quote from his speech from the person bringing him to the stage in 1994 after he won his seventh. He quoted Dale as saying, 'I might have won as many championships as Richard Petty, but he will always be 'The King.''

"I completely agree and must say, I might have won as many championships as Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, but I will never be 'The King' or 'The Intimidator.' I'm just a guy from California who always wanted to race."

Check out the complete speech, courtesy of NBC Sports, below.