CONCORD, N.C. (Dec. 2, 2008) -- Surrounded by the glitz and glamour of New York City, Jimmie Johnson officially will be crowned as the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion during the series’ annual awards banquet on Friday night at the Waldorf=Astoria. ESPN Classic will have live coverage at 9 p.m. ET and will re-air the banquet at 2 p.m. ET on Dec. 8 on ESPN2. In addition to Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, the rest of the top 10 NASCAR drivers of the season also will be honored, including Johnson's teammate Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. The banquet will feature a musical performance by Matchbox 20, stand-up comedy from John Pinette and a special historical segment with actor Kevin Costner. Dr. Jerry Punch, lead announcer for ESPN’s NASCAR racing coverage, will be the onstage master of ceremonies for the banquet. ESPN Classic, which has televised live coverage of other awards ceremonies such as the Baseball Hall of Fame, is a 24-hour, all-sports network devoted to connecting today's sports fan to the timeless elements of sports by airing the greatest games, moments, stories and personalities in sports history. ESPN Classic brings a current perspective and creates bridges between two generations of athletes and fans by illustrating the connections between the past and present.