This may well have been the Sprint Cup season that will be remembered for not only some of the best moments in the history of the sport but also a few moments that probably would not show up on ESPN’s top 10 list.
It takes them all to give us one of the best seasons ever in the sport so here is a look at a few of them. I will leave it up to you to decide on the ones that make it on the top 10 and the ones that just gave us a good laugh.
One week Tony Stewart is on TV complaining about drivers that are blocking on the racetrack and the next week at Talladega he is trying to give the rest of the sport a lesson on how to throw the perfect block. The only problem was that he didn’t complete his block on Michael Waltrip on the last lap at Talladega’s fall race and the result was a 25-car crash that had an impact on the Chase.
Fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s win at Michigan on Father’s Day broke a 143-race winless streak and in the process helped propel the Hendrick Motorsports driver to one of the best years of his career as he went on to make the Chase.
Since we are in Kentucky, the improvements at Kentucky Motor Speedway were one of the highlights for all of us that live in the Commonwealth. Gone were the long lines on the interstate and there were actually places to park once you got there. This time everyone saw the green flag drop from their seat.
The 2012 Daytona 500 will long be remembered for being moved to Monday night because of rain, but it will also be remembered as being one of the strangest. Maybe the moment of the year came during a caution when Juan Pablo Montoya ran into one of the jet dryers on the track, resulting in a fire that threatened to melt the track. That was the night that we found out another use for Tide as the race was able to continue.
Before the race did get back underway after the fire, Brad Keselowski took advantage of the stoppage that night to pull out his phone and post a tweet for all of his fans. It was great publicity as the television cameras covered his use of the phone outside of his car and in the process this year’s champion added 100,000 followers on twitter. Ironically, when he tweeted later in the year at Phoenix, he was fined $25,000 by NASCAR.
Brad continued to make many highlights on his way to his firstever title but he may have saved his best for last during the postrace celebration at Homestead- Miami after he clinched the title. His post-race celebration included one of the largest beer mugs you will ever see and after several big gulps of the Miller Lite, the new champion’s grin got bigger and bigger. In his interview with ESPN later that night, it was obvious that Brad had loosened up, thanks to the big mug in his hand.
You should be starting to see a trend that many of the best moments of the season didn’t take place on the track. There was also the skydiver at the fall race at Texas that landed in the side of Kevin Harvick’s car before the race, and who can forget the grab by Tony Stewart of DeLana’s rear end on pit road in a move that he said was a good luck gesture.