Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What are the top 10 moments of the 2009 NASCAR season?

Let’s face it, everything is about moments in the season, not the entire races, and so for that reason instead of doing the top 5 races of 2009 like so many have, I have decided that the top 10 NASCAR moments of 2009 would be a better fit and what moments we have had both on-track and off-track in all three NASCAR national series (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series).

10. Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Juan Montoya gets caught speeding and has to do a drive through penalty, while going down pit road, Montoya tells NASCAR “Thank you NASCAR for screwing my day”. I still to this day believe that NASCAR didn’t really screw Juan Montoya and that his tack was set wrong or he plain went over the 5 mph buffer.

9. Copart 200 at Gateway (Truck Series): Matt Crafton first wrecks Todd Bodine in the late stages of the race going into turn 1, on the next restart, Crafton then wrecks Ron Hornaday Jr. in turn 1. After the wreck, two quotes would be made famous…Todd Bodine “You can’t fix stupid” and Matt Crafton “I ain’t scared”.

8. Nationwide Series rivalry between Denny Hamlin (with Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski: I had written about this whole episode before, but it bears repeating, Denny Hamlin just hates to be raced hard in the Nationwide Series by anybody and in May 2008 at Charlotte, Denny Hamlin found out just who Brad Keselowski and didn’t like him one bit. Brad doesn’t pull over at for anybody, he races for just about every position period and Denny Hamlin just doesn’t get that. One thing, at least when it comes to Kyle Busch, he has talent, he can drive just about any type of racecar and win in it, Brad Keselowski, he has talent and I don’t mean wrecking people, he can drive, but Denny Hamlin can’t period.

7. North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway (Truck Series): Mike Skinner gets turned on the front straight away and hits head on into the outside wall, launching the #5 truck into the air. That had to have been one of the hardest hits this season or this decade for sure in all of NASCAR, but Skinner walked away thank god.

6. Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway: after several restarts and the introduction of double-file restarts on the road course Kasey Kahne holds off Tony Stewart to win the race, but the victory lane celebration was that key moment because for the first time since John Andretti won at Martinsville back in 1998 (under Petty Enterprises), Richard Petty was in victory lane as a car owner.

5. AMP Energy 500 at Talladega: Once again we are talking about wrecks, and yet this was a game changing race in itself with no bump drafting in the corners, Ryan Newman getting turned around, going up in the air and landing on his roof on top of Kevin Harvick’s windshield. If that wasn’t enough, in the final laps as well, Mark Martin would get turned around and flipped on the front straightaway. Talladega needs help now, before someone gets seriously hurt or worse and that could be anybody.

4. Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway: Simply put, Mark Martin wins at Phoenix and picks up his first victory driving the #5 for Hendick Motorsports. That was incredible to watch, that was some moment and that race win would make him a championship contender.

3. Coke Zero 400 at Daytona: Coming out of turn 4, racing back to the finish line, Kyle Busch blocks, Tony Stewart goes high, Busch blocks again and Stewart holds his ground which sends Busch into the outside retaining wall and Tony Stewart wins at Daytona. Kyle Busch would get hit twice more by Kasey Kahne and teammate Joey Logano.

2. Aaron’s 499 at Talladega: One of the most horrible wrecks I’ve ever seen in NASCAR history, Bobby Allison had the same wreck in the same place years ago. Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski racing for the lead, Carl blocks, Brad blocks and Carl goes off the front end of Brad’s car and goes flying into the outside catch fence where several fans did get injured and Brad Keselowski would win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. So I guess you could say that there was two moments there, first being the Carl Edwards wreck and second being that Brad Keselowski won his first race.

1. Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway: Back in July 2008, Tony Stewart announced that he was departing JGR to form his own team Stewart-Haas Racing under the Chevrolet banner. Last May in the All-star race, the final 10 laps would turn out to be the best racing as not only Kyle Busch, but double-file restarts would play a role in the race. In the final laps, Tony Stewart would pass Matt Kenseth and set sail to win the All-Star race, his first victory as a car owner. Within a month, Tony Stewart would win at Pocono after starting from the back, what a season for Tony Stewart.

But where does the Crown Royal presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond come in as well as the Southern 500 at Darlington? Do you agree (and not because of the order considering I had trouble with that part)?