Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 10 Best Hot Topics and articles on RaceDriven.com in 2010

1. American Chopper: Here on RaceDriven, despite the fact that the American Chopper TV Series including the so-called new series American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior was the same old, same old thing, nevertheless the show was a hit all year long no question.

- American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior – It’s the same old show with no real bike building.

2. Edwards vs. Keselowski: In NASCAR, the one of the biggest headlines happened back in March when sparks flew when Carl Edwards lost it and a lot of NASCAR fans respect when he blatantly wrecked Brad Keselowski at the spring Atlanta race.

- Carl Edwards makes a blatant payback move wrecking Brad Keselowski in Kobalt Tools 500 in Atlanta

3. History Channel’s MadHouse TV Series: The MadHouse TV Series sparked off a lot of readership and a few interesting comments to say the least including questioning me on was I really a racing fan as to which I am. I wrote two articles within a month.

Part 1: Column: History Channel’s Madhouse: It’s scripted, it’s a soap opera, its war, but it’s NOT racing.

Part 2: Column: Real racing vs. History Channel’s MadHouse - Part 2

4. BP Oil Spill:

Column: No sympathy or business for BP until BP plugs the well and begins to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf.

5. eBay.com user vs. California Car dealership: A story back in March that got a lot of car enthusiasts attention on several auto blogs and forums. Basically a car enthusiast in Southern California nick named “Hitman” wanted to buy a 2009 Dodge Challenger, so he saw the opportunity to buy one for several thousand dollars off sticker on eBay from a dealership auction, he bided and won. However the car dealership didn’t want to honor it. But after several days and talks of lawyers, finally the dealership sold the 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 to the ebay auction winning for the winning bid.

As a matter of fact, in November I did hear from Hitman via email, he said that he is enjoying his Dodge Challenger, joined a car club and thanked me for my support.

- Column: Advice for eBay users after a car dealership is accused of backing out of an eBay auction for a new 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8. UPDATE2

6. Kevin Harvick in the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet in 2011: Back in August, RCR, Budweiser and Kevin Harvick announced they’re joining forces for 2011. And two months later, Kevin Harvick unveiled his new black 2011 Budweiser paint scheme on Twitter.

a. It’s Kevin Harvick in the Budweiser Chevrolet vs. Brad Keselowski in the Miller Lite Dodge for the battle of the beers in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2011.

b. Kevin Harvick unveil 2011 Budweiser paint scheme, that's cool!

7. Selling NASCAR tickets in this economy and how to do it: Back in March, Texas Motor Speedway touched off a debate especially with me with their new advertisements on selling tickets to the upcoming Cup Series races. Does this advertisement really sell tickets for the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway?

8. The Barrett-Jackson in the O.C.: 1970 Road Runner "The Hammer" hammered down at $175,000 at 2010 Barrett-Jackson Orange County.

9. Matt Kenseth, Inside NASCAR and RCR-Bowyer conversation:
- Matt Kenseth discusses Hot Topics on Inside NASCAR about from crew chiefs, the chase and more and I’ll give you my take as well as the RCR-Bowyer appeal results.

10. Saving money on car insurance: 6 ways to lower your car insurance bill

And that ends 2010 here on RaceDriven.com, but get ready for 2011, as next year will be my 6th year blogging on RaceDriven.com and it should be an interesting year to say the least especially for this now personal blog.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Top Gear USA takes a shot at designing a 2011 Buick Roadmaster, but how about this…

On last Sunday night’s episode of Top Gear USA, Adam Ferrara, Rutledge Wood and Tanner Foust set out to Detroit in a challenge to choose their favorite old GM cars and put them through a series of challenges to decide which one should be brought back into production.

Ferrara choose a 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass, Foust choose a 1980’s Pontiac Fiero, and Wood choose a 1990s Buick Roadmaster wagon. The episode had most of the same challenges as Top Gear UK’s Season 10, the £1200 British Leyland cheap-car challenge. Yes that would include a hill handbrake challenge (different grade with a bowling ball), filling the car up with water and driving around the racetrack and more.

By the end of the challenge, amazingly enough, Rutledge Wood’s 1990’s Buick Roadmaster wagon had won the challenge and below is a 2011 Buick Roadmaster sketch that the hosts would like to see built.


However considering I’m a blogger, a car enthusiast and blogging is about giving your opinion, I feel that a 1990’s Buick Roadmaster slightly redesigned wouldn’t save GM in my eyes. But I do believe that General Motor’s Buick line does need a Roadmaster in the near future, so what about a modern version of the amazing 1955 Buick Roadmaster pictured below. And yes that is a picture of Jay Leno’s 572 big block Roadmaster, now just imagine it being a modern version. Hay, at it’s got the power that a Buick should have.

Any thoughts?

Source: Autoblog.com and NetCarShow.com

Video: Jay Leno picks up his Chevrolet Volt...and yes a Volt is better than a Prius.



I saw this video on YouTube of Jay Leno picking up his new Chevrolet Volt in California and I thought that I had to share this with all of my readers and my opinion of the Volt.

Personally as I was watching his video, I agree with Jay Leno, electricity is only going to take you halfway, gasoline is going to take you the rest of the way and that's exactly what the Volt does. I particularly like the Chevrolet Volt for the combination of electricity and gasoline, but it needs more improvements such as having the vehicle run in E85 or bio-diesel, now that would be a real green car to me. But of course the fuel of the future in my opinion is hydrogen if the supply is there.

But in my opinion, pure electric vehicles aren't the answer to the United States or the worlds oil troubles, however combination vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt is a good start.

As for the Toyota Prius, personally I wouldn't own one. I believe that while Toyota does make several good quality cars most of the time, buying a Toyota is a huge turn off. Simply put, I hate the way that Toyota handles recalls and complains, namely there customer service is terrible. Toyota would rather blame the driver for an accident (which I believe sometimes the driver is at fault), then admit and take responsibility for a fault part or faulty software on their vehicles.

And as a member of my family looks to buy a new or used car within the next month or two, a Toyota is no where on the list. He wants a car or SUV that is made in the USA.

Source: YouTube via Autoblog

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top Gear USA is a hit, but how does the show compare to Top Gear UK?

Source: Jalopnik.com

Just before Thanksgiving and after an already failed attempt by another network (NBC) and some bad predictions, Top Gear USA debuted on the History Channel to mixed reviewed by many. One of the reasons for the mixed reviews was no one really know what to make of the three hosts Adam Ferrara, Rutledge Wood and Tanner Foust.
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Of course for me, while I don’t know Adam Ferrara, but am a fan of Tanner Foust, it was Rutledge Wood that was the question mark and still is as I’m also a NASCAR fan and that’s where Wood’s comes from. Wood use to be on the SPEED Channel and in my opinion that wasn’t a success, but after four episodes, he seems to doing ok right now.

However, once the season started rolling out and fans started to get to know the hosts, Top Gear USA has became a hit. The show has received better reviews. I truly believe that the more episodes that the History Channel comes out with especially this season and at the level there at now, car guys will continue to embrace the show.

The format for Top Gear USA is pretty much the same thing as the Top Gear UK version. Of course you have the reasonable priced car, the Stig setting fast lap in each car and the challenges.

In the reasonable priced car which is a Kia Rio, wow could they spare it and get an American made car like a Ford Focus or a Chevrolet Cobalt, I mean this is the US version. But anyway, after five celebrities that have taken time, amazingly enough Kid Rock in the wet, set an impressive time of 1:43.9.

The Stig has made his first impression as well with the fastest lap around the Top Gear test track which the record is currently held by a Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR at 1:22.0 followed closely behind by both a Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera at 1:22.8, and a Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce at 1:23.4. But the most impressive fast lap wasn’t in a supercar, but a truck, a Hennessey F-150 VelociRaptor 600 at a 1:39.0, yeah a pickup truck, damn that was cool to watch.

But for me, it’s about challenges and so far the Top Gear hosts have done a few interesting ones to date, but it had to be the $1000 moonshine run challenge where the Nissan beat both a Cadillac and a Ford Thunderbird that caught my eye. Moonshine to NASCAR, what a concept…

But the most impressive had to be both the race up and down a mountain against skiers in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X GSR and Foust driving a Ford F-150 Raptor pickup through the desert at about a 120 MPH with cattle around to try and beat a parachutist. Both were priceless.

But how does Top Gear USA stand up against Top Gear UK?

As a huge fan of Top Gear UK that is about to enter its 16th season next year with hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, the concept of having another network in another country recreate Top Gear leaves me with mixed feelings especially in the United States. One thing to remember is that the BBC funds this show, not advertisers, so the hosts can say just about anything they want within reason about each car.

With that said, I would say that while it really is too earlier to tell, I can say that Top Gear USA follows most of the same lines as the UK version including most of the challenges like the $1000 cars. However I’m always going to favor the UK version, it’s the original that set the bench mark with some of the most extreme challenges and the outrageous hosts. But so far in the US version, the hosts haven’t had too much to say meaning negative against any of the tested cars and that’s one big thing that the UK version is known for.

But both are hit shows. What do my readers think?

Red Bull Racing unveils #4 Kasey Kahne and #83 Brian Vickers 2011 paint schemes on Twitter.

Earlier today on Twitter, Red Bull Racing (@redbullnascar) unveiled their 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series paint schemes with #83-Brian Vickers and #4-Kasey Kahne. I find it interesting that Red Bull Racing was able to change Kasey Kahne's number from #82 to #4 considering Morgan Mcclure Racing has had the number 4 in the Cup Series for decades now, but at least the number has a good home now.

Now I can't wait for February in Daytona, 2011 is already shaping up to be an interesting year especially with all of the crew chief, driver and sponsor moves..

Source: Red Bull Racing Twitpic via Jayski.com

Monday, December 13, 2010

8 Bold moves NASCAR should make before the 2011 NASCAR season to get fans back.

Today, I’m finishing off my three-part series that focuses on looking back at both the 2010 NASCAR season and the 2010 Motorsports season. In this edition, I’m putting myself into the shoes of NASCAR for one day and addressing some of the hot topics and problem areas in NASCAR.

In 2010, NASCAR had amazing competition on the racetrack and they had a good product too, however that was over shadowed as I would actually describe the 2010 season as a year of frustration and that was primarily due to NASCAR announcing last January “Boy’s Have at it”. Nevertheless, here are my top 8 bold moves that I would make before the 2011 or at least 2012 NASCAR season to get NASCAR fans back.

1. Repeal “Boy’s Have at it” and replace with a simple set of rules including conduct.
Right now NASCAR seems to want to be more like the NFL and if that’s the case, then they need to have black and white rules like the NFL does too. With the introduction of the “Boy’s Have at it”, it opened the door for blatant take out moves on the racetrack. One example of that was and is the Carl Edwards vs. Brad Keselowski. That feud got way out of hand and needed to be handled, but all NASCAR did was meetings with no penalties. Someone could have seriously been hurt and not just these two drivers neither. What about fans, other drivers, crew men and what about all of the damages to other cars as well.

The point is giving driver room to breathe and be themselves is one thing, but to be reckless on track is another and this was a huge turn off for several fans including me. It’s like “letting the inmates run the asylum”, it’s not right and it is a turn off. Basically NASCAR should get rid of “Boy’s Have at it” and the blatant take out moves like Edwards vs. Keselowski, Kurt Busch vs. Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch vs. Keselowski just to name a few. There has to be a balance with the rules period, otherwise it’s not entertaining to watch.

2. Shorter Races
I know that there are some NASCAR fans including me that like long races, but even I have to admit that some races are just too long. So with the exception of The Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, Brickyard 400 and the Sharpie 500 (August race at Bristol), all races should be 300 miles (not laps) in length. So that means that Bristol, Richmond, Martinsville, New Hampshire, and Phoenix are all the right distance races. But the other races such as Charlotte, Texas, Atlanta, Daytona in July, Chicagoland and more all need to be shortened. Shorter races should equal more excitement. There is less time to get to the front, less pit stops and more racing to the checker flag. And the final races are the most exciting, drivers are going for the victory.

3. Road Course race added to the chase
Currently the chase for the Sprint Cup is all ovals and that includes mainly cookie cutter racetracks. If NASCAR wants fans attention, they need all different size racetracks and that includes a road course. Try moving Sonoma into the chase. Moving Sonoma might increase attendance with cooler weather as well. Or try adding another road course that isn’t currently on the schedule.

4. New simple Points System.
Currently NASCAR’s point system is a decades old system that needs some serious over haul. No other Motorsports series has such a huge point system. I would like to see a tighter points system. What about:
- Award 2 or 3 points per position for #1-30.
- Award 1 point per position for positions #31-43. That would help with brokens coming out of the garage to gain extras while getting in others way.
- Award 5 extra points for qualifying on the pole, leading the most laps, and leading one lap.
- Award 20 points for winning a race.
- And if NASCAR is going to keep the chase, award an extra 50 points to the points leader at the end of the regular season.

5. Retire the chase or change the chase to 5 or 6 races and 10 drivers without a separate points system.
One aspect of NASCAR that several fans aren’t a fan of including me is the chase. I have to go with the old school way of thinking in letting drivers race all season long, best driver in points wins the championships. And not manufacturering a champion. Plus, without the chase, each of the 36 races in the season mean the same.
However if NASCAR really wants a chase, they need to make it simple for everyone to understand and watch. I hate awarding drivers for mediocre performances, so shorten the chase to 5-6 races, the top 10 drivers make the chase and if a driver falls over 200 points back from the leader after 4 races, they are dropped from the chase and have to once again fight to be inside the top 10. Plus 11th spot should be awarded $1 million dollars for winning the position and can go to the awards banquet.

6. Limit commercial breaks
The television package is getting out of hand, each network nails the broadcasts with a lot of commercials. I know that the TV coverage has improved over the years especially from the 1970’s, but NASCAR wants fans to watch, but with all of these commercials, what are we watching. How about more races with TNT’s wide open coverage or side-by-side coverage like the ESPN has for the IRL IndyCar Series. Even just putting a sponsor at the bottom of the screen during the race coverage would be better than just keep going to commercial. Fans want to watch the race, put the race on.

7. Set fair race start time for east coast to west coast NASCAR fans.
In 2010, NASCAR made a bold move that worked for east coast fans, but not really for west coast fans and that was the 1pm, 3pm, 7:30pm start times. Personally I love a set start time, it made it simpler for the fans to know what time the races start and shows has a uniform look.

But to help the west coast fans, maybe a simple change would work better. So what about 2pm for east coast races that helps during football season. Typically the NFL starts at 1pm, so NASCAR could start at 2pm and gain fans due to switching over 1 hour into the football game.

So 2pm for east coast races, 3:30pm (12:30pm local) for west coast races and 8pm for night races, all eastern times. Night races should be 2.5 hours to 3 hours tops in length for fans. Anything over 11pm isn’t going to go well with some NASCAR fans. And NASCAR should even consider Saturday afternoon races too. Any movement for NASCAR away from the NFL schedule should help in ratings.

8. Shorter schedule or better schedule including more Saturday night races.
It’s simple, one Cup Series date per racetrack except Daytona, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Bristol. I see it every year, several racetracks that don’t deserve two Cup Series dates while other tracks have only one date or none.

How to determine which track gets one date or two dates is simple, it’s the product that NASCAR puts on namely the racing, is it exciting or not at that track. And second, the attendance. No one should be looking for a sellout crowd, but each track should have good attendance.

Both New Hampshire and Bristol are classic examples of two tracks that pack in the fans. While California, Atlanta, Kansas, Charlotte don’t. Even Indianapolis and Chicagoland need help.

In addition, NASCAR should add more road courses like Laguna Sega, Portland, OR or something as well as Iowa Speedway and a racetrack in both Washington State and Canada. Canadians have been showing up at the Montreal Nationwide Series race for years now and they have earned a Cup Series date.

And with that, what about my readers, what would you like to see NASCAR do, what would you like to change above, comment in the comment section and let me know what you think.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Top 5 Biggest headlines of the 2010 Motorsports season

Today, I’m continuing my three-part series that focuses on looking back at both the 2010 NASCAR season and the 2010 Motorsports season. In this edition, I’m focusing on the top 5 biggest headlines of the 2010 Motorsports season.

I would describe the 2010 Motorsports season as filled with high’s, low’s and what most of us tune in for, good real racing.

1. The 2010 Formula One season was one for the record books from some of the races being entertaining especially the return of the Canadian Grand Prix that Lewis Hamilton won, the always entertaining Monaco grand Prix that was a few weeks early that Mark Webber won, the return of Michael Schumacher to Formula 1 despite some issues for him and of course the terrible Korean GP. That Korean GP track looked good in video games and on paper, but was terrible in person (or on TV for me).

But I will remember the 2010 F1 season for the real (not manufactured) tight points battle that went down to wire at the season finale in Abu Dhabi that Sebastian Vettel ended up becoming World Champion after winning the race.

However in watching the season finale in Abu Dhabi, a tricky track I might add that includes a tunnel under some of the track for the exit of pit road, I found the race funny at times to watch. Going in, I was really hoping that either Lewis Hamilton who was fourth in the world championship points or Mark Webber that was second in points win the 2010 World Championship.

At the same time, I found it even more interesting that all the points leader Fernando Alonso had to do was finish 3rd, but that would prove to be too much of a challenge considering Alonso couldn’t even mount a charge past the two Renault’s of Vitaly Petrov and Robert Kubica. Of course with Fernando Alonso and even Mark Webber right behind him for some of the race, that in my opinion opened the door for third and fourth in the points, namely Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton to take the World Championship. At one point, I thought Hamilton had a chance, but Vettel was too strong as he would win the race and the World Championship.

The way I look at with Sebastian Vettel winning the world championship, it’s both rewarding and disappointing to see him win. The rewarding part is that Vettel the most races (5) and he beat out Fernando Alonso out for the title. But disappointing to see this “cocky” kid win and represent Formula 1 as champion.
Now hopefully Sebastian Vettel can be a good World Champion as he needs to grow up in how he races his teammate, how he races other competitors and giving them room to race on track and how to treat the media to at least a point. 2011 should be interesting to watch.

2. Speaking of tight points battles that go down to the final race, the IZOD IndyCar Series had a good one going into the season finale in Homestead with Will Power (the Road Course points champion) vs. Dario Franchitti (the Oval Points Champion) by a slim margin. I came into that season finale hoping that the Penske Racing driver Will Power would win his first IRL Championship, but unfortunately in the finale two races, it all went wrong with fuel mileage and him crashing at Homestead.

But it was cool to see the 2010 Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitt and second in points coming in to Homestead win his second straight IRL Championship. What a good way to go.
I just wish the IRL would get a new TV package, enough with Versus already, the preshow’s suck and so did some of the races.

Of course I will be interested in seeing what the 2011 IRL season with all ISC tracks gone and SMI tracks replacing them and especially the 2012 IRL Season with Lotus and Chevrolet coming on back with engines.

3. John Force capturing his 15th NHRA Funny Car Championship. I have to admit that while I only watched most of the U.S. Nationals and no other races, I am a fan of John Force and JFR and its cool to see John Force win his 15th championship. I don’t know if I can even put that into prospective, but that is a huge accomplishment especially with the crop of drivers the NHRA has in the Funny Car class right now. Hats off to the master.

4. Audi swept the podium at the 24 hours of Le Mans with the #9 Audi R15 TDI plus that was driven to victory by Mike Rockenfeller, Timo Bernhard, and Romain Dumas over the powerful Peugeots that were favorites to win the race, but none finished. Personally what will take away from Audi winning at the 24 hours of Le Mans is the use of alternative fuels in Motorsports, namely racing doesn’t have to use unleaded gasoline to have powerful racecars, we can use other forms of fuel and still having exciting races. I know it sounds weird in some ways, but now is the time to change and Bio-fuels is the answer.

5. The #9 Action Express Racing Daytona Prototype wins the 24 hours of Daytona (Rolex 24) that was driven by Barbosa, Borcheller, Dalziel and Rockenfeller over the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing BMW. This one was actually a really good race although it was under 50 degrees at several times during this race. It was one of those races that had the hard racing that the series should have at all events. And it was actually a simple mistake in the pits on the #01 BMW that opened the door for the Action Express prototype to take back the lead and drive into the sunset with their first victory.

I have to say that I mainly watch NASCAR, but I also try and watch the IRL IndyCar Series, some Formula One races as well as most of the major races like the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500, the 24 hours of Daytona, the 12 hours of Sebring (that saw no Audi’s complete), the 24 hours of Le Mans and more.
This was a good Motorsports season all the way around and now I can’t wait for the 2011 Motorsports season to begin in late January (2011) with the 24 hours of Daytona.

Thoughts?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Shell-Pennzoil and Penske Racing unveil Kurt Busch’s #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge and Helio Castroneves’s #3 Shell Dallara/Honda in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Yesterday (Dec. 2, 2010), Shell and Penske Racing unveiled their 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge that will be driven by Kurt Busch and  IZOD IndyCar Series #3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra Dallara/Honda driven by Helio Castroneves at the Penske-Wynn Ferrari dealership at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV.

In addition to SHell-Pennzoil sponsoring both Kurt Busch in the Cup Series and Helio Castroneves in the IndyCar Series, the company will also be associate sponsorships promoting Shell V-Power® and Pennzoil Ultra™ with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe. 

“I am honored to represent the Shell and Pennzoil brands in the NASCAR Cup Series starting in 2011,” said Busch. “I look forward to building on the success of our storied past at Penske Racing with our new sponsors at Shell and Pennzoil.”

“I am very excited to be working with Shell and Pennzoil this season and I’m proud to have the opportunity to drive the beautiful Shell V-Power®-Pennzoil Ultra™ car in the 2011 Indianapolis 500 representing the No. 1 premium gasoline and Pennzoil’s most advanced motor oil in the U.S.,” said Helio Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Team Penske IndyCar.  “Shell and Pennzoil have such a great history in IndyCar racing and they have certainly had some special moments with Penske Racing at the Indy 500.  I hope we can create a little bit more history together this May at Indianapolis!”

“Shell has more than a half-century of motorsports expertise and alliances allowing our organization to bring quality fuels and lubricants technology from the track to the road,” said Lisa Davis, President, Shell Lubricants, Americas.  “Strategic alliances are very important to our organization and the new relationship with a winning team like Penske provides us with additional opportunities to continue furthering our technological leadership and product development through the invaluable knowledge gained both on and off the track.”

“Shell and Pennzoil are two established and winning brands and they will be strategic business providers for our Penske Automotive Group and Penske Truck Leasing businesses,” said Roger Penske. “This is a very important global relationship for our organization and we look forward to producing many victories for Shell and Pennzoil in NASCAR, in the IZOD IndyCar Series and across our businesses.”

Personally I’m looking forward to both the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season. And it great to see that even in this economy especially with most companies cutting back, that there are still companies out there that find the value in sponsoring cars and series in Motorsports. The dream is still alive and kicking in racing.

Kurt Busch's Dodge

Helio Castroveves's car

Source: www.shell.us/racing via Shell PR

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top 12 Biggest Moments and Stories of the 2010 NASCAR Season

Today, I’m kicking off my three-part series that focuses on looking back at both the 2010 NASCAR season and the 2010 Motorsports season. In this edition, I’m focusing on highlighting some of the biggest moments and stories from the 2010 NASCAR season.

I would describe the 2010 NASCAR season as action-packed, competitive, but because of the “Boy’s Have at it”, I would say very frustrating at times as well. However I’m focusing on the biggest moments and stories, so here we go:

1. “Boy’s Have at it” got way out of hand and is a classic example of Letting The Inmates Run the Asylum. In some ways, I will give NASCAR credit that they would let the drivers be more open sort of speak, but NASCAR would end up taking this way too far and NASCAR new policy ended up letting the inmates runs the asylum.

A classic example of this new frustrating policy had to be the Edwards vs. Keselowski at the spring Atlanta Cup Series race when Carl Edwards lost it and a lot of fans respect at the same time when he decided to blatantly take out Brad Keselowski on the front straightaway with a few laps to go. The Edwards move, which took no talent or brains what so ever send Brad Keselowski flying in the air on to this roof and back on all four tires.

Of course another example was later in the year when Edwards would step out again at the Summer Gateway Nationwide race when Carl Edwards fearing he will lose the Gateway race in front of his hometown crowd, once again took out Brad Keselowski coming to the checkers. The incident would cause a mult-car pileup just before the start/finish line.

I blame NASCAR for not doing something about this war and this is what’s frustrating about NASCAR right now.

At this point I could go on and on from Kurt Busch vs. Jeff Gordon at Martinsville to Logano vs. Montoya at Homestead, but I wouldn’t. Its all the same anyway.

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Wrangler colors: As a Dale Jr. fan, I would say that one incredible moment had to be back in July at Daytona when Dale Earnhardt Jr. driving his father’s #3 Wrangler paint scheme in a one race deal with JR Motorsports, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, and RCR won the Nationwide Series race in the new Nationwide COT car. I would have to say that if you’re an Earnhardt fan, that moment will stick with you for a long time to come.

3. 5x Champ Jimmie Johnson: With all of the hype about the chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, the trash talk and the -46 difference between three drivers heading into the final race at Homestead, Jimmie Johnson was able to clinch his fifth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. That is a huge accomplishment for any driver and team to do to win 5 straight championships in any sport, let along NASCAR. This will be a hard record to beat for decades to come.

This leads to a question, Is Jimmie Johnson the best ever?
No, however Jimmie Johnson is the best active driver. I believe that “The King” Richard Petty with 7 champions and 200 victories is the best in NASCAR. And Richard Petty over his career also drove several different types of cars and won in them including the Plymouth Superbird.

4. NASCAR All-Star race – Hamlin vs. Busch: At the 2010 NASCAR All-Star in the closing laps, Denny Hamlin leads, Kyle Busch closes fast. Coming out of turn 2, Denny Hamlin takes his normal line towards the outside grove as Kyle Busch, who is on his rear end drive straight into the outside wall. Kyle Busch would blame it all on Denny Hamlin, instead of his stupid driving. Basically, Denny Hamlin was just racing for position and did nothing wrong. Kyle Busch wrecked himself.

5. Danica Patrick invaded the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010 and after a decent finish at Homestead in 11 races, I would say that she showed a lot of talent and promise for a career driving in NASCAR. However those 11 races also told me that she has to commit to NASCAR full-time to be successful. Running a part-time schedule in NASCAR and a full-time schedule in IndyCars simply isn’t going to work. Those two cars are completely different and time is tight.

I predict that 2011 will be better for Danica Patrick, but not the success that she really wants.

6. Jamie McMurray: The biggest comeback of the 2010 season had to be Jamie McMurray. Shortly after McMurray re-united with Chip Ganassi for 2010, McMurray would go on to win two of the biggest races of 2010, the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. Even more, McMurray would finish second in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega and at the Coca-Cola 600. I would say that 2011 might be another good year for McMurray and he is a dark horse to make the chase as well.

7. Gordon vs. Burton fight: One of the biggest moments of 2010 happened between a very unlikely pairing at during the chase race at Texas Motor Speedway. Jeff Burton had had enough with Jeff Gordon and decided to tell him so. However Burton would make a mistake and drill Gordon into the outside wall off of turn 2, killing the #24 DuPont Chevrolet.

But on the back straightaway, Gordon would get back at Burton in a classic fight that started with a push. I was even surprised by this one

8. Elliott Sadler scares NASCAR fans at Pocono: With 35 laps to go in the Sunoco American Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway, a vicious, scary wreck involving Kurt Busch and Elliott Sadler left me speechless. I still don’t know exactly what happened, but Kurt Busch and Johnson with Bowyer got together and as a result Kurt Busch and Elliott Sadler would both go for a wild ride that would leave Kurt Busch’s right front when ripped off and after Sadler’s car hit the inside wall hard, only the driver’s cockpit would remain as the engine would be completely ripped out of the car and left on the ground on the back straightaway.

9. Jimmie Johnson captures number 50: At the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson would make history when he won the race, winning his 50th career NASCAR Cup Series victory.

10. Kevin Harvick makes it look easy at Talladega: Kevin Harvick makes a perfectly calculated last lap pass on Jamie McMurray coming to the finish line to win the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega.

11. Joey Logano comes out of his shell in 2010: 2010 will make a big year Joey Logano as he showed everyone that he can race and isn’t afraid to defend himself. Earlier this year at Pocono, Kevin Harvick would dump Logano going into turn 3. After the race and a heated discussion between Harvick with crew and Logano with crew, Logano would give a classic quote, "I don't know what [Kevin Harvick's] deal is with me," Logano said. "It's probably not his fault. His wife wears the firesuit in the family and tells him what to do. It's probably not his fault." (Read More here…)

12. Clint Bowyer comes up short in 2010 despite two wins: By the time the Cup Series got to Richmond in September for the chase cut off, it was the dark horse Clint Bowyer that would make headlines by making the Chase by the narrowest of margins. But for Bowyer and the #33 team, the chase would be filled with high’s and low’s starting with a NASCAR warning about his Richmond car.

Despite the warning, Clint Bowyer would go out and on fuel strategy win one of the most competitive New Hampshire races in a while. But the victory would be short lived as NASCAR penalized the #33 150 driver/owner points and suspended his crew chief. The penalty would touch off a no win situation for all involved.

At the end of the year, I will say this, Bowyer deserved the penalty he got after the New Hampshire race, his car was illegal and that’s it. However NASCAR messed up when they didn’t explain everything, leaving fans and media in the cold. I explained everything in an article entitled “A loss-loss situation: Bowyer-RCR losses final appeal and NASCAR losses in the eyes of some fans.

Well, the 2010 NASCAR season is over and what a top 12 we have here. I know that I have left several key moments off this list, but between the top moments and headlines of 2010, I did cover most of it. Now I’m looking ahead at part 2 of this four part series with the “Top 5 Biggest headlines of the 2010 Motorsports season – Championship Edition”. Until then, see yeah!