Yes, it's that time of the year where, for the first time since I started this, I get to swap the tuxedo for some boardies as I am jetting off home for Christmas...provided YVR and LAX don't get snowed in over the next 24 hours.
Anyway, we've got a lot to get through and I'm sure you all don't want to hear me gloat over the fact that I'm going into summer while you are not...oops, don't read that bit.
Rookie of the Year - while Stenhouse did an amazing job to nab RotY in the Nationwide series, I have to say I was more impressed with Austin Dillon in the Trucks.
Race of the Year - it may not have been a race for the ages but I think given the names on the programme, the V8 Supercar 'Gold Coast 600' gets the nod in this one. The Said/Papis drag to the line at Montreal gets a very close second as it was the most exciting race all season.
Qualifier of the Year - for producing the best lap I've seen in a long time, in an underpowered car, on a greasy track, this one has to go to Nico Hulkenberg with his pole position at Brazil.
Team of the Year - Richard Childress Racing. Yes, Hendrick Motorsports won their fifth title on the trot and yes, Red Bull Renault walked away with both in F1 but considering where RCR were in 2009, they are mighty deserving of this one.
Pit Crew of the Year - tempted to give it to Jeff Gord...uh, Jimmie Johns...you see my problem here? Luckily, I don't have to as the winner of this can only be the Jim Beam Racing guys. Anyone who watched the final round of the V8's on Sunday will know what I'm talking about, but when 1, 2 and 3 in points all crashed on the wet track on the same lap at the same spot, the JBR #18 team got James Courtney's Ford back on track just in time to be classified a finisher while Jamie Whincup and Mark Winterbottom were DNF's. How important was it? Had James not been registered as finishing the race, the points battle would have been an absolute nailbiter going into Sunday's race.
Driver of the Year - a lot of worthy nominations but, I think ultimately, this one is pretty easy. Vader might have won five on the trot but he's still two behind Sebastien Loeb. The Frenchman won his seventh straight World Rally Championship...I still believe rally drivers are crazy.
Person of the Year - yeah, I was thinking Jim Hunter for this one as well.
Now on to the ones we really want to know:
Personality of the Year - with the new, gentler version of Kyle Busch seen leaving the JGR stable, that left us to look elsewhere for our entertainment...luckily for us, Brad Keselowski was there to fit the bill. He didn't have a great Cup season but he was pretty dang good in the Nationwide series.
Crash of the Year - Fabian Coulthard's barrel rolling effort in the Bathurst 1000 was mighty spectacular and he pips Keselowski for this one...although the pile up at Watkins Glen in the Nationwide race was higher on the funny scale.
Surprise of the Year - Juan Montoya. Considering how he blew Truex Jr out of the water in 2009, I have to say I thought he'd do the same to McMurray...it only took one race for Jamie to prove otherwise and, it seemed that Juan could never recover from that.
Miracle of the Year - Shame Hmiel.
Worst Looking Car Livery of the Year - can I give it to Denny Hamlin for not driving 'his' Sponsafier car? Didn't think so...so, it has to go to Matt Kenseth with his yellow and red effort of 'Jeramiah Weed' that he used at Charlotte in May. I reckon I can already given the 2011 one to Ambrose's Petty ones...they don't look that flash to me from the pictures.
Bone-headed Overtaking Attempt of the Year - Jeff Gordon at Sonoma. Take your pick, I'm pretty sure he hit someone on all 110 laps.
The 'Dental School' Award (who made the most jaws drop in a single moment) - race one of the Chase...I never thought I'd see the day that Loudon produced a corker of a race!
The 'Carved from Stone' Award - for not breaking in the face of one of the best F1 seasons ever, Sebastian Vettel did what he had to by winning the final two races and becoming the youngest champ in F1 history.
The 'Red Bull' Award - Brad Keselowski's ride at Atlanta looked to have this one all done and dusted...until Mark Webber's flyover of Valencia that is.
The 'Lucky Bugger' Award - Dario Franchitti...I presume he sent the Penske team some flowers after they screwed up Will Power's pitstop at Chicago, focring him into making a splash and go with five laps remaining. Dario went on to win the race before mowing down Will in the points to win back-to-back titles in Homestead.
The 'Anthony Hudson' Award - Jimmie Johnson wins this one for his so called 'bumpdraft' on Kurt Busch at Pocono. I'm not exactly sure what Hendrick Motorsports has against Penske's #2 but just when you think "he's not going to hit Kurt again is he?", he proves you wrong. I bet Brad will be rather nervous when he sees any HMS cars around him in 2011.
The 'Top Gear' Award - have to agree with Gene and give it to Danica. All the hype, having had her best year in Indycars in 2009, she didn't exactly set the tintop racing world on fire when she graced the Nationwide series with her presence.
The 'Brett Favre' Award (best comeback) - Kyle Busch made a huge push for this one with his Truck drive at Bristol in August but, I think this guy deserves it more...Jamie McMurray.
So, hopefully, that's it from me for 2010 from the Northern hemisphere. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year.
RIP, NASCAR, Part 3
4 months ago