38 races, if you include the Budweiser Shootout and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race.
It’s been an up and down year for many in this elite driving series. This 2012 season provided some moments that surprised, shocked, and even created some NASCAR history. From the Daytona 500 that raced in primetime on Monday to the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the Sprint Cup boys definitely provided the fans with some memorable moments.
Here are some of the moments and races that I definitely will remember for years to come:
It looked like something from an action movie instead of a NASCAR race. It was just too crazy! After the Daytona 500 was postponed to Monday night because of rain, it was a sudden plume of fire and smoke that rose from the track. This left fans wondering what had happened. In the end, we found out Juan Pablo Montoya had a parts failure and his No. 41 Chevrolet slammed into a jet dryer, sparking a fireball at the track. Both the driver of the jet dryer and Montoya were unhurt but the fire raged as fuel spilled across the track. Once the fire was extinguished and the track was repaired, the race continued. Matt Kenseth crossed the finish line in NASCAR’s first Daytona 500 under the lights.
A day the Jr Nation will not quickly forget. June 17, 2012. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ended his 143 race winless streak at Michigan International Speedway in a Batman themed back No. 88 Chevrolet.
Denny Hamlin dances for the fans at Bristol Motor Speedway (Photo: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
Bristol Motor Speedway. Home of fantastic racing and even better driver introductions. After coming out and showing his moves to “Teach Me How To Dougie” before the spring race, Hamlin decided to “Wobble” for the fall race. While he didn’t win the sprint race, he was able to dance his way to victory lane in August. Gotta love a guy who has great moves on and off the track!
Brad Keselowski drinks a glass of beer after winning the Sprint Cup during the 2012 Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup NASCAR race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., on Sunday.
Brad Keselowski beats Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer to win the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This is Keselowski and Penske Racing’s first Sprint Cup.
As if Montoya slamming into a jet dryer wasn’t crazy enough, the 2012 season saw a NASCAR driver be suspended just hours before the start of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. While the NASCAR community never found out why Allmendinger failed his test, it was great to see him come back after completing the Road to Recovery program. He would compete for Penske Racing in the No. 51 car after Kurt Busch moved over to Front Row Racing.
Definitely one of NASCAR’s worst crashes of the year happened in the second race at Talladega Superspeedway. On the final lap, a 25 car wreck occurred at turn four sending a few cars in the air, in the wall, and all over the track. In the end, it led to NASCAR’s Most Popular driver being diagnosed with a concussion and being forced to sit out the two races afterwards. The wreck definitely cost a few chasers a chance at the Sprint Cup.
Boy’s have at it and did they! Nothing beats the fight heard around the world between Clint Bowyer’s crew and Jeff Gordon’s crew at Phoenix International Raceway. While the two drivers had an on-track incident, the crews were trying their best to protect their driver. In the end, Gordon was fined and docked points, while Bowyer was not. The video is still being played all over social media.
It was definitely a crazy and memorable 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. What are some of your favorite moments? Hit me up on here or @NASCARKrissy on Twitter. I look forward to hearing some more moments of the season that was.