The Pit Stop

November 26, 2010 5:44 PM

2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series Year in review....

The fireworks on the 2010 season started even before the first race dropped as ESPN picked up the most of the races the ABC aired. The ratings this year continued to slump despite a move to standard start times as well as attendance at may race tracks throughout the full season.

The Daytona 500 saw an emotional win by Jamie McMurray who got dumped by Roush Fenway Racing last year after NASCAR rules stated that one team could only have four drivers max. Jamie then went on to win at Indy and at the Fall Charlotte race to cap his best NASCAR season ever.

Denny Hamlin wound up having ACL surgery, but that did not stop him at all winning more races though. He won eight this season and fully fought Jimmie Johnson through out the whole chase only to finish a close second in the points.
Brian Vickers wound up with blood clots in his body ending his 2010 early causing substitute drivers to take over for the rest of the year.

This was also a year for driver changes as Kasey Kahne picked up a deal to drive for Red Bull racing for one year, but wound up getting to drive for them at the end of the 2010 season. Marcos Ambrose got picked up at Richard Petty Motorsports for the 2011 season as Bobby Labonte will take over his spot at JTG-Daughtery Racing. Paul Menard left Richard Petty Motorsports with his sponsor for Richard Childress Racing.

Elliott Sadler took a totally different route and signed a deal to drive for Kevin Harvick Inc., a Nationwide Series team, for the 2011 season. In other Nationwide Series driver changes Michael Annett moves over to Rusty Wallace Racing while Aric Almirola will be driving for Jr. Motorsports.

Sponsorships also some some changes this year as Kevin Harvick picked up the Budweiser as a sponsor. Sam Hornish Jr.lost his sponsorship as it moved over top Tony Stewart.

This year saw the Nationwide Series debut of Danica Patrick from the IRL series. She did not have that great of a first year, but she did have one solid qualifying effort. She will be back again for another season of racing.

Travis Pastrana made announcement that he will drive some Nationwide Series races next season.

Both Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon got into a fight at the AAA Texas 500. This wound up being one of the most explosive displays of emotion on the track all season long.

At the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta in the spring Brad Keseklowski winds up crashing Carl Edwards. Then at the end of the race Carl Edwards who was over 100 laps down takes out Brad Keselowski sending him into the air in one very wild wreck.

Later on in the year the most controversial wreck of the year occurs in the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 Nationwide Series Race as Carl Edwards totally dumps Brad Keselowski to prevent Brad from winning the race on the final lap. Carl Edwards wound up loosing 50 plus points for his actions, but kept the win.

In the biggest penalty of the season Clint Boyer racked up a 150 point fine for a car that did not meet specs after the end of the New Hampshire race that he won. It 100% killed his chances of winning the championship.

This year saw the debut in the Nationwide Series for the COT type car that are going to run full time next year.
Brad Keselowksi picked up his first Nationwide Series championship and broke a Kyle Busch mark with 26 top five finishes.

This was also the first year that the NASCAR Hall of Fame was open and inducted its first class of five drivers. The inductees included France family members and Richard Petty. The attendance though fell short of projection at the place.

This was also a year for many NASCAR babies as Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Elliott Sadler, Jeff Gordon, and Juan Pablo Montoya became fathers. Some for at least a second time.

Jimmies Johnson picked upped his fifth Sprint Cup title in a row in the greatest chase fight ever. He is the only driver to do this.

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