NASCAR’s ‘besties’ and ‘worsties’ of 2012

A jet dryer bursts into flames after being hit by Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, under caution during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 27, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The 2012 NASCAR season had many highlights, and a few lowlights.  Attendance was mixed at the tracks, TV ratings didn’t exactly soar and the Sprint Cup title was decided just past the halfway point in the final race at Homestead. There were no first time winners in the Sprint Cup series this season but the title went to the unlikeliest of heroes.  While the overall story for NASCAR in 2012 might be like a bowl of vanilla ice cream, there were a few sprinkles on top, and a few of those were licorice flavored.

We therefore present the ‘we-didn’t- think-we’d- do-this-again’ best and worst moments from the 2012 NASCAR season.

The season opening Daytona 500 was delayed by rain for the first time in its storied history. It ended up as a Monday night prime time affair watched by millions. It featured what looked like a scene from a movie when Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a jet dryer during a caution period setting it ablaze in a spectacular fireball.  After seeing that everyone was ok, my favorite Tweet of the season was sent out as I sat in the press box and watched the safety crew’s work to extinguish the blaze; I said that Montoya was quoted as saying afterwards (ala Ricky Bobby from Talladega nights) “Help me Jesus! Help me Jewish God! Help me Allah! AAAAAHHH! Help me, Tom Cruise! Tom Cruise, use your witchcraft on me to get the fire off me!” MORE>>>

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