Most of you remember I did a mid year awards blog, so now I'm going to do an end of year awards blog. Using the same categories and I will even show who my mid season winner was. Please feel free to comment as usual.
Mid Season Winner: Kyle Bush
My how fortunes change - at mid season there was no question who should get this award Kyle Bush had it locked it seemed, but something happened at the start of the chase and well, to the joy of Junior fans everywhere, Kyle hit a rough patch and may not make the banquet table, imagine that.
So who is this years MVP, Well the obvious would probably be Jimmie Johnson, he has his 3rd championship virtually locked up, he would win the points battle even it was under the old system so why not JJ. But no one ever accused me of going with the obvious. My pick for this years MVP is:
CARL EDWARDS - Carl has been consistent all year, he won races in the begining of the year, mid-year and the end of the year. And if it wasn't for a 100 point deduction at Vegas this year Carl would be leading under the classic points system by 46 points.
Mid Season: BRIAN VICKERS:
At the mid season I toyed with Brian and David Reutimann as the winner of this award, and while both have had great years my winner had a better year, we just didn't really hear about him until the later part of the season. So the end of year award goes to:
David Regan - David looks like he will end up 13th in points and the last half of the season has consistently run in the top 10.
Mid Season: Ryan Newman:
I based my mid season selection on the fact that Ryan did nothing after his 500 win and while he didn't win a race and did not compete for a chase spot, and yes while his season has been somewhat a disappointment I'm giving him a break for having his mind on his move to his new team the latter part of the season. But the winner, in my opinion has no excuses and that person would be:
Elliott Sadler: Elliott didn't do a thing this year, Even when his teammate, Kasey Kane went on a small streak at the end of May, Elliott never threatened for anything. others considered, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Kyle Bush and Juan Pablo Montoya
Mid Season - David Regan
And the winner is:
David Regan: Not only was he my Most Improved but he remains my biggest surprise. It seemed the latter part of the year everytime you looked at the final results David was in the top 10. So Coodoos to David
Rookie of the Year:
Mid Season -Mike McDowell -
Boy did I get blasted for this pick and as it turned out rightfully so, Mike took a dive starting at Daytona and dove so far that he no longer has a ride. This year there really wasn't a rookie that stood out like we have had in the past. So I am going to go with:
Regan Smith: - Regan is currently 34th in points but more importantly he kept the 01 car in the top 35 all year. Plus one has to consider where would Sam Hornish be if he hadn't had the points from the 2 car to guarantee him being in the first 5 races.
Now for Team Awards:
Most Improved Team:
Mid Season - MWR
Well I got blasted for my pick at mid season, everyone was saying it should have been "Red Bull" Well guess what? I'm going to get blasted again because my winner is:
MWR: Michael Waltrip has put a lot of effort into this team and has all three cars in the top 35 at this time. Plus the last half of the season MWR cars have been competitive a lot of the times. With the 00 moving to the 47 next season and Mikey Bringing in some major engineers from F-1 and other personnel I expect bigger and better things for next season. Also, one thing that turned me off on Red Bull, is how they handled AJ Allmendinger. The 83 car is 20th in points but Brian sits 19th in Drivers Points and David 22nd so not a whole lot of differences there.
Most Disappointing Team:
Mid Season - Ganassi Racing:
Again I have to stick with my Mid Season Pick here and go with:
Ganassi Racing - Chip lost the 40 car early, Now he lost sponsors for his top driver with Texaco leaving and is looking to merge with another team.
Most Shocking Event of the Season:
Mid Season - Ryan Newman leaving Penske Racing:
While Ryan leaving Penske was a shock, I think the biggest shock to NASCAR is:
Sponsors leaving by droves: A lot of sponsors have bailed on NASCAR for the upcoming season. Army leaves DEI, Ganassi loses Texaco, No sponsors for the 43, 22 and others. It appears NASCAR's Cash Cow is drying up and it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Brian France does in the off season.
Best Move by NASCAR:
1. Ryan Newmans 25 Point penalty for being too high. To me this was consistent to all the past penalties. Even though it was the COT it was nothing that kept the car from meeting the templates.
2. The no penalty to the 66 car of JJ Yealy last week. Initially, it was reported the team had put lead in the water bottle and then when they changed the water bottle the car would weigh about 30 pounds lighter. Well it turned out that the bags contained Water and when they took the bag out the car was within standards but, the a violation had taken place by placing the bag in the car prior to tech, thereby changing the attitude of the car. The penalty was a drive through on lap 1 and did not result into a loss of a lap.
End of Year:
Boy its hard to come up with a Best Move by NASCAR but other than the two above I will have to say the Best Move is:
The changing of the Chase Schecule: I'm not real crazy about California having a chase race and Atlanta losing it. What the move did was bring the Labor Day Race back to the south where it belongs but it also pushed Talladega back to the 6th race in the chase. This could make it very interesting with the 'Big One' lurking at every lap. Make Contenders from Pretenders and make Contenders, Pretenders.
Well there you have it. Agree, Disagree,, but remember if you disagree let everyone know why and who you would pick for that category. After all your opinion counts too.