Thursday, November 26, 2009

The 2009 Motorsport Awards...well, the ones that count anyway

Okey dokey, let's get this thing done...yeah, I know what you're thinking and trust me, I already know so here's the apology; I'm sorry for posting this before the final round of the V8 Supercars is raced.

Rookie of the Year -
a reasonably tough choice in the end to be honest as I'm not going to go with logic and, instead, give it to the man who won it last year (albeit in a lower category); Joey Logano. Not only did he have big shoes to fill by stepping into the car that Tony Stewart drove for a decade, he also had the weight of expectation resting on those young shoulders with all the whispers about him being 'the next great thing'. He got off to a slow start, but soon found his groove to put in several strong races, including his win at Loudon. A possible threat to make the Chase next year.

Best Race of the Year - the Indycars at Kentucky. A spine-tingling duel for the win between Ryan Briscoe and Ed Carpenter that lasted the final 10 laps fully justified the mid-season changes to make the oval races more exciting. The final F1 race along with the Bristol night race went close...but not quite close enough.

Qualifier of the Year - Sebastian Vettel knew he had to pull out all stops at Japan to keep his slim hopes alive for winning the championship. He didn't do a whole lot of laps since he was saving his engine but he still easily planted his Red Bull Renault on pole, then set about winning the race the next day.

Team of the Year -
Brawn GP for winning both the drivers' and constructors' title after only becoming a team a few weeks prior to the season starting.

Pit Crew of the Year - Brawn GP gets the nod for this as well. Many times Jenson found himself behind a driver, only for his crew to squeak him ahead at the pitstops. Often times it's those vital tenths of a second that win or lose you the championship.

Driver of the Year -
Dario Franchitti. Having spent a year trying to make it in NASCAR, he eventually went back to the thing he's best at; winning races, and the title, in Indycar.

Person of the Year
Rick Hendrick...1, 2 and 3 in the points, nuff said?

And now the fun ones -

Personality of the Year - Valentino Rossi. The charismatic Italian just keeps on keeping on in the MotoGP series. His sense of humour can be rather difficult to follow at times but no one can doubt that he is one of a kind.

Crash of the Year
- Nelson Phillipe and Will Power at the Sonoma Indycar race during practice. Yes, the Talladega crashes were more spectacular, but nowhere near as horrifying.

Surprise of the Year
that Marcos Ambrose didn't win my RotY award! No, seriously I am giving it to Marcos for his stunning drive at Bristol in March...the first glimpse we got that he was more than just a road course guy.

Miracle of the Year
- that, for the third straight year, winning the Daytona 500 seems to be a jinx on that driver. Do you think we could get a petition going demanding Jimmie win it next year just to see if it really is a jinx?

Worst Looking Car Livery of the Year
Jeff Gordon's 'Transformers 2' car at Lowe's. I'm sorry, but Jeff the decepticons...the evil guys? Come on, give me a break!

Bone-headed Overtaking Attempt of the Year
a tough category as there were a few good candidates (Hamlin wrecking both Reutimann and Ambrose on his way to winning at Pocono and Scott Dixon at the start of the Indycar race at Sonoma spring to mind) but it's going to Jarno Trulli. The Italian thought he'd take advantage of Adrian Sutil at the Brazilian GP when Sutil slowed as Kimi had no front wing in front of him. Alas, Jarno didn't get the memo about there being no vision out of the side and back of a F1 car as its mirrors are nothing more than token gestures. So it was no great surprise when he ended up on the grass before careering back on to the track, slamming into Sutil and taking them both out on turn 4...of lap 1. Trulli then had another brainfade as he proceeded to blame Sutil for the whole thing for the remainder of the season.

The Dental School Award (aka, the award that made the most jaws drop)
Matt Crafton decided the only way he could make points up on Ron Hornaday at Gateway was to barge his way to the front. First he took out Todd Bodine when Todd blocked on a restart, then, after I'm sure most people went "he won't do that again" did the same thing to Hornaday. NASCAR gave him a penalty for rough driving...possibly the easiest decision the officials made this year.

The 'Carved from Stone' Award (aka the person that stood up when the heat was on)
might be a touch early, but it's going to Jamie Whincup. Not only did he have to put up with all the talk about what he'd be doing in 2010, he also had to race with a team who knew they were switching manufacturers for the next season. Despite that, he looks set to repeat as V8 Supercar champion.

The 'Red Bull' Award (since it gives you wings) - Quite a few people clearly wanted to win this award but it came down to three (sorry Matt Kenseth but you missed out); Joey Logano, Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman. In the end, I went with Mr Newman for his acrobatics at Talladega. hopefully the US Army will redeem him some frequent flyer points :)

The Lucky Bugger Award -
Carl Edwards for being in the right place at the right time when Marcos Ambrose made his one and only mistake at Montreal.

And that's all she wrote for 2009...let me know of any candidates I may have missed :)


  1. Sorry Tez. Things were going great until you mentioned, You know J.J.

  2. hey now, if this is the only way Jimmie wins just a single points race in a season, I'm all for him winning the 500 :P

  3. Aw, none of my picks made it! LOL

    Nice run down Tez - I dont watch half the motorsports you do so I always learn something!

  4. Joey Logano instead of Marcos Ambrose?! I nearly fell outta my chair when I read that, but then you covered it with the Surprise of the Year so you did know what you were doing.

    Logano did win a Cup race and did well in the Nationwide Series so really no problems with that pick. In fact, I can't argue too much with any of your picks.

    Maybe the Race of the Year, which for me was the final ALMS race at Laguna Seca. That was a wild race with an even wilder finish, great way to close out the ALMS 2009 schedule.

    And how about Lucky Bugger Award to Jenson Button. Raced well for less than half a season and still ended up winning the F1 driver's title!

  5. Nice wrap up. I only watch a few IndyCar races each year but that race at Kentucky was awesome. I'm not sure I have seen mid-season changes ever make the racing THAT much better.

  6. Brad; to be fair, I nearly did give the LB award to Brawn, Williams and Toyota for making an illegal car and getting away with it when the FIA changed their minds over the diffusers.

    jmayer; totally agree....the race before Kentucky was so boring that the winner even said so in his post race interview!