Iracingone Fan Award Winners/I
December 5, 2005 | 8:21 P.M. EST
Through e-mail votes and ballots cast on the RacingOne message boards, these are the winners (and losers) for the 2005 "RacingOne Fan's Choise Awards."
Driver of the Year
Fan Pick: Tony Stewart by a landslide.
RacingOne's Pick: Tony Stewart. In our minds, Stewart had this award locked-up by the sensational mid-summer run he had through the NEXTEL Cup schedule.
Most Improved Driver
Fan Pick: Carl Edwards
RacingOne's Pick: Greg Biffle Edwards is certainly a worthy choice, but no driver bettered himself in our minds than Biffle, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2005 that has him as a prime early season favorite for the 2006 title.
Fan Pick: The Daytona 500 edged out the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.
RacingOne's Pick: Ford 400 at Homestead. It may not have been as dramatic as last year's finale, but Homestead's side-by-side racing and the championship implications made the season finale the race of the year.
Both the Fans and RacingOne selected the fall race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The debacle at Lowe's was the clear choice and was a lowpoint in the season.
Both the Fans and RacingOne selected Carl Edwards edging Jimmie Johnson at the finish line by .028 seconds to win his first career NEXTEL Cup Series race at Atlanta. Chills still are felt when watching the video of this last lap masterpiece.
Fan Pick: Carl Edwards
RacingOne's Pick: Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray contract moves. Again, Edwards deserves recognition for his outstanding achievement in 2005, but who could have predicted the reigning champion jumping ship in mid-season with all the ramifications involving McMurray and others to follow?
The fans and RacingOne both selected Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jeff Gordon was a close second in fan votes. Don't worry Junior fans, a season-opening win in the 2006 Daytona 500 and you won't even remember 2005.
Most Dramatic Moment
Both the Fans and RacingOne selected Tony Stewart's win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. One of the most emotional moments of any racing season was watching Stewart climb the fence at the Brickyard and salute his homestate fans.
Best Temper Tantrum
Both the Fans and RacingOne selected Robby Gordon's helmet toss at Michael Waltrip at New Hampshire. That one will air on "Sportscenter" for years to come as well as every local station sports recap show of the year.
Quote of the Year
Fan Pick: "Everybody thinks Michael Waltrip is such a great guy. Well he's not a good guy, he's a piece of (expletive)." - Robby Gordon
RacingOne's Pick: "They name streets after guys like him (Biffle) - One Way and Dead End." - Tony Stewart You know, anyone can do blue material like Robby. Stewart's slam was thoughtful and well crafted...and damn funny.
Best New Idea
Fan Pick: Team Limits
RacingOne's Pick: Mandated Tire Pressure The madness of blown tires seemed to magically disappear once NASCAR decided to mandate the teams' using Goodyear's recommended pressure levels.
Worst New Idea
Both the Fans and RacingOne selected the impound procedure. Thought as a way to save money, it was confusing and robbed fans of a day's worth of track activities. Thankfully it will be gone in 2006.
Best Victory Celebration
Fan Pick: Anytime Tony Stewart won and climbed the fence.
RacingOne's Pick: Stewart's celebration after winning the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. The fence climbing is cute and all but the best one was the 2 a.m., post rain delay celebration at Daytona in July.
Best Special Paint Scheme
Fan Pick: Jeff Gordon's Star Wars scheme at Talladega.
RacingOne's Pick: Rusty Wallace's Miller Genuine Draft scheme at Chicagoland. Talk about a warm and fuzzy feeling for the good old days.
Best NASCAR Commercial
Both the Fans and RacingOne selected Home Depot's remodeled port-a-john commercials. The minute Stewart takes a newspaper off a stack of tires and heads to the port-a-john, this one took the prize.
Worst NASCAR Commercial
Fan Pick: Anything with NAPA or Michael Waltrip.
RacingOne's Pick: Greg Biffle's Subway commercial with the hot and toasty sub on his lap. Why on earth was Biffle and Richert driving around in an old car, in the dust with sandwiches on their laps? Don't ask.