Fan Awards: Biggest Disappointment
December 29, 2008 | 8:07 A.M. EST
The 2008 season was great for some but tough for others including drivers, teams and even some races and tracks as we pick the biggest disappointment of the past racing year.
The much-celebrated move by Dale Earnhardt Jr. from DEI to Hendrick Motorsports didn't exactly set the world on fire.
Although Junior did win a race and end a more than two-year losing streak, as well as make the Chase, at the end of season one with Hendrick his numbers looked a lot like his career marks at DEI.
Penske Racing began the year with a bang with a one-two finish in the Daytona 500. But from there things went downhill with 500 winner Ryan Newman shutout the rest of the way and eventually leaving the team for Tony Stewart's new organization; Kurt Busch winning only a rain-shortened affair at New Hampshire; and rookie Sam Hornish Jr. barely hanging on to stay in the Top 35 in the point standings.
Mansfield Motorsports Park ended 2008 in a bad way when the Ohio short track first was forced to give up its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and then finally shutting its doors because of the bad economic climate.
The economy also took its toll on former IRL champion and Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, who ended his stock car career after team owner Chip Ganassi was forced to shut down the No. 40 Sprint Cup entry due to lack of sponsorship.
The newly-merged open wheel world didn't exactly set the world on fire either in 2008 as the combined IndyCar-Champ Car series struggled to win back fans and generate much media exposure outside the Indy 500 and the Danica Patrick-Milka Dunno spat at Mid-Ohio.
But the biggest debacle of the year had to be the tire-plagued Allstate 400 at The Brickyard. With tires shredding every 10 laps or so, NASCAR was forced to turn one of the crown jewels of the schedule into a stop-and-go farce with caution flags that put the sport in a very bad light on one of its biggest stages.
That's our pick for biggest disappointment of the year. Tell us yours.
There are two options to vote:
1. Email your selection to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Vote for your biggest disappointment based on our nominees here.
Note: Other selections are welcome by email.