@nascarcasm’s Unofficial 2020 Awards Ceremony
By @nascarcasm | Wednesday, November 18, 2020
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While the champions are honored in the official ceremony, we at The Unofficial 2020 Awards recognize those who made achievement in the, shall we say, less prestigious areas of NASCAR. These are honors that aren’t really honors. Without further ado, let us begin.
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In what is a passing of the torch, Denny “Danny” Hamlin takes home this honor from Jimmie “Jimmy” Johnson. This scrolling billboard announcing that Danny…I mean Denny…had won the Daytona 500 made Danny … I mean Denny a lock for this award. Someone update Denny’s Wikipedia page and switch every “Denny” to “Danny” please.
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Tyler Reddick finished fourth at Homestead-Miami Speedway. But what’s more impressive than that is he actually finished. You see, Tyler was a tad bit confused about the race length. After he took the white flag, he let off the gas and started thanking his crew, until his quick-thinking crew chief let him know the race WASN’T OVER. In honor of this moment, we have decided that instead of concluding this speech, we’re going to
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In 2018, Bowman earned a playoff spot and finished 16th. The next year, he won his first Cup race and finished 12th. This year, he won another Cup race and finished sixth. The steady improvement from Bowman and the No. 88 team is commendable but also don’t think we haven’t forgotten you promised to get an “88” tattoo after the race at Fontana. Let’s go. Get liquored up like Austin Dillon after the Daytona 500 if you have to. Stop hesitating. Like, 75 percent of the Talladega infield has one.
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This particular award hasn’t been handed out since February of 2018 when we gave it to Austin Dillon’s tattoo artist.
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Early 2020 was fraught with peril, confusion and uncertainty. The old “normal” was no more. But once NASCAR returned to the track under strict safety protocols, the engines fired, the drivers took to the track, and a driver gave Kyle Busch the finger, there was a brief flash of “You know … everything feels normal again.”
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Matt DiBenedetto is our most naked driver. He likes the birthday suit as much as the firesuit. Much like Brad Keselowski revolutionized Twitter and Ryan Vargas hit big on TikTok, Matty D will undoubtedly be the pioneer in NASCAR online exhibitionism. Hell, he already is, but might as well turn it into a second revenue stream.
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“Oh really, dad? What about the young man who was discovered on iRacing who then went on to take over one of the most storied rides in NASCAR, won his first Cup race in 2020 in a clutch manner and earned a spot in the playoffs? THAT’S RIGHT. MIC DROP. Now if you don’t mind, I’m playing ‘Among Us’ and I’m the impostor so shut the door on your way out.”
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Thanks to Denny Hamlin’s Denny Hamlin mask, I lie awake until sunrise, praying Elon Musk would invent a way to unsee things.
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After Chase Elliott won Kevin Harvick’s bounty on Kyle Busch in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, he decided to rub it in a little more by performing Kyle’s signature bow. SHADE. To be fair to Kyle, when there’s a bounty placed on you, it’s actually a cool thing. The only two people who had bounties placed on them are Kyle Busch and Han Solo. That’s dope company.
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When you overperform in the face of adversity, you can now declare “KFB.” That’s what Kyle Busch said after driving a damaged car to a top-five finish at Texas Motor Speedway this year. His 2020 season was very, well, 2020. But this acronym stuck. If you still don’t know what it means, you will once Urban Dictionary approves my entry.
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Joey Logano won at Phoenix Raceway in March, and afterward gave the traction compound this kind of urpy and unsettling nickname. I can’t imagine a spotter telling his driver “Hey, run more in the awesome sauce.” My reaction to it was sort of similar to when I saw Denny Hamlin’s mask. Thankfully, unlike traction compound, this nickname didn’t really stick.
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He’s been at work on iRacing for years. But this year, the entire world got to meet Barney – the flappiest flagman of all time. He was sort of like a band that is popular in indie circles that suddenly has a huge hit and goes mainstream. His motion is not unlike those wind-dancer things they place outside mattress stores. He is legend.
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I thought that Denny Hamlin would win this award. However, after an amazing amount of votes from the nation’s mothers and teen daughters, Ryan Blaney wins this. It isn’t a bad mask. They just hate anything that covers his face.
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This move had a less-than-zero chance of success. It had all the earmarks of “Well, this worked on iRacing.” But you have to admire the send. You can’t blame Harvick – he was battling for his playoff life here. And had it worked? He would have hopped out of his car, put on his sunglasses and been like “KFH.”
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Homestead-Miami Speedway named their infield tunnel after the seven-time champion. After you get the grade-school snickering out of your system, you realize it’s a pretty unique gift.
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Almirola was able to finish third at Talladega Superspeedway in an out-of-control backwards slide. I guess at this point you don’t need your spotter to tell you know how close the car behind you is, because you can pretty much see for yourself.
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We have it on good authority that before many of the races when we returned from the break, Joey Logano did not receive any boos from the grandstands.
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He had just won his first career Cup race, so he had good reason to wonder. Still not sure if he meant to tweet this though. He might have been asking Siri and didn’t realize he had Twitter open.
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The Choose V was introduced at the All-Star Race and added to regular competition shortly thereafter. It added a welcome new dimension to restarts. Drivers were able to select which lane they thought would be the fastest. It’s basically like the Chick-Fil-A drive thru but a little less competitive.
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Part Jimmie Johnson. Part Richard Petty. Part Dale Earnhardt. This man looks like he’s about to rob a stagecoach.
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Kyle Busch managed to pilot “killed” cars way beyond what you would expect. He’s that good. When Kyle wrecks and declares his car is “killed,” it’s sort of like shooting a zombie in the chest and thinking it’s dead. It isn’t. It’s gonna keep going.
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By definition, “rain tires” are put on a race car so that they can race in the rain. But during the Xfinity Series race at the Roval, it wasn’t so much “rain” as it was “The Book Of Genesis.” Still, the race was completed and the rain tires performed admirably. BTW, I totally thought Noah Gragson would win, solely because when it rains that hard, everyone lines up two by two behind Noah.
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See, you have to bounce OFF of them … not go UNDER them, but …
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It’s hard to pick one, so we’re just giving it to everything that happened after the checkered flag at Phoenix. Chase’s win. Jimmie’s final race. Chase hugging his parents. Rick Hendrick hugging Chase and Jimmie. This was the emotional whiplash of 20 episodes of “This Is Us” and the beginning 15 minutes of “Up!” all at once and I still can’t handle it.