The 12 Greatest Finishes To NASCAR Races In 2010

Paul CarreauAnalyst IDecember 14, 2010

The 12 Greatest Finishes To NASCAR Races In 2010

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    Jason Smith/Getty Images

    NASCAR  has always been known for it's great action and exciting finishes. This past season was no exception.

    Between all three of the top series, there were some wild and crazy finishes. Coming up, we are going to take a look back at the 12 best and most exciting finishes of the season.

    So sit back, enjoy, and relive some of the most exciting moments from the 2010 NASCAR season.

12. Clint Bowyer Wins In New Hampshire

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    We all know the aftermath of Clint Bowyer's win in New Hampshire.

    Bowyer's car failed post race inspection after his car was deemed to be a fraction of an inch too low. The penalty cost Bowyer 150 championship points and ultimately took him out of the Chase for the Championship after he had seemingly put himself in a position to challenge for the title.

    While the finish to this race wasn't a side by side battle for the win, the excitement comes from not knowing if Bowyer had enough fuel in the tank to make it back to the start finish line.

    After teammate, Jeff Burton, ran out of gas with two laps to go, race leader Tony Stewart ran out of fuel coming to the white flag. Bowyer inherited the lead, but the win was all but guaranteed, as he had last pitted for fuel at the same time as Burton and Stewart.

    Add the fact that Denny Hamlin was making a feverish charge to Bowyer's bumper, and you had the makings of an exciting finish.

11. Denny Hamlin Wins In Texas

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    In a race that featured an on track shoving match between Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton and Chad Knaus making a complete pit crew swap with the No. 24 team, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth ended the day with a fun three lap shootout that saw them swap the lead between themselves multiple times.

    Kenseth had gotten a lap down early in the event, but worked his way back in to contention, and lined up right beside Hamlin on the final restart. After spending the first lap under the green flag side by side, Kenseth was able to edge past Hamlin for the lead with two laps to go.

    But Kenseth had gotten in to the corner so deep to get by Hamlin, he was forced to really get off the gas to keep his car from going in to the wall. This allowed Hamlin to get passed Kenseth, and ultimately take the checkers.

10. Aric Almirola Wins In Michigan

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    The Truck Series race in Michigan not only provided an exciting finish, but it provided an exciting final nine laps.

    Aric Almirola, Todd Bodine and Kyle Busch had a nose to tail, side by side three truck race for nine heart pounding laps.

    After running three wide for the better part of a lap, after a late race restart, Almirola eventually took to the point. And from there it was all about playing defense. Bodine was never more than just a couple of truck lengths from his bumper, with Busch hanging around right behind him.

    When it was all said and done, Almirola was able to defend any move that Bodine tried to make, and he wound up taking the win.

9. Kevin Harvick's Nationwide Series Win In Richmond

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    The September race at Richmond for the Nationwide Series provided a very thrilling finish.

    Kevin Harvick was the dominant driver all night long, but had to fight off a hard charging Brad Keselowski to preserve the win.

    As the laps wound down, Harvick began to encounter heavy lapped traffic, which allowed Keselowski to pull right up to his bumper. Once clear of the lapped cars, the two would square off in a two lap shootout.

    Driving defensively, Harvick got loose and scraped the wall with two laps to go. Trying to take advantage of his slip up, Keselowski ducked inside of Harvick, but got in to the corner carrying too much speed, and was forced to get off the throttle, or risk side swiping Harvick and potentially ruining both of their nights.

    After both drivers collected themselves, Harvick was able to hold off Keselowski's last lap passing efforts on the high side, and collect the checkered flag.

8. Jamie McMurray Wins The Daytona 500

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    To win the Daytona 500 is the dream of anyone who races.

    To win the Daytona 500 by beating an Earnhardt to the line makes it all the more special. Jamie McMurray accomplished both during the 2010 running of the Great American Race.

    McMurray restarted the third green white checker on the outside of Kevin Harvick, he then got a great push to the front from his good friend, and former teammate, Greg Biffle. Then Biffle left McMurray to try and take the lead from him, which he did for about a corner.

    Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Dale Earnhardt Jr. appeared to make it a two man sprint to the checkers between himself and McMurray. Unable to get any sort of run, all Earnhardt could do was push McMurray to the win.

    The two laps to end the race that McMurray led, were the only two that he led the entire race.

7. Timothy Peters Wins At Daytona

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    Just days before Jamie McMurray won the Daytona 500, Timothy Peters scored his second career win, in the first truck race of the 2010 season.

    Coming to the white flag, Peters was pushing Todd Bodine, with Jason White right behind him. As they went down the backstretch for the final time, White jumped to the high side.

    His move caused Peters to jump out with him.

    Seeing all this happen behind him, Bodine went up the track to try and block, as he did that he got into the outside wall, allowing Peters to cut back inside and begin a drag race with Bodine.

    He was able to clear him coming out of turn four, and was then able to hang on for his first win on a super speedway.

6. Kyle Busch Wins At Fontana In The Nationwide Series

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    Of all the Nationwide Series races that Kyle Busch won this year, this one was one that he probably shouldn't have won.

    Teammate Joey Logano was the dominant car, and was well on his way to an easy victory when a late caution set up a dramatic green, white, checkered finish.

    On the restart, Greg Biffle got into Logano, causing Logano to drift up high, and ultimately get passed by Biffle, Busch and Brad Keselowski. Biffle had the lead as the field took the white flag.

    Busch was tucked up right underneath Biffle and then went low, and raced side by side with Biffle the rest of the way. Keselowski also managed to get in there and make it three wide for an instant but ultimately it came down to a drag race between Busch and Biffle, that Busch won by half a car length.

5. Denny Hamlin Wins At Martinsville

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    Denny Hamlin winning at Martinsville is nothing new, but the spring race of 2010, saw a new way for him to win.

    A late race caution saw some strategy come in to play. While leading, Hamlin opted to come in for four fresh tires while most of the other leaders stayed out. After Kyle Busch spun out with two to go, setting up a green, white, checkered finish, Hamlin was back in it.

    He restarted fourth behind Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth.

    On the restart, Gordon and Newman got together allowing Kenseth to get inside both of them making it three wide. Once Kenseth got out front, Gordon got into the back of him sending him up the track, and opening the door for Hamlin to sneak through and go on to score an improbable victory.

4. Kyle Busch Wins The Talladega Truck Race

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    In what would be the closest race in the history of the truck series, Kyle Busch beat Aric Almirola by .002 seconds. And Johnny Sauter was not much further behind.

    In yet another green, white, checker finish, Almirola took the white flag as the leader, with Busch running second and Sauter in third, all single file. As they were making their way through the tri oval, and heading for the start/finish line, Busch went up and Almirola went for the block.

    This allowed Busch to duck back down low.

    As he did that, Sauter shot up to the high side, and it became a three man drag race to the finish line. Busch won it by inches while Almirola had to settle for second, and Sauter finished third, half a truck length behind.

3. Carl Edwards' Controversial Win at Gateway

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    The recent history between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski has been well documented.

    Keselowski, inadvertently, got into Edwards coming to the checkered flag at Talladega in 2009, and Edwards flipped Keselowski in Atlanta in the spring.

    All of those events culminated in a big way in the closing seconds of the seasons first Nationwide race at Gateway.

    After taking the white flag, Keselowski got into the back of Edwards, getting him sideways, in turn one. Edwards saved it, and it resulted in a drag race down the backstretch.

    Keselowski got the advantage on the inside coming out of turn four, when Edwards intentionally turned Keselowski into the wall. Edwards then kept his foot in the gas, and held off a hard charging Reed Sorenson.

    The spinning Keselowski then got slammed by numerous cars as a big pileup ensued.

2. Kevin Harvick Beats Jamie McMurray at Talladega

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    When the white flag flew at Talladega, there were seemingly six drivers who had a chance to win.

    Mere seconds later, there were only two.

    Jamie McMurray and Kevin Harvick broke away from the rest of the pack and were bound and determined to settle this race amongst themselves.

    Timing is everything at both Talladega and Daytona, and on this day, Harvick's timing was perfect. He stayed tucked up underneath McMurray for the entire final lap, then with about 200 yards to go, he made his move.

    He broke draft with McMurray just enough to loosen him up a little, and then dove to the inside. He left himself just enough room, and time, to squeeze by McMurray and take the win by a bumper.

1. Boris Said's First Nationwide Series Win

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    The best finish of the 2010 season, surprisingly came on a road course.

    The final shootout on the Montreal road course, featured four drivers who rarely compete in the series with a chance to win. Robby Gordon was the late leader, but unfortunately ran out of fuel a lap and a half short of the finish.

    That set up a dramatic run to the checkers between Jacques Villeneuve, Max Papis and eventual winner, Boris Said. Midway through the final lap, Villeneuve and Papis began swapping second place, giving Said a brief breakaway. Once Papis cleared Villeneuve for good, he set his sights on the leader.

    Going into the final turn, Papis was able to get around Said, but drove it in just deep enough to leave the inside open for Said to come back. this set up the dramatic drag race to the finish. Two drivers, both looking for their first win in the series, raced each other clean, as not once did they touch, and ultimately Boris Said came away the winner, but just barely.