The Biggest Headlines from the 2008 Sprint Cup Season
It's time for one last review of the 2008 Sprint Cup season.
When looking back on the season what are you going to remember most about it? These are the biggest and most memorable moments from 2008.
Headlines that will be remembered for a long time when thinking back at the year that was.
Ryan Newmna wins the Daytona 500 then leaves Penske Racing
Ryan Newman began the 2008 season by delivering Roger Penske his first Daytona 500 win. Fans were soon shouting "Hello Newman" in hopes of his rise back to the top.
But by late season fans were saying "Goodbye Newman" when he announced that he would be leaving Penske Racing to join Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing.
He'll now be driving No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet.
Kyle Busch Dominates
When Kyle Busch signed with Joe Gibbs Racing the plan was to use this year as a year to build chemistry with his new team.
Instead they went out and became the early favorites to win the Sprint Cup championship. They simply could not be beaten.
And it wasn't just in the Cup series. Busch went out and won in everything he sat in, from the Trucks, Nationwide and Cup Series. He ended the year with 21 NASCAR wins.
Kasey Kahne Wins But Loses
In May at the Lowe's Motorspeedway Kasey Kahne had to race his way into the All-Star race. Unfortunately he didn't make the cut. But he got lucky when he was voted in by the fans.
He went on to win the big show and followed it up one week later by winning the Coca-Cola 600.
From there he won at Pocono and seemed to be in a good position to make the chase for the championship. However, just like in past year's his team lost their consistancy and he fell out of the top 12.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins with Hendrick Motorsports
Dale Earnhardt Jr. set the world on fire in February when he went out and won the Budweiser Shootout and then the first Gatorade Duel at Daytona.
This is exactly what he said he wanted to do when he came to Hendrick Motorsports.
The only problem was that they weren't points paying races so they didn't count. So for the first half of the year he bounced between second and fourth in points as he worked hard for his first win.
He finally got it on Father's Day at Michigan when he won the Life Lock 400 to end his two year winless streak.
Mark Martin signs with Hendrick Motorsports
Mark Martin said he was going to retire years ago but he keep coming back. Hungry for his first championship.
But he knew that he could never obtain it with Dale Earnhardt Inc. In July at Daytona he announced that he would be driving full time in 2009 for Hendrick Motorsprts in the five car.
Tony Stewart Decides to Leave Joe Gibbs Racing
Tony Stewart has been the senior driver at Joe Gibbs Racing since Bobby Labonte's depature. And he's been with JGR and Greg Ziapadelli since his career began.
But in July he announced that he would be leaving the only team he's ever known, and won championships with, to form his own team of Stewart-Haas Racing.
He'll be driving No. 14 Office Depot and Old Spice Chevrolet's in 2009 with teammate Ryan Newman
Joey Logano Gets Promoted
Joey Logano, nick-named Sliced Bread, was told he would be driving the No. 20 car that would be vacated by Tony Stewart in 2009.
Logano has won in everything he's ever sat in and has been talked highly by veterans such as Mark Martin.
In 2009 it's time to live up to the hype.
The Tire Fasco at Indianapolis
Only Jimmie Johnson fans will remember that he won the All-State 400 at the Brickyard this year because everyone will either want to forget the disaster of a race it was or remember that the tires were horrible.
The longest green flag run of the day was 12 laps because the tires kept falling apart and causing wrecks and caution after caution.
NASCAR and Goodyear have promised to have the issue resolved by next year.
Dodge Fails to Get a Car in the Chase
The 2008 Sprint Cup season will be one that all the Dodge teams will be happy to forget.
They started the year by winning the Daytona 500 and saw Kasey Kahne win the All-Star and 600 but that was the only highlights of their year.
They failed to get any other their cars in the Chase for 2008 and have lost Chip Ganassi Racing who will be running Chevrolet's in 2009.
Mother Nature Takes Over
Jimmie Johnson may have won the battle but Mother Nature wins the war of 2008.
Rain cancelled qualifying a record 10 times in 2008 and not only started the field by owner points but sent many teams home without a chance to make the big show.
Oh, the Meger Mill
Since Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s departure the state of DEI has been in question. Mark Martin followed Earnhardt Jr. and went to Hendrick Motorsports leaving DEI with only one sponsor and one full-time driver.
Then late in the season it was announced that DEI and Chip Ganassi would be merging to form Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing.
Other teams are also rumored to be merging.
They'll be running Chevy's in 2009 and are still searching for sponsors.
Jeff Gordon Goes Winless
After his record setting and dominant year in 2007 where he almost won the Sprint Cup championship, the drive for five was alive in 2008.
Many believed that Jeff Gordon would be back just as strong as he was in 2007.
However, things didn't go as planned.
Beginning at Daytona, Gordon had his worst season in his career. He failed to win a race for the first time since his rookie year and was just terrible at certain tracks.
The 2008 season left Gordon and company scratching their heads.
Jimmie Johnson Three-Peat
For the third consecutive year Jimmie Johnson was crowned the Sprint Cup Champion.
Johnson and company got off to a slow start in 2008 but by the time the Chase rolled around, at tracks Johnson is statistically great at, he was all by a shoe in for his third title.
Not even Carl Edwards' late charge could stop Johnson.
Ray Evernham Buys Dirt Track
When the Sprint Cup Season ended Ray Evernham told the world that he would be selling his share of Gillett Evernham Motorsports so that he could buy a local North Carolina dirt track.
Evernham wanted to go back to his roots and leave NASCAR behind.
Bobby Labonte Signs With?
Earlier this week it was announced that Bobby Labonte would be parting with Petty Enterprises and the No. 43 car.
Labonte currently has no ride for next year but rumors have been flying that he will be driving the No. 41 car for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing.
And Finally---Brian France Does It Again
At Homestead during the final weekend of the year Brian France told teams that beginning in 2009 there would be no more testing. He was banning it.
France is known for his many decisions, both good and bad.
The top three series will no longer be allowed to test at a track that hosts a race. This has caused many teams to be split on the decision.
But France said he did it because he wants to save the teams "tens of millions."