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Members of the media ranked the top competition stories of the 2010 NASCAR season on NASCARMedia.com. The media poll was active from Tuesday, Nov. 30, until Monday, Dec. 6, at noon. There were 21 top competition storylines listed in the poll. First-place votes received 21 points, with second-place votes receiving 20 points, third-place votes 19 points and so forth down to one point for a 21st-place vote.
Johnson’s historic accomplishment of winning five straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles while overcoming a 15-point deficit in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway garnered 49 first-place votes and finished with 1,449 points. NASCAR’s“Boys, have at it” philosophy – communicated last January, setting the tone for exciting and hard-fought racing – finished with 17 first-place votes and 1,294 points.
Denny Hamlin battling back from early-season knee surgery, challenging for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, winning a series-high eight races and finishing a career-best second in the point standings ranked third in the poll.
Kyle Busch claiming 24 national series victories, including an unprecedented sweep of all three national series races (NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) at Bristol Motor Speedway in August, was selected the fourth top story. Jamie McMurray’s breakout season, that saw him win the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Bank of America 500, was voted the fifth top story.
The rest of the top 10 highlights of 2010, according to the media, are: Richard Childress Racing returning to prominence with all three drivers qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup; the return of the spoiler to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars; the introduction of a maximum of three restart attempts prior to the white flag under NASCAR’s green-white-checkered flag finish; Brad Keselowski winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series title, providing owner Roger Penske with his first NASCAR championship; and the most competitive season in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history, with records for lead changes and leaders.