With the season just a few short weeks away, here’s a look back at the biggest off-season rumors of 2010. Some of these rumors proved to be true; others were just whispers in the wind, but all of them made the silly season that much more entertaining this year.
1. Will Danica race stock cars?
The inches of column space dedicated to Danica make Lindsay Lohan blush. This off-season, she confirmed the rumors by joining JR Motorsports for a limited Nationwide Series run. The media sensation that is Danica Patrick even beat out "sliced bread" (not Logano, but real bread) in a very scientific poll of the "best thing since…". Her dalliances with the NASCAR circuit will keep gossip columnists busy all season.
2. Will Mark Martin retire?
The speculation on Martin’s retirement were totally unfounded. At the ripe old age of 51, he’s putting together some of the best races of his career. How does he do it? What is the secret to his ‘super human’ endurance all these years? Mark Martin is not human; he’s an alien. Technically speaking, his body is an alien spaceship piloted by 100 humanoids who are each one-inch tall. The film "Meet Dave" starring Eddie Murphy was not a fun family film, but the true story of a man sent from space to race.
3. Is Elliott Sadler really a werewolf?
One of the biggest shockers of this off-season was the confirmation that Elliott Sadler is a werewolf. Doubters need look no further than his success under the lights (of a full moon), his skill at hunting and fishing and his perpetual scruffy beard. Sadler’s werewolf status has been known for years within the garage. This story was underreported in the press because Sadler chose to reveal his wolf-ness on the same day Danica announced her new NASCAR ride.
4. Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo’s "Will They/Won’t They" Sexual Tension comes to a head.
They fight, they make up, they almost hug it out. It’s a storyline shaping up to be bigger than "The Office’s" tension for Pam and Jim, "Cheers’" Sam and Diane or the thick sexual tension between Monday Night Football’s Madden and Michaels. Time will tell if these two are just stringing us along to keep us interested in a bad show (like Ross and Rachel on "Friends") or if these two are meant to be together forever (like Madden and Michaels, who live together on a farm in upstate New York.)
5. Team mergers to compete with Hendrick
Hendrick dominated again, finishing 1-2-3 at the top of the standings and taking home a fourth straight Sprint Cup Championship. This off-season rumors swirled about all the other teams of NASCAR merging together to field one "Super Team." The tentative name for this team was the Stewart-Wood Brothers-Haas-Roush-Ganassi-Fenway-Gibbs-RCR-RPM-Earnhardt-Bill Davis-Waltrip Racing Enterprises (or SWBHRGFGRCRRPMEBDWRE). Unfortunately, they couldn’t agree on the color of the car so the Super Team disbanded.