Kyle Busch’s trophy smashing last weekend has prompted me to ask "what ever happened to the good old-fashioned victory lap?" I have compiled this list for young Kyle (and other would-be champs). Take heed of this list. Learn from its mistakes. Revel in its successes. Here are the most popular celebrations, as well as a few "less-well-known" victory laps.
Traditional Victory Lap
Nothing wrong with it. You can even add a little burnout at the end for the fans (as long as you’re not Jeff Gordon at Talladega).
Polish Victory Lap
This was invented by NASCAR Victory Lap auteur Alan Kulwicki after his first win. Kulwicki said, "There will never be another first win and, you know, everybody sprays champagne or stands up on the car. I wanted to do something different for the fans." Notice there was no mention of smashing things.
Back Flip Victory Lap
Carl Edwards is a weight-lifting megalomaniac trapped behind the gap-toothed smile of Gomer Pyle, but I have to admit his back flips are impressive. Kyle could bring more gymnastics into the victory lap celebration. (Did someone say "Pommel Horse Victory Lap?")
Kurt Busch ‘unwind’ Victory Lap
Kurt is the pioneer of horrible victory lap ideas (see "making snow angels on the track after you win") so it makes sense that it runs in the family. After winning in Atlanta, Kurt drove in reverse the right way around the track. If Kurt wanted to attract ridicule … mission accomplished.
Climb-the-Fence Victory Lap
Little-known fact about Tony Stewart’s climbing expedition at the Brickyard 400: it wasn’t to celebrate the victory. He just saw a sandwich and went for it.
The No Victory, No Lap
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had 76 consecutive races of this patented "no victory, no lap" signature move before winning last June. Unfortunately for his fans, that win was a one-time occurrence and now he’s back to his no victory, no lap.
The I’m-Retired, No-I’m-Not, Yes-I-Am, Maybe Victory Lap
This move has yet to be accomplished in NASCAR, but Brett Favre has spent several seasons perfecting this swan song in the NFL. Recently the move has crossed over to hip-hop, where Jay-Z will be coming out of retirement for the second time to release an album.
The Doc Brown Victory Lap
This signature move requires a flux capacitor, preferably in a DeLorean. During this victory lap, the driver accelerates to 88 mph and jumps into the future. This is probably the coolest burnout ever, as flames rise up from the rubber marks. A warning to all drivers attempting this move: do not get a sports almanac from the future and bring it back to 1985.
The Ferrier Carbocyclization Victory Lap
After winning, the driver stands atop his car and attempts to fuse carbon compounds in the most dangerous chemistry experiment ever. Column length does not permit a full disclosure of the chemistry involved to catalyze the mercury salts, but trust me, it’s pretty cool.
The Archduke Ferdinand Victory Lap
In this intricate maneuver, you wreck a rival’s car after the checkered flag. His teammate wrecks you, prompting your teammate to wreck him. Shortly thereafter the infield turns into a demolition derby where the last car running takes the trophy. It is a dream of mine to see this happen.