We have our music awards; we have our NASCAR awards. What if we put both together? Here’s the 2011 Edition of “The Lefties,” from you lefty blogger and All Left Turns….
“Takin’ Care Of Business,” B.T.O. - Tony Stewart
Perfect fit for the driver sponsored by Office Depot. Smoke and the gang were gamers and made it happen when it counted. This is especially true of the departed crew chief Darian Grubb- who was a pro’s pro in spite on knowing he was gone at the end of the season.
“Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now),” Van Halen- Carl Edwards
Remember this little ditty from Diver Down? Gotta love a tune where a rock super group lets Dad play the clarinet on a record. As for runner-up Carl Edwards, he didn’t hit anybody on purpose, didn’t fight with his teammates, and it seems as though being a family man has mellowed him a bit (so far). Edwards was the gracious “loser” in 2011 without acting like one. Here’s hoping he continues to behave or he will get the “21st Century Schizoid Man” award (King Crimson) next year.
“Be Good Johnny,” Men At Work- The Busch Brothers
This song harkens me back to an ESPN montage featuring this song as a backdrop to a few famous rants by legendary tennis bad boy John McEnroe. It goes without saying little bro Kyle will be on a short leash this season, ditto that for older brother Kurt, wherever it is he gets his second chance.
“Man Of Constant Sorrows,” Soggy Bottom Boys- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Yeah, he’s got one of the coolest jobs in the world, he has a hot girlfriend and his own nightclub, but on the track, it stinks to be Dale Jr. He probably could have won at Talladega, but deferred to Jimmie Johnson, and then he runs out of gas on the last turn at Charlotte, giving way to Kevin Harvick. It’s going on four years since NASCAR’s favorite son won a race. Nobody finds more creative ways to lose a race than ol’ Junebug.
“Glory Days,” Bruce Springsteen- Darrell Waltrip
Does this really need any explanation? No one gets more mileage out of his glorious past than Jaws himself.
"You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” B.T.O.- Brad Keselowski
Bad Brad broke out in 2011 by making the Chase, and making the most of the opportunity. Of all the young guns out there, Keselowski’s future looks the most promising.
“Should I Stay Or Should I Go,” The Clash- Mark Martin
How long can he go on? NASCAR has its own Brett Favre, and his name is Mark Martin. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy, but he has a harder time committing to quit than Kim Kardashian does staying married.
“Free Fallin’,” Tom Petty- David Reutimann
There was some tough competition for this award. Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer had their struggles; Denny Hamlin experienced a drop off this season, but at least these guys got to keep their rides. Beak was ever dutiful foil for former boss Michael Waltrip, he got the most he could out of his mediocre equipment, and this is the thanks he gets- a pink slip.
“You Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” Righteous Brothers- Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus
I’m not one to throw gasoline on the fire, perpetuating rumors of discord between NASCAR’s most famous couple, but didn’t just seem that the even the radio communication wasn’t quite what it was in the past? I’m just sayin’.
"Rocky Mountain Way," Joe Walsh- Regan Smith
2011 saw it's share of first-time winners between Paul Menard, Trevor Bayne, Marcos Ambrose, and David Ragan. This salute to the Denver-based Furniture Row team of Regan Smith- another first time visitor to victory lane- is for them.
I could go on all day….but I won’t. Your submissions are also welcome.
Other articles by Jim McCoy include:
NASCAR Letters To Santa
Kurt Busch May Find Himself On An Island
11 Big NASCAR Stories From 2011