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Top 10 Best NASCAR Races of the 2010’s Era

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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The 2010s were filled with so many great moments, that drivers are now running throwback schemes commemorating them. As shocking as that may be, it is also a reminder of all of the best NASCAR races of the 2010s. We at the Daily Downforce have ranked the 10 best NASCAR Races of the 2010s.

The 2010s were filled with so many great moments, that drivers are now running throwback schemes commemorating them. As shocking as that may be, it is also a reminder of all of the best NASCAR races of the 2010s. We at the Daily Downforce have ranked the 10 best NASCAR Races of the 2010s.

10. 2011 AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta

A race that was delayed two days by rain, those who were able to watch on a Tuesday afternoon saw two legends of NASCAR show their talents in Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. With worn tires and an already slippery and worn out Atlanta track surface, Gordon held Johnson off for his 85th career win. The win put Gordon alone third all-time on NASCAR’s all-time wins list, where he still stands.

9. 2012 Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen

Due to the 47 car of Bobby Labonte leaking oil, Watkins Glen doubled as a skating rink. Kyle Busch, once comfortably in the lead, fell into the clutches of Brad Keselowski, who spun Busch for the lead in the esses.

Keselowski then tried to fend off a hard-charging Marcos Ambrose to no avail. Ambrose skated through the oil with and past the 2 car to get his second career Cup Series win.

8. 2016 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway

One driver’s heartbreak is always another’s glory. Carl Edwards seemed to have the 2016 Cup Series championship in the bag until a late caution at Homestead-Miami Speedway. On the ensuing restart, Edwards turned across the nose of Joey Logano, and Edwards was done for the day and, ultimately, his career.

Jimmie Johnson took advantage of it to take the top spot of the Championship 4. He would later take the lead on the final restart to win his seventh Cup Series Championship.

7. 2016 Daytona 500

A rarity in today’s age, a relatively clean Daytona 500 ended with the closest finish in the race’s history. Denny Hamlin fought his way up from fourth on the last lap to get past teammate Matt Kenseth. Hamlin would edge Martin Truex Jr. at the line by 0.01 seconds, the closest finish in Daytona 500 history.

6. 2014 Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix

In the first year of the win-and-you’re in system, two clutch performances highlighted the fall Phoenix race. Kevin Harvick led 264 laps to win his way into the Championship 4. The final spot was taken up by Ryan Newman by shoving Kyle Larson out of the way in the final corner.

5. 2017 First Data 500 at Martinsville

A Joey Logano spin with less than 10 laps to go set up a frantic run to the finish. It started with Chase Elliot bumping leader Brad Keselowski out of the way. The next lap, Elliot was the one bumped as Denny Hamlin dumped Chase Elliot in turn three, much to the chagrin of the Martinsville crowd.

On the ensuing restart, it was Hamlin’s teammate Kyle Busch who got the best jump, and held off Martin Truex Jr for the win. Hamlin was met with a chorus of boos and Elliot with thunderous applause following the race.

4. 2011 Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami

Tony Stewart’s 2011 playoff run will forever be legendary. He finished it with a bang by getting the restart of the season with 37 laps to go, but his championship rival Carl Edwards was in tow. Edwards could not quite get to Stewart, and Stewart won his third championship on a tiebreaker.

3. 2013 Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway

Fresh off of a confrontation the week prior, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano found themselves battling for the lead in the final laps. However, the two forgot that Kyle Busch was sitting in third. As Logano and Hamlin touched in the final turns, Busch swooped in around the outside to take the surprise win.

2. 2018 Overton’s 400 at Chicagoland Speedway

In one of the greatest finishes NASCAR has ever seen, Kyle Larson ran down Kyle Busch in lapped traffic in the final laps. Larson took a banzai move into turn one on the last lap, but could not complete the slide job putting both into the wall. Larson would pass Busch into turn three, but Busch would have the last lap bumping Larson out of the way for the win.

1. 2010 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway

For years, the 75 lead changes of the 1984 Winston 500 seemed like an unbreakable record. Then in 2010 at Talladega, the NASCAR Cup Series put on the greatest show the track has ever seen. The lead changed hands 88 times on the day, with the two-car tandem becoming more prevalent, but pack racing still dominating the day.

In the end, it was Kevin Harvick beating Jamie McMurray by 0.011 seconds on the last lap. The win snapped a 3+ year winless drought for Harvick.

Honorable Mentions: 2011 Aaron’s 499, 2018 First Data 500, 2016 Toyota/Save Mart 350, 2018 First Data 500.

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts