Yeah, it’s that time ‘O year again,. Yuhs know, Thee Most Wonderful time ‘O Spew! Uhm, when I subject Y’all to mor of my witty repartee from thoust Mystical Isle of Nofendersville with my End of Year Overall Winners selections, Mateys! Which Y'all can Compare 'N Contrast with last year's choices below.
This year I’m doing things a ‘lil BassAckwards, like are you surprised? Having done my Overall Choices before doing my IndyCar and Formula 1 selections, which I know Y’all can hardly wait for Yuck Yuck Yuck! Can Yuhs Say 2022?
As Here goes Nothin', with another Bevy 'O totally Un-Scientific, Non-sensible, Zany Off Ye Cuff selections made below….
While Y’all can Compare ‘N contrast these choices with last year’s No Fenders selections in the following link.
1. Driver of Year
Winner: Romain Grosjean
So it’s simply amazing to Mwah how once can go from Hot Headed Tail ender Charlie Haas Formula 1 Pilote to whom Hands Down was my IndyCar rookie Of the Year (ROY) winner! As sorry Scott McLaughlin who won this Honour solely due to competing the entire season! And we won’t even bother with that other star rookie driver Jimmie Johnson…
Have to say it must have been the combination of how Romain so openly welcomed his change of scenery and totally embraced IndyCar’s, along with his amazing comeback story following his Great Balls ‘O Fire escape in Bahrain! Along with driving for the Minnowesqe Dale Coyne Alphabet Soup Brigade that simply made me smitten with the Frenchman’s rookie campaign in Indy Cars, as Yuhs just couldn’t escape the positivity Vibe’ that followed him the entire IndyCar season, leaving All other contendahs’ for this category feeling Stale, Blase and Contrite!
Surely All of the “Usual suspects” would typically apply, but like I just said above, and like Sinead O’Connor famously Crooned a long time ago, albeit over a different subject: “Nothing compares to You,” romain!
2. Story of Year
Winner: Bob Jenkins, Robin Miller and Uncle Bobby’
Sadly for Mwah, Thars No Bigger story of the year other than the Uber Unfortunate loss of Ye Curmudgeon ‘O
IndyCar’s ‘Ol r’, aka robin Miller! As this was one of the few “Voices” I sought out on a Daily basis via his wonderful work at Racer.com, where I logged onto every day multiple times to “See” what latest story or News Miller had written for us…
And for as large as a presence Miller was as a Journalist, I’m also very Sad over the Death of Bob Jenkins, who I always felt had to be the most Humblest person in Broadcasting! As I cannot say anything better than what Simon Pagenaud said about him when Bob first divulged his Brain Cancer. As the 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner said Hearing Jenkins voice at the Speedway was like a Hug! As you Always knew where you were whenever hearing Jenkins voice over the PA at Mother Speedway, where Bob just oozed passion every time I heard him talking to “Us” over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s speakers. Along with feeling his love and appreciation for the Brickyard!
I suppose it’s symbiotic, karmic or Apropos that Robert William Unser, better known as Uncle bobby decided to take the Chequered flag this year at the Age of 87, appropriately during The Month of May! Since He and Miller were longtime Pals’, and I always think of Miller’s wonderful impersonation of Unser and that Hilarious Uncle bobby roast that Robin MC’ed in 2019. As I can hear bobby asking Miller did you bring Receipts wit Yuhs?
While we lost another icon of Motorsports golden Years with the passing of bob Bondurant, who along with being an accomplished racer, taught countless thousands of aspiring racers how to be better drivers.
And then, as I was beginning to Wrap-up this riveting No Fenders tome, word came of Uncle bobby’s younger brother Big Al’, nee Al Unser Sr’s passing on December 9th at the Age of 82 after a 17 year battle with Cancer.
As one of my earliest memories of beginning my current IndyCar infatuation is thy memory of Rootin’ for big Al to Beat his son Al Unser, Jr. at TamiAmi Park for the 1985 CART/PPG IndyCar championship. Which the senior Unser did by One point with a late race pass for fourth place!
Valentino Rossi, Kimi Raikkonen
Seems appropriate that two Giants of their respective sports, i.e.; the Creme de la Crème of Open Wheel Racing and Motorcycles would see the doctor and The Iceman both retire the same year.
3. Race of Year
Winner: Petit Le Mans
Not sure why this race Always get’s my Nod? But I’m guessin’ it’s got something to do with being the series final race where many IndyCar Drivers come along to “Play” one last time before year’s end? As once again the Overall win went down to nearly the wire. With Mazda ending it’s IMSA Prototypes racing in true Cinderella fashion! Whilst the Championship Battle was secured on the final corner of the Final lap!
Vice Champion: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Although you could say large swaths of this race weren’t that great, as Lewis Hamilton simply “launched” better off the start from second and into the lead and seemed destined to lead Flag-to-Flag. Yet his brief encounter with Checko’, nee Sergio Perez to regain the lead after his Pitstop was exciting! And then the World championship was thrown Upside down when ironically the Mercedes Customer propelled Team Willy’ car of Nicholas Latifit crashed mightly at race’s end, requiring a Safety Car. With second place Max Verstappen brilliantly pitting for new Soft Pirelli tyres and the controversial decision to wave the five lapped cars between Lewis and Max ahead, Hamilton was simply a Sitting Duck on 44-lap used Hard Pirelli compound rubber and Verstappen blitzed his way past on a final lap shootout to become F1 world champion!
Suppose only the Indianapolis 500 compares? With my other choices of Belle Isle Race-2, the Hungarian and Saudi Arabian Grands Prix All pailing in comparison, eh?
4. Sportsperson of Year
Winner: Alexis DeJoria
Initially thought of giving this Honour to Smoke’s Better Half Leah Pruett, but went another direction. Especially since it was good to hear Alexis DeJoria’s name in the Winner’s Circle again! As Alexis hadn’t won a NHRA Nitro Funny Car race since claiming the U.S. Nationals Wayback in gory 2014, Aye Karumba! Yet Obviously, Thars plenty of deserving candidates for this category…
Leah Pruett, Britany Force, Erica Enders-Stevens and Angelle Sampey
5. Flatliner' of year
Winner: Tim Wilkerson
Luv’ the story of how Tim Wilkerson and His Crew picked up the racecar on Tuesday, put it together on Wednesday. Showed up at the track on Thursday and won the NHRA series “super Bowl” event the U.S. Nationals with only one Ford Mustang body left, the one they raced with! And then learning after the fact that it was Wilkerson’s first win in five Gory Years! Not to mention finally breaking thru after nine runner-up finishes…
Greg Anderson who began by “tuning” his mentor “the Professor” Warren Johnson as Johnson’s Crew Chief to three NHRA Pro Stock Championships, Broke Johnson’s record tally of 97 Career Pro Stock wins this season en route to his fifth NHRA Pro Stock Championship! As Anderson finished the year on 99 wins, for which Johnson still will Not Congratulate Anderson for! While Greg will be “gunning” to become the first ever Pro Stock racer to capture the “Ton” mark, i.e.; 100 Pro Stock victories next year.
Ronald C. Capps, Cruz Pedrgon and Steve Torrence
For the Conclusion of this Golden Tailpipe Awards Categories 6-9, i.e.; Rider of Year, Sports Car Drivers of Year, Freak of Year and Quip of Year, Please visit the following No Fenders link below…