Best 25 photos of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season
Maybe this isn't one of the top 25 NASCAR photos of the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season, but it deserves at least honorable mention after this cool flyover prior to the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas in March.
Check out what we figure to be the top 25 photos from the long season, which lasted nine months and included not only 36 points races but also two non-points events (the season-opening Sprint Unlimited and the Sprint All-Star Race in May):
The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford catches fire at Atlanta in the second points race of the season.
Martin Truex Jr. performs a celebratory burnout in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota, which he was able to do a career-high four times.
Jeff Gordon (left), who was called out of retirement to substitute drive for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr., hugs Tony Stewart prior to what figures to be the final race for both legendary drivers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Practice didn't make perfect
Kyle Busch wrecks during practice for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona in July.
Jimmie Johnson and several of his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports teammates take a group selfie in Victory Lane after Johnson's win at Atlanta in March.
The Big One
Several cars get caught up in a huge wreck in the GEICO 500 at Talladega in May.
Denny takes Daytona
Denny Hamlin celebrates winning the season-opening Daytona 500 in Victory Lane.
Great to see
Dale Earnhardt Jr. smiles during a track visit as an observer late in the season, which was good to see after he sat out the second half of the year as driver of No. 88 car because of a concussion.
Kyle Larson goes for a wild ride in his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway in March.
The No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet of Danica Patrick takes out the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Matt Kenseth at Talladega in May.
Taking a bow
Kyle Busch takes his signature bow after winning the spring race at Texas, one of four victories the 2015 Sprint Cup champion had while attempting to defend his title.
Flipping out, Part 1
Carl Edwards executes his signature backflip after winning the Food City 500 at Bristol in the spring.
Flipping out, Part 2
Edwards flips out again after making it back-to-back wins the following week at Richmond.
Jimmie Johnson strikes an impressive pose after taking the checkered flag at Auto Club Speedway in his Superman-themed No. 48 paint scheme.
Tribute to the fans
The drivers take their cars four-wide at the start of the Federated Parts 400 at Richmond in September as a nod to the fans before getting down to serious business in the regular-season finale.
Tony Stewart, who retired as a Cup driver at the end of the season, is the surprise winner on the road course at Sonoma in June -- and celebrates accordingly.
One week after closest Daytona 500 in history, Kevin Harvick edges Carl Edwards by 0.010 seconds to win at Phoenix in another thrilling finish.
Closest Daytona 500 finish
Denny Hamlin edges Martin Truex Jr. by 0.010 seconds to take the checkered flag in the season-opening Daytona 500.
Championship 4 clincher
Jimmie Johnson soaks it in after his win at Martinsville clinched a spot in the Championship 4 of the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs at Homestead.
Johnson's helmet at Homestead -- a nod to the seventh NASCAR Premier Series title he was chasing that would tie him with the late Dale Earnhardt (left on the helmet) and Richard Petty (right) for most of all time.
Johnson leaps for joy after winning the season finale at Homestead to clinch his seventh championship.
Wrecked title hopes
The championship-contending cars of Joey Logano (left) and Carl Edwards (right) wreck on a restart with just 10 laps to go at Homestead. They were running 1-2 in the Championship 4 battle at the time.
The No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford on Chris Buescher goes airborne at Talladega in May.
Johnson gets a blue Gatorade bath in Victory Lane as he celebrates winning the race and the championship with his team at Homestead.
Johnson at Homestead, lording over his seven Premier Series championship trophies.