NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards (99) celebrates after winning the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The 2011 NASCAR season was one of the most riveting in recent years. With a Sprint Cup battle that went to the wire and fresh faces taking over the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series championship contests, it was a time of change and excitement in the sport. There were epic races, stirring moments and scary crashes, such as this one involving Nationwide Series driver Mike Wallace. The Sprint Cup Series enjoyed five first-time winners, a new points system and its share of controversies. The Nationwide drivers watched Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Danica Patrick take over the headlines while the Truck series was a mix of veteran and up-and-coming talent - with some aggressive driving week to week. It's hard to sum of the year, but with a picture being worth a thousand words, here's your chance to relive all the moments.
Tony Stewart celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup title by winning the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is Stewart's third Cup title.
What a feeling!
Austin Dillon celebrates winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship at the season finale. Dillon won the title driving for his grandfather, team owner Richard Childress.
Fueling the feud
Kevin Harvick (left) and Kyle Busch engaged in quite a confrontation at Darlington Raceway. After Busch made contact with Harvick on the track, Harvick blocked him on pit road after the race. While Harvick jumped from his car and went to confront Busch in his, Busch refused to get out. He then pulled his car down pit road, pushing Harvick's unmanned car out of the way and it slid down the pit lane where crew members were following the race. Both drivers earned probation - and another chapter in their feud - for the altercation.
Kyle Busch (top left) watches the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway from his team's pit after the sanctioning body parked him for the event. Busch had to sit out the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races, was put on probation, paid a fine and his primary Cup sponsor, M&M's, opted off of his car for the remainder of the season.
Kurt Busch (22) leaves a plume of smoke as Denny Hamlin (11) passes by during the race at Richmond. Busch was involved in a pair of incidents with driver Jimmie Johnson in the race, leading to verbal jabs between the pair and then a staged handshake.
Jeff Gordon holds his son, Leo, and speaks with team owner Rick Hendrick before the race at Talladega Superspeedway. Gordon was in the heart of the championship race for much of the season before enduring a series of setbacks in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Soak it up!
Matt Kenseth (left) and team owner Jack Roush spray champagne as they celebrate Kenseth's win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kenseth improved to third in the points standings with the win and went on to finish the season fourth, with three wins to his credit.
Jimmie Johnson (left) crashes in Turn 2 as AJ Allmendinger drives by during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Johnson climbed from his car after the massive hit, but never recovered in the championship race from the blow to his points standings. The five-time champion's reign ended this year.
Kyle Busch's No. 18 Toyota pays tribute to 9/11 with its clean, flag paint scheme during the weekend of the 10-year anniversay of the terrorist attacks. His was only one of many tributes throughout the NASCAR weekend at Richmond International Raceway.
Getty Images for NASCARTodd Warshaw
Marcos Ambrose took a rough road to his Nationwide Series win at Watkins Glen International, first colliding with Jacques Villeneuve (22) on the road course.
There it goes
Carl Edwards kicks a field goal while working out with the Miami Dolphins during one of many driver appearances Sprint Cup title contenders made over the course of the season.
Crew members for Paul Menard (27) push the car in the rain prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race ended up being rain-delayed until Tuesday, one of the many rain interruptions the series endured this season.
Getty ImagesChris Graythen
Remains of the day
A safety worker looks over the car of David Reutimann following a crash on the last lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Reutimann was sideswiped by the crashing car of David Ragan and flipped into the tire barrier at Watkins Glen. He was uninjured in the accident.
Fight to the finish!
Kyle Busch (left) edges Joey Logano to win the NASCAR Food City 250 in a near photo finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. The winning margin was 0.019 seconds.
Getty ImagesTom Pennington
Can't stop her!
Danica Patrick drove part time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season. Late in the year, she announced plans to compete full time in the series in 2012 while also debuting in the Sprint Cup series for a handful of races.
In his excitement over winning the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Carl Edwards tried to spin across the frontstretch grass. His car got caught and bounced across the infield, causing significant damage to his winning machine. Edwards good-naturedly exited his car and then executed his trademark backflip.
Paul Menard celebrates with his team by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31 in Indianapolis. Menard was one of five first-time Sprint Cup race winners this season, sparking increased interest in the series.
Getty Images for NASCARJohn Harrelson
Kyle Busch must have had a feeling that his 100th win was going to happen at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. After his victory in the Nationwide Series race, he grabbed a flag from his crew to take a stylish victory lap in celebration of hitting the number.
Several drivers to get caught up in Turn 4 crash in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Although the track featured two-car tandem drafting pairs this season, it continued to be the source of wrecks throughout the field.
Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 12. Gordon won three races this season and finished eighth in the standings.
Getty ImagesJohn Harrelson
Kyle Busch (left) and event organizer Tony Stewart talk in the garage before the running of the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway. Several NASCAR drivers joined Stewart in the annual fundraising race.
The gang's all here
This year's NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees (from right) Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, David Pearson, Bud Moore, Richard Petty and Maurice Petty pose during the induction ceremony in Charlotte, N.C. The Pettys were representing their father, Lee Petty.
Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer crash at Dover International Speedway. Both drivers ended up with wrecked cars when Logano spun out during an attempt at a green-white-checker finish.
Kevin Harvick (29) celebrates his win at Martinsville Speedway earlier this season. Harvick enjoyed a stellar season, winning four races. He finished third in the standings for the second consecutive season.
Up in smoke
Bobby Labonte spins out in front of Dave Blaney during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Trevor Bayne celebrates winning the Daytona 500 in the infield with his crew. Bayne pulled off the stunning upset while driving for the legendary Wood Brothers Racing team. His win sparked a strong fan following and gave him the honor of being the first in a series of first-time Cup race winners this season.
Hold 'em high
NASCAR fans hold up three fingers on the third lap of the Daytona 500 as a tribute to Dale Earnhardt, who died after a crash in the 2001 race. Several tributes were paid to the driver on the 10-year anniversary of his fatal accident in the race.