2013 was a mixed bag for motorsports, as the year had some surprise winners, while some of the usual suspects took home victories.
Jimmie Johnson walked away with an easy victory this year, winning the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship for the sixth time. Yes, while it is probably due in large part to crew chief Chad Knaus, let’s not forget Johnson also owes this victory to a large dose of his own talent and experience. You don’t get within spitting distance of Petty’s record 7 championships without being great at what you do. Sure, he has the personality of a wet blanket, but he certainly gives Lowe’s the screen time they pay for. Two things though Jimmie: no one is going to call you “six time”, and it is probably time to let someone else have a win or two. Danica maybe?
Speaking of winning, there’s a guy across the pond doing a decent job of it. That guy being Sebastian Vettel, who just picked up another Formula One Drivers’ Championship. If you’re counting, that’s his fourth one, and he’s all of 26 years old. Vettel is absolutely killing it in the apex form of motorsports. If his streak continues over the next 10 or 15 years of his career, he will be remembered as one of the greatest drivers of all time, in any form of racing.
Even faster than Vettel, John Force took home the 2013 NHRA Drag Racing title in Funny Car. The 300 mile per hour old man claimed his sixteenth(!) title, beating out pretty much everyone, including his daughter Courtney. On the Top Fuel side, relative newbie Shawn Langdon took the title in the premier series.
In the Old World, Sébastien Ogier beat down the competition, while beating up his car, to become the 2013 WRC champion. Along with co-driver Julien Ingrassia, the Frenchman claimed a fairly easy championship through his nine victories in 2013. Excluding Greece and Germany, he never finished outside the top two spots. Very impressive, mon ami.
There was also huge news for American road racing in 2013, with the announcement of the combined efforts of American Le Mans and Rolex Sports Car Series into the new Tudor United SportsCar Championship. This team up allowed similar series to share costs, lay down one set of rules, and decrease confusion among casual fans. The results should be exciting, and the cost savings should allow for decent promotions and more tracks. This is a series in transition, but it’s about to take off.