The Motorsport.com staff selected what we felt were the best moments of the past year. Read the article, then vote for your favorite moment of 2012 in our poll!
Motorsport.com's first-ever top moments of the year. Our list started at 9 and kept growing as we kept recalling "moments" that happened during 2012 -- on and off track. Finally at 20, the list was set in stone. Thanks to our staff of writers and photographers, we were able to bring you each top moment over the holidays.
Now for our summary just in case you missed one or two or ... Happy New Year!
Top moments of 2012, #1: Sébastien Loeb's 9th consecutive championship
Winner Sébastien Loeb, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sébastien Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena will run a limited World Rally Championship schedule in 2013 as he plans his future endeavors in sports car and touring car events. With 9 titles, Loeb deserves the #1 spot in our 2012 top 20 moments.
Click here to read the top 1 moment
Top moments of 2012, #2: Is Vettel on his way to becoming the greatest ever?
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
Racing celebrates his world championship in Graz, Austria
Sebastian Vettel has already achieved three world titles, 26 Formula One wins with 46 podium finishes, and 36 pole positions. An amazing record for one so young. Motorsport.com slots him second on our top 20 moments of 2012. Click here to read the top 2 moment
Top moments of 2012, #3: Keselowski, Penske and Dodge beat the odds
Brad Keselowski celebrates his championship
At the start of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Penske Racing's Brad Keselowski was not one of the favorites for the championship. Yet they won which makes them our #3 top 20 moment. Click here to read the top 3 moment
Top moments of 2012, #4: BMW returned and saw their dream come true - video
Race winner and 2012 champion, Bruno Spengler, BMW Team Schnitzer BMW M3 DTM
An amazing return by BMW in the DTM with their M3 DTM cars in the tightly-contested German-based series, and Canadian driver Bruno Spengler finally landed his championship. Without a doubt, they are the number four in our top 20 moments countdown. Click here to read the top 4 moment
Top moments of 2012, #5: GRANDAM-ALMS unification – will it work?
Ed Bennett, President and CEO of Grand-Am, Jim France, Don Panoz and Scott Atherton, President and CEO of ALMS
The two American sportscar series are now under NASCAR, but the final decisions still need to be made prior to the on-track competition in 2014. Motorsport.com placed it fifth in our top five moments of the year. Click here to read the top 5 moment
Top moments of 2012, #6: Antron Brown stayed strong to the end
Antron Brown became the first African American racer of a four-wheel vehicle to earn a major American-based championship. The 2012 NHRA Top Fuel champion was selected by our staff to hold the #6 top moment spot. Click here to read the top 6 moment
Top moments of 2012, #7: The new IndyCar: good or not?
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
In 2011, INDYCAR sanctioning body was already in test mode with the new Dallara DW12 chassis that would house the powerplants for 2012. It is our seventh moment of the year so was the outcome as expected?Click here to read the top 7 moment
Top moments of 2012, #8: Valentino Rossi and his return to Yamaha
Valentino Rossi, Ducati Marlboro Team
With seven MotoGP championships, the Italian decided to go for the empty seat on the Yamaha Factory Team, and for those reasons, Valentino Rossi was named to the 8th spot on our top ten moments. Click here to read the top 8 moment
Top moments of 2012, #9: Raikkonen: What was he thinking?
Race winner Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus F1 celebrates at the end of the race
Kimi Raikkonen and is successful comeback lands in the 9th spot in the top 20 moments. The Iceman returned to Formula One with the Lotus team. His fans were happy, while others questioned his decision. Click here to read the top 9 moment
Top moments of 2012, #10: DeltaWing: DeltaWing is go!
#0 Highcroft Racing Delta Wing Nissan: Marino Franchitti, Michael Krumm, Satoshi Motoyama
No surprise to note that the 10th top moment is for the Nissan DeltaWing. The newest prototype drew a lot of attention both on and off the track! Click here to read the top 10 moment
Top moments of 2012, #11: A fight in NASCAR: Nothing new right?
Clint Bowyer, Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota and Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet involved in a crash
The 11th top moment was an easy decision by the staff at Motorsport.com: The Clint Bowyer/Jeff Gordon fight at Phoenix which, of course, included their teams! Click here to read the top 11 moment
Top moments of 2012, #12: The crash world championship - video
This year’s Formula One season saw a lot of crashes including the very dramatic start ones that saw cars get airborne. Obviously, they are one of the Motorsport.com top moments - number 12 out of 20. Click here to read the top 12 moment
Top moments of 2012, #13: End of the Schumacher era, again
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes AMG F1 runs with a Thank You flag on the way to the grid
Motorsport.com’s 13th top moment is the record holder of Formula One championships who lost his ride at Mercedes and swiftly went back into retirement. Michael Schumacher leaves the premier series with seven world championships. Click here to read the top 13 moment
Top moments of 2012, #14: Bad luck strikes Power for the third time
Will Power, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power: self-discipline, control of oneself and one’s conduct and one heck of a racer but for the third consecutive time, he lost out on taking the IndyCar championship. The Team Penske driver thus becomes our 14th top moment. Click here to read the top 14 moment
Top moments of 2012, #15: The sudden retirement of Peugeot
#8 Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908: Franck Montagny, Stéphane Sarrazin, Alexander Wurz goes off-track
Motorsport.com staff selected as the 15th top moment the pull out of Peugeot's prototype contender that was to contest the World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Reason given was “economic reasons”! Click here to read the top 15 moment
Top moments of 2012, #16: Beckman is a fighter on and off the dragstrip
Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car teammates gave it all they could in the season final two events, and at Pomona Jack Beckman took his victory and earned a spot in our 2012 top 20 moments. Click here to read the top 16 moment
Top moments of 2012, #17: The success of the GT3 class around the world
#71 Kessel Racing Ferrari
458 Italia: Stefano Gattuso, Davide Rigon, Daniel Zampieri
The 17th spot on Motorsport.com’s top 20 moments goes to the popularity of the GT3 cars by fans, manufacturers and drivers. In just seven seasons the GT3 category has become the biggest and most popular GT racing category in the world. Click here to read the top 17 moment
Top moments of 2012, #18: Stenhouse takes two titles under new rule
2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Ford celebrates
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. became the only NASCAR Nationwide driver to earn the championship under the new “declare a series rule” and he did it twice! We felt that he definitely deserved a spot in our top 20 moments. Click here to read the top 18 moment
Top moments of 2012, #19: The remarkable Zanardi
Alex Zanardi with his hand bike on track
The man who still reaches for the gold may not be active as a race car driver but the determination and desire that Alex Zanardi has is one of the reasons we at Motorsport.com believe that he fits our Top Moments of 2012. Click here to read the top 19 moment
Top moments of 2012, #20: Johnson family celebration
The first of the Top 20 Moments of 2012 selected by Motorsport.com staff goes to Allen Johnson who landed his first NHRA Pro Stock championship. It was a remarkable season for the Johnson & Johnson Racing team. Click here to read the top 20 moment