Top 5 NASCAR stories of 2012

What do you say about a season that starts with a track catching fire? It was a year of transition in NASCAR, with a first-time champion unseating the old order and some familiar faces either failing to make the Chase or failing to make an impact. Fans couldn’t decide if they liked yellow flags and wrecks or not, and NASCAR continued to struggle with attendance and ratings problems. Still, the year produced some memorable moments, both on the track and in the pits, and NASCAR heads into 2013 with hope that a new Cupholder and new looks to its cars will bring back fans to both the TV and the stands. – By Jay Busbee

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Michael Waltrip

2012 Ford EcoBoost 400

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 18: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates in Champion Victory Lane after winning the series championship and finishing in fifteenth place for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2012 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)