NASCAR’s 2010 Sprint Cup Series season was filled with drama, incredibly courageous moves, unusual developments and approximately 1,744 debris cautions.

In other words, it was enough to make even the most jaded race fan ask himself: “Why didn’t I get the extra corn dog at the concession stand when I had the chance?”

With the 2011 season just around the corner, let’s dust off the rear-view mirror for one final look back at 2010.

THE $20 MILLION CRATER: A tearful Jamie McMurray wins the season-opening Daytona 500 when 42 other cars go careening into a huge pothole conveniently located between turns 1 and 2. Winning team co-owner Chip Ganassi begins lobbying for similar potholes to be constructed at the remaining 21 Sprint Cup venues.

IF THE HORSESHOE FITS: Jimmie Johnson capitalizes on a late pit stop at Auto Club Speedway to snap a lengthy two-race winless skid, prompting fellow driver Kevin Harvick to state that the No. 48 team has “a golden horseshoe stuck up their patootie.”

NASCAR officials react quickly, outlawing the use of the word “patootie” during post-race press conferences.

GETTING GNASTY AT GANASSI: McMurray, blinded by the sun’s reflection off of his Daytona 500 trophy, which has been welded onto the dashboard of his car, runs into teammate Juan Pablo Montoya at Las Vegas. A furious Montoya vows to pop McMurray in the McNuggets.

Meanwhile, Johnson snaps a harrowing six-day winless streak for his second victory of the year.

“JELLY-LEGGED” IN ATLANTA: Prompted by NASCAR officials to “Have at it,” Carl Edwards intentionally runs into Brad Keselowski with three laps remaining, sending the Penske Racing driver tumbling and fans running for cover in the nearest pothole.

NASCAR officials immediately place Edwards on double-secret probation and reward Keselowski’s teammate, Kurt Busch, with the win.

END OF AN ERA: Bristol Motor Speedway’s streak of consecutive sellouts, which dates back to the Truman administration, comes to an end, leading NASCAR officials to consider major changes to the sport. In an effort to rekindle fan interest, officials announce that inflatable beach balls will once again be allowed in the grandstands at all Cup events.

CLOCKING OUT: Two days before he is to undergo knee surgery, a hobbled Denny Hamlin proves just how easy it is to win a Cup race by passing Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth with two laps remaining to capture the rain-delayed race at Martinsville.

For his efforts, Hamlin receives a grandfather clock that he immediately attempts to wear on his wrist.

EAT AND RUN: A steady diet of Tornados provided by his newest sponsor enables Ryan Newman to remain inside his car for the duration of the three-day Phoenix event and score his first win of the season.

Afterward, Newman’s crew informs him that the smell inside the car cannot be removed.

CRIPPLE CREEK: Less than two weeks after undergoing knee surgery, Hamlin wins the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas, and places second in the annual Fort Worth Fun Run. NASCAR Hall of Fame Director Winston Kelley immediately requests Hamlin donate his knee for display in the hall to help boost sagging attendance.

“HAPPY” DAYS: Harvick narrowly collects his first win of the season when race leader McMurray slows to polish his Daytona 500 trophy while coming to the checkered flag at Talladega.

Jeff Gordon, upset by contact from teammate Johnson during the race, admits that “It takes a lot to make me mad, and I’m pissed right now.”

NASCAR officials react quickly, outlawing the use of any word beginning with the letter “P” during post-race press conferences.

NIGHT MOVES: Richmond hosts the season’s first night race but because it was dark, most fans are unable to see Kyle Busch pass Gordon for the win with five laps remaining.

RIR officials announce a multimillion-dollar project to install a huge light switch in time for the track’s second race of 2010.

IT’S SHOWTIME: Less than two months after undergoing knee surgery, Hamlin wins at Darlington for his third victory of the year. He is rewarded with free shag lessons, a bag of boiled peanuts and a future cover story in the popular magazine, “Scar & Driver.”

FAST AND FURIOUS: Johnson, mired in a lengthy six-race winless streak, dominates at Dover, only to lose a lap when he’s caught speeding on pit road while en route to the track’s casino. Kyle Busch returns to victory lane, where he congratulates himself for another job well done.

Prior to the race, Red Bull Racing driver Brian Vickers announces he’ll sit out the rest of the season to concentrate on being wealthy and single.

ENDURANCE RACING: Kurt Busch wins the series’ longest event when the other 42 drivers forget that the race is insanely long and head to the garage after just 500 miles. The victory caps a stellar week for Busch, who won the series’ all-star race the previous week by correctly guessing the number of empty seats in the grandstands.

KID STUFF: Joey Logano, who appears to have the build of a 16-penny nail, confronts Harvick at Pocono for contact late in the race by the Richard Childress Racing driver. No altercation occurs, however, as Logano is unable to make his way through the large herd of media that has stopped to graze on pit road.

KNEE’D FOR SPEED AT MIS: Hamlin’s surgically repaired knee wins for the fourth time, setting a series’ record for wins by a surgically repaired body part in NASCAR. His OEM knee, which has now won five times, isn’t impressed.

NOT-SO-G’DAY: At Infineon Raceway, Australian Marcos Ambrose loses his bid for his first career Cup win when he stops to find local radio coverage of the historic event, thus allowing Johnson to slip past and to snap a lengthy 10-race winless streak.

A distraught Ambrose immediately insists that all of his cars be fitted with Sirius Satellite Radio.

TRICK PLAY: Despite racing with knees that have not been surgically repaired, Johnson wins his fifth race of the year by pushing Kurt Busch aside in the final laps at New Hampshire. The move came shortly after Busch had passed Johnson by using one of the oldest tricks in the book – signaling right and then passing on the left.

RUBBER NECKIN’: Only 19 cars are involved in a late-race collision at Daytona in July, not including three driven by passing motorists on I-95, prompting track officials to refund ticket money to disappointed race fans who thought there would be more potholes.

REUTY TOOTY: After nearly a year of living in shame because his lone Sprint Cup win had come in a rain-shortened race, David Reutimann defeats the Chicago Cubs and Carl Edwards at Chicagoland Speedway, which is actually located in St. Paul, Minn. Inquiring reporters immediately want to know if “Buzzie” really is the name of Reutimann’s father.

CO-INCIDENCE: Ganassi becomes the first co-owner to co-win the Daytona 500, Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same co-season when McMurray takes the checkered flag at the legendary racing facility and golf course.

Harvick’s bid for victory is spoiled on a late restart as he is unable to exit pit road in a timely manner because, according to track workers, he doesn’t have the proper credentials.

TWITTER TROUBLES: Just days after his team owner, Jack Roush, survives yet another horrifying plane crash, Greg Biffle ends a 79-race winless streak. But that pales in comparison to the news that, in yet another attempt to “keep the playing field level,” NASCAR has fined two drivers for excessive tweeting. After much in-depth research that involves surfing the Internet, members of the media discover that the two parties are Newman and Hamlin’s surgically repaired knee.

HE’S THE JUAN: Proving that he is much more than simply a road-course racer, Montoya dominates at Watkins Glen, a twisting, turning 1.5-mile speedway cleverly disguised as a road course. Boris Said and Tony Stewart are knocked from contention late in the race when Stewart is unable to see around Said’s unruly hair.

STAGE-SETTER: Harvick and Hamlin finish 1-2 at Michigan to solidify their status as Chase contenders while Johnson finishes 12th, solidifying his status as the highest finishing four-time champion.

TRIFECTA: At Bristol, Kyle Busch becomes the first driver to win all three races during the same week, earning the nickname, “Mr. Stinky.” The win comes after fellow driver Brad Keselowski announces to the crowd during pre-race activities that, “Kyle Busch is a patootie!”

SOMETHING’S FISHY: Stewart’s efforts to stretch his winless streak to 32 races goes by the boards when the owner/driver accidentally beats Edwards on a late restart at Atlanta. As a result, Stewart is forced to answer highly-detailed questions from the media such as (actual transcript question): Q. Seemed on a lot of restarts guys were going three-wide right at the start-finish line, is that because you were having fishes or is that the nature of the beast here at Atlanta?

NASCAR officials react immediately, outlawing the use of “fishes” in all future Cup points races.

THE LORENA BOBBITT 400: In this year’s cutoff race at Richmond, which features a highly tense battle to determine the 31 drivers that will not make the Chase, Newman’s 11th-place finish leaves him 13th in the points standings, and earns him the right to stay home and thus avoid attending the coma-inducing postseason awards ceremony.

Hamlin’s surgically repaired knee wins for the fifth time, then brags about it on its Facebook page.

MISSED IT BY THIS MUCH: Clint Bowyer wins the opening Chase race at New Hampshire, only to be stripped of 150 points when NASCAR officials announce Bowyer’s car “didn’t pass muster.”

Team owner Richard Childress appeals the penalty, claiming the infraction was caused by unintentional contact with a moose disguised as a wrecker while en route to victory lane, and that furthermore, there was no driver in the field named “Muster” for Bowyer to pass.

DOVER DINGER: Mired in a potentially career-ending 10-race winless streak, Johnson rebounds to win for the sixth time. The Dover victory, and nearly everything else, overshadows a strong performance by AJ Allmendinger, who finishes 10th despite barely being able to see over the dashboard.

CHOP SHOP: Proving that even Chase drivers aren’t immune to paybacks, Reutimann intentionally wrecks Kyle Busch at Kansas after earlier contact between the two.

In a show of solidarity, fellow non-Chaser Kasey Kahne attempts to take out the retaining wall several laps later.

GOING CLUBBIN’: Six of the 12 Chase drivers fail to finish in the top 20 at Auto Club Speedway, severely damaging NASCAR’s efforts to have all 12 drivers still in contention heading to Homestead. Officials promptly announce they’ve awarded the track’s 2011 Chase race to Chicago/St. Paul.

McNUGGETED: Eight years after he won his first Cup race at the same track, McMurray returns to victory lane to continue thanking a long list of sponsors that he forgot to mention when he first won at Charlotte back in 2002. Unfortunately, most of those sponsors are no longer in the sport.

In an effort to boost attendance, CMS officials debut a new, fan-friendly camping area in the infield known as “Sinkhole Estates.”

LIKE CLOCKWORK: With his team out of Chase contention, Bowyer graciously gives his pit crew to Harvick, who responds with a third-place finish at Martinsville.

Left alone to pit his car, Bowyer finishes a disappointing 38th.

In a stunning development, Hamlin’s surgically repaired knee wins for the sixth time and begins signing autographs.

UNRESTRICTED: Having worked out the kinks of servicing his car without the use of a pit crew, Bowyer rallies to beat Harvick at Talladega for his second win of the season.

The race ends under caution when Allmendinger goes end-over-end on the white-flag lap in a last-ditch effort to draw attention from the Chase drivers.

TESTY IN TEXAS: With his radio on the blink, Kyle Busch resorts to sign language to express his displeasure to race officials, who park the driver for two laps and later make him write “I will not flip off race officials” 500 times.

Jeff Burton finds himself in a shoving match with the not-so-incredible Hulk, aka Jeff Gordon, after the two crash while under caution, resulting in offers for the pair to appear on Monday Night Raw.

And realizing that his team has no chance at victory, but needs to do something dramatic to get back in the headlines, Johnson’s crew chief, Chad Knaus, replaces his entire pit crew with concession stand workers while the race is still under way.

Meanwhile, Hamlin wins for the eighth time to wrestle the points lead away from Johnson and threatens to chop off both his knees if they don’t stop their constant bickering.

FLIGHT OF THE FUSION: Unable to run into Keselowski on the track at Phoenix, Edwards has to settle for ending a winless streak that stretches approximately back to the days of the Ford Taurus.

Hamlin leads nearly 200 laps, but is forced to pit late when his “check engine” light comes on, allowing both Johnson and Harvick to close ground on the points leader.

ONE AND DONE: It’s the most exciting race of the past six days, as Hamlin, Johnson and Harvick arrive at Homestead-Miami Speedway with an opportunity to win the championship and the matching set of silverware that goes with it.

Nursing a 15-point advantage, Hamlin’s surgically repaired knee battles back from an early incident with Biffle to remain in contention, only to go a lap down later in the race when the caution appears shortly after Hamlin makes a pit stop to ask for directions.

Harvick’s chances for the championship appear to evaporate when he is nabbed for driving through the Sun Pass lane on pit road without the appropriate toll pass, leaving him to battle Kyle Busch for best finish in a car painted yellow.

Which leaves Johnson, who switches pit crews with all three Hendrick teammates during the race, to cruise to the championship. And totally overshadow the impressive backflip produced by Edwards, who erases a lengthy six-day winless skid with his second victory of the year.

So now you can see why it was a magical year for NACAR. It was a season that featured 36 points races and 13 different winners.

One pothole and one surgically repaired knee.

And lest we forget, one patootie.

Let’s see the NFL try and top that.