Though the calendar has changed, it's not too late to look back at last season. SB Nation is counting down its top 15 most-viewed NASCAR stories of 2010 during the first two weeks of January.
On several occasions in 2010, NASCAR races became trending topics on Twitter. For those who don't tweet, "trending topics" are the subjects being discussed the most at that moment.
Typically, though, the races didn't become topics of national or worldwide interest without having something happen: Namely, a big wreck.
Elliott Sadler's horrifying wreck at Pocono was the biggest of them all last year, and our recap of what happened to Sadler drew enough hits to place No. 2 on our most-clicked NASCAR stories countdown.
Here's what's interesting about this: Approximately 80 percent of the people who viewed the Sadler wreck story came from Google.
That means many readers – NASCAR fans or otherwise – heard about the wreck from either their friends or some form of social media and were seeking out the information via search engines.
The high percentage from Google makes sense, since most people who regularly read SB Nation's NASCAR content were probably already watching the race anyway and didn't need a recap of what happened; they saw it with their own eyes.
Clearly, crashes and other forms of controversy can be beneficial to NASCAR. Without Sadler's crash, it's doubtful such a high number of people would have been Googling to find information on the Pocono race that day.
Our Most Popular NASCAR Stories of 2010:
15. Instant reaction to Hendrick Motorsports crew chief swap
14. Why Dale Earnhardt Jr. won't tweet
13. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finishes 16th at Las Vegas
12. Drivers flattered by portrayal in South Park episode
11. List of drivers' song choices for the Bristol night race
10. '12 Out Of 12' interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
9. Video of Shane Hmiel's USAC wreck
8. Boris Said crew chief screams at Tony Stewart after Sonoma race
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 'Lost' when it comes to answers about team after Dover
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Lance McGrew give comedic post-race interview at Darlington
5. Brad Keselowski explains why he called Kyle Busch an 'ass' at Bristol
4. List of drivers' song choices for spring Bristol race
3. Kyle Busch gets engaged to Samantha Sarcinella
2. Elliott Sadler survives terrifying Pocono wreck
(No. 1 to be revealed soon)