We've published some 7,200 articles at RACER.com so far this year, but invariably it's the controversies and the surprises that grab the most attention. Here are the news stories that attracted the most mouse-clicks on RACER.com in 2012, with links to the original stories:
10. Andretti: Politics can't spoil IndyCar
The simmering discontent in the IndyCar paddock that culminated in the departure of Randy Bernard as CEO sent the sport into a frenzy of reaction, but elder statesman Mario Andretti helped tamp down some of the hysteria with his common-sense assertions that the elements driving the sport's appeal would carry on.
9. DeltaWing backed by Nissan
The ongoing saga of Ben Bowlby's innovative new racecar, which was profiled in depth in the May 2012 issue of RACER that relaunched the magazine under its new ownership team, has been a significant driver of RACER.com traffic since news of it first broke, and the announcement in March of its affiliation with Nissan for Le Mans brought the anticipation to fever pitch.
8. Fatality from lightning strike at NASCAR Pocono race
Tragedy struck at Pocono Raceway in August, where a spectator was killed by a lightning strike from a summer storm. A 41-year-old man who was struck following the stoppage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the track, while several others were injured.
7. Ana Beatriz's Indy livery revealed
New cars and paint schemes are always among our most popular pages, but for some reason this reveal in April of Andretti Autosport's extra entry for Ana Beatriz for Sao Paulo's IndyCar race went absolutely crazy, eclipsing all similar stories for the year. Must be the re-tweeting by all those IndyCar-mad Brazilians!
6. Penske hot, Andretti cool to Bernard departure
Arguably the most mystifying story of the year was Randy Bernard's drawn-out departure as IndyCar CEO. After being rumored for some time, the actual announcement was made by a terse press release on a Sunday evening in October, so this follow-up story with the (few) public reactions by team owners got a lot more reads.
After leaving IndyCar, Bernard signed on as CEO of cable channel RFD-TV, whose programming covers agriculture, country music and entertainment.