By Steve Luvender | Thursday, November 19, 2020
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Welcome to the GIF Playoffs! Throughout the real NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, we’re awarding points to playoff contenders who have a GIF in our archive matching a different weekly category. This week, we’re taking the checkered flag in style: the final round is the Round of Celebration. Which playoff drivers know how to commemorate a victory? Well, lots of them, it turns out.
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1 point: Cole Custer knows how to celebrate that first win — a bounding leap into the arms of your unsuspecting crew members, doing an impression of a dog who missed its owners.
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2 points: Don’t worry about Denny Hamlin here. This celebration took place last year. Ah, such simpler times.
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3 points: Alex Bowman gets a lot of bang for his buck with his victory burnouts. He’s covering so much ground at once!
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4 points: You can even celebrate a victory in the comfort of your own home, like iRacer William Byron.
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5 points: See what I mean? Points for Austin Dillon, all thanks to Whitney here, celebrating a victory from home.
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6 points: Kyle Busch’s bow never gets old. And it’s a good thing he didn’t forget to perform one in his most recent win at Texas.
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7 points: Kudos, Martin Truex Jr. A victory burnout so intense it rips the tires off the car.
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8 points: Kurt Busch might get a second job as an Uber driver.
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9 points: Denny Hamlin can produce a heck of a smoke show after a victory. It’s actually how clouds are created.
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10 points: When you win the Daytona 500, you can celebrate however you want. Even by dabbing like Austin Dillon.
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11 points: Heck yeah — a victory beer! Just don’t drink it all in one gulp like Kevin Harvick here.
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12 points: We’ve got no choice but to give the latest NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott a win in this week’s GIF playoffs. His 2019 crash-and-come-back-to-win at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval — and then surfing on the car window as it rolled backwards unmanned — was probably the best victory celebration in recent memory.
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-5 points: In the GIF Playoffs, one driver can earn negative points each week if he’s done something against the spirit of the week’s theme. This week, that goes to Martin Truex Jr., who apparently wins so often that he’s just going through the motions in Victory Lane. (Or maybe because it’s just a little awkward without a crowd.)
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Well, it’s been fun! Here are the final standings after nine grueling rounds of the GIF Playoffs.
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Here he is: your 2020 NASCAR.com GIF Playoffs champion, Alex Bowman! He looks suuuper impressed, and that’s because we think it’s a pretty impressive accomplishment. Well done, guy who everybody’s going to accidentally refer to as “Jimmie” for the first six months of the upcoming racing season.