As we keep trying to make clear, the Index Of Effluency is the top prize, the pinnacle of all LeMons awards.

In 2010, the IOE winner will take home more prize money than the overall winner, just to make that point more obvious. Index Of Effluency winners not only get the respect and admiration of the LeMons HQ staff, they generally get jumped to the front of the line in the increasingly competitive race-acceptance sweepstakes. Let's check out the top winners of the 2009 LeMons season!

Opular Dependence Team Israel, Opel GT
This team sort of started out in the doghouse at the '09 Gator-O-Rama race, due to an ill-advised anti-Semitic crack, but they totally redeemed themselves by taking their lumps with good humor and somehow keeping their hella terrible Buick V6-powered Opel GT running for most of the weekend. To their credit, they've kept the Team Israel name- which was bestowed upon them by the heavily Hebraic LeMons Supreme Court- for subsequent races, even though this probably gets them a lot of hassles back in whatever godawful, bullet-riddled West Texas town they come from.

Heavy Metal, Ford LTD
Why don't more more teams bring Sawzall-convertible full-size Detroit land yachts to LeMons races? The 429-powered Heavy Metal looked great on the race track at the South Spring '09 race… in fact, way better than it looked when it showed up in the fall with super-cheaty suspension and an LS5 out of an Escalade.

Redneck Racing, Cadillac Elk-Dorado
Would you believe a '91 Eldorado coming in 28th out of 102 racers at the Goin' For Broken race? The Elk-Dorado did!

LeMons Of Club GP, Pontiac Grand Prix
Not only did this Grand Prix come in an amazing fifth overall at the Laissez Les Crapheaps Roulez race, it did so with a cylinder head repaired with copious amounts of JB Weld. This so impressed the team that they changed their name to Team JB Weld.

Trailing Throttle Oversteer, Chevrolet Corvair
We followed the saga of UDMan's '63 Corvair in the weeks prior to the '09 New England race, and all the hard work paid off: the Corvair (at the time the oldest car in LeMons history) took 28th place and the Index of Effluency!

San Diego Minis aka Team Bean, Austin Mini
With just 998 screamin' cubic centimeters of engine displacement, the Mr. Bean Mini wasn't exactly what you'd call fast around the track, but it kept going and going and going.

Rusty Bolt Racing, BMW 530i
Showing up to the South Spring '09 race with a 34-year-old E12 equipped with Gruppe 5 flares and Jägermeister antlers shows us that a team really gets it, and this attitude paid off for the 64th-place-overall Rusty Bolt team.

Total Loss Racing, Lada Signet
With a car that started out as a Project Car Hell candidate, Comrade Teargaskov and his team went on to take 58th place overall (out of 122) at the Lamest Day in Ohio. No black flags, no breakdowns (well, not after the wheel feel off in the first hour, anyway), just a relentless advance that reminded us of the Red Army's march on Berlin.

Black Knight Racing, Triumph TR-7
A British Leyland product coming in 46th out of 123 at the Yeehaw It's Texas 2009 race? Yes, and that accomplishment earned the IOE for the Triumph team.

Purple Lemon Racing, Volkswagen Beetle
65th place out of 152 at the 2009 Arse Freeze-A-Palooza would be tough to do in just about any car, but an air-cooled Volkswagen? Great job, Purple Lemon Racing