BY MICHAEL GARKO - SENIOR WRITER - CHAT SPORTS
The 2013 season promises to bring a whole new NASCAR to fans in hopes of returning the sport back to popularity. Alot of hype has surrounded around the sleek looking new "Generation 6" cars that will be on-track in Daytona. The new cars are designed to be safer, look more like their street legal counterparts, and improve racing on aero-sensitive tracks.
Chat Sports looks at what could be some of the more surprising headlines coming out of the 2013 season.
MWR's #55 goes to victory lane with multiple drivers
This team could have easily had wins by all three drivers (Mark Martin, Brian Vickers, and Michael Waltrip) last season. Crew chief Rodney Childers provided a car that ran well on all types of tracks, and could have easily ended the season with three or four wins, and a chance at the owner's title in 2012.
Michael Waltrip continues to invest in its resources and build his team the correct way to make MWR competitive for many seasons to come. Look for the Aarons crew to finally put all the pieces together in 2013. If this team hits its stride early, the 55 may be the first team to compete for the Owner's Championship without a driver in the Chase.
The last team to win with two different drivers in one season? Chip Ganassi's #40 Coors Light team with Sterling Marlin and Jamie McMurray in 2002.
No driver will make the Chase without a win
This season looks to be one of the most evenly covered fields in the history of the Sprint Cup Series. Don't be surprised to see all top-12 drivers have a win once the checkered flag flies at Richmond this fall. With the parity in this year's field, don't be surprised to see a wild-card may need 3 victories to get into the Chase. This leads to some big names possibly being left out come playoff time.
Austin Dillon wins a Sprint Cup Series race in preparation for Rookie season
Austin Dillon will be competing in close to ten races this season in preparation of taking over the seat to be vacated by Kevin Harvick in 2013. New rules in the NASCAR rulebook no longer limit a driver to seven starts in a season before losing rookie status, as long as they are collecting points in another series.
Danica scores a top-five finish in 2013
People are getting tired of hearing about Danica. She will have to step up this season to show she is for real. Danica will have to focus on finishing races, and not tearing up cars if this prediction comes true. She had a great run at Phoenix last fall before wrecking with two to go. Patrick has shown she can run well at Daytona, Talladega, and road courses. We will have to wait and see if Patrick can improve on the cookie-cutter tracks in 2013.
Kurt Busch takes Furniture Row back into victory lane
Now this may not be as big of a surprise as the above headlines, but Kurt did not exactly make a lot of positive noise in the #51 for James Finch last season. A win would go a long way in propelling Kurt's career into the spotlight in a positive way. This team ran extremely well in the last few races of the season with Kurt behind the wheel. Restrictor plate races and short track races will be the likely places to see the #78 returning to victory circle in 2013.Back to the Auto Racing Newsfeed