Welcome to From the Marbles' 2013 driver reviews. Here, we're going to critique, praise and bloviate about the top 30 drivers in the 2013 NASCAR season. Boyfriend's up.
Hey Ricky, there's something to be said for consistency.
You're the 2013 Rookie of the Year, and we'd like to congratulate you for that first. Just don't brag too much about it to your significant other. We understand that workplace relationships can be sort of tricky and you both have handled them well. We wish no silent car rides upon you next year, though we'll admit that attention towards us spikes when they happen.
Looking at your stats from the season, your top 10 finishes (three) are starkly lower than the drivers around you. Four drivers below you have double or more than your three and everyone above you has at least three more.
But you buoyed that lack of top 10s with several consistent runs in the teens. In fact, you finished between 11th and 19th 21 times. It shows that while there's still a bit of a learning curve to go, you weren't completely overmatched. Plus, you were also running at the finish of every race this season. That's an achievement too.
From the looks of it, your department feels that a new crew chief (who isn't really new) will help turn those finishes in the teens into ones in the single digits. The Chase field is crowded, but you should squarely be on the periphery of it next year. We can't help but think about the leap you made in the Nationwide Series from 2010 to 2011. A jump like that in the Cup Series would place you among the elite. Is it possible? We'll find out.
- - - - - - -
Previous Reviews: No. 20, Jeff Burton, No. 21 Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 22 Marcos Ambrose, No. 23 Denny Hamlin, No. 24 Casey Mears, No. 25 Mark Martin, No. 26 David Gilliland, No. 27 Danica Patrick, No. 28 David Ragan, No. 29 Tony Stewart, No. 30 Dave Blaney