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.
Gosh, we have to talk about this don't we?
Or do we. By now Clint, we all know what went down at Richmond and we're not going to dock you any more for it. It seems that your department was hit enough and it's really just like itching the healing poison oak at this point.
Oh. Sorry. At least you learned how to relax and cope.
Take away that fiasco and you still were a part of the "there's nowhere to go but down from second" brigade. You didn't fall as far as other second place finishers have, but after hitting victory lane three times in 2012 you missed out completely in 2013, though you had the same number of top five finishes.
The Toyota engine gremlins crept up on you twice last season, but they both happened before the Chase, so it really didn't matter. When you hit the Chase, your lowest finish was 20th. But eight times you finished between 9th and 20th. That's why we're talking to you now.
To us, it's not a matter of if you have championship credentials as a driver. You've finished in the top three with two different teams. That question has a pretty solid answer. However, what doesn't is your team's status for next season. How does the downsizing affect you? Does it affect you at all? Does it even strengthen the team because the assets can be focused both on you and Brian Vickers?
We'll find out soon enough.
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Previous Reviews: No. 8, Joey Logano, No. 9 Greg Biffle, No. 10 Kurt Busch, No. 11 Ryan Newman, No. 12 Kasey Kahne, No. 13 Carl Edwards, No. 14, Brad Keselowski, No. 15 Jamie McMurray, No. 16 Martin Truex Jr., No. 17 Paul Menard, No. 18 Aric Almirola, No. 19 Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 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