Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 9/7/14
It's rare in NASCAR that someone drastically exceeds their own expectations. It happened last year, though. Even some of the people at Michael Waltrip Racing seem a little stunned by the organization's overall growth over the course of last season. For years, the mantra among some of NASCAR's elite teams has been that it's not just about the cars -- it is having a good group of people and putting them in the right place that is the key to success. MWR has both -- and kept the unit intact after shocking the competition with a surge in 2012. In what was supposed to be a building year as Clint Bowyer joined the program on a full-time basis and Mark Martin came on board to share a third car with Michael Waltrip and Brian Vickers, the organization won races, put two drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup and watched as Bowyer vaulted to second in the standings. It was a run that even the men stepping up and exceeding goals found a little beyond expectation. "I didn't even think it ...

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