Photo- Getty Images
The underdog organization that proved they can be successful and get to victory lane will be back for more in 2013. Ever since MWR signed Clint Bowyer, it has been an up-hill ride. Bowyer was the best free agent after 2011 and he landed at a team that was still trying to prove themselves and with Bowyer, they did. Bowyer brought the organization three wins, a Chase birth and a second place finish in the standings, not bad. In 2013, Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr will look to better their performances from the previous year and attempt to bring a championship home to MWR.
Mr. Redneck or Mr. Bowyer, whichever you prefer calling him, will be trying to bring some laughs to NASCAR fans along with trying to better his performance from a year ago. Going into last season, no one expected Bowyer to be as good as he was in his first season at MWR but, he proved us wrong and had a phenomenal season. Three wins was the most for MWR in a single season since the team opened operations and Bowyer was the one to set that record last season. 2013 will surely be exciting for Bowyer as he strives for more success.
Bowyer will need to have a little more consistency this year if he wants a shot at the championship. Tracks Bowyer shined at in his days at RCR weren’t his best tracks last year with MWR, but, he’ll need success to come back from those tracks this season for a shot at the Chase. If Bowyer can combine the success he had at tracks with RCR and the ones he had success at last year, he’ll be golden. The Chase will come easily to Bowyer if he performs well and wins a few races in the regular season and that’s a definite possibility for Mr. Redneck. 2013 is looking to shape up mighty good for Bowyer.
My Prediction- Bowyer avoids the second place finisher fall-back that comes after finishing second in the points the previous year and has great success in the regular season and he’ll win a few races. Bowyer will make the Chase easily but, I don’t believe he’ll be able to do too much in the Chase and he’ll end up finishing about mid-pack in the Chase field.
Martin Truex Jr
2012 was by far the best year for Truex Jr at MWR. He was competitive, ran up front a lot and made the Chase. Truex Jr definitely accomplished his mission last year. His mission this year? Win races. Truex Jr has one Sprint Cup victory that came at Dover in 2007 with DEI but, he hasn’t been to victory lane since. Once Truex Jr gets over the winless streak, he’ll be able to compete much better. A win will go a long way for Truex Jr and his No.56 team.
Success was defined by making the Chase for the No.56 team last year and in 2013, that will define success as well as getting to victory lane. Truex Jr will need to stay consistent to make the Chase this year and not just start out strong and then slowly have worse consistency as the season progresses. A win will be huge for Truex Jr this year and if Truex Jr. can get to victory lane early in the season, more success will come later in the season.
My Prediction- Truex Jr comes awfully close to victory but just misses out on victory lane. Truex Jr will make the Chase based off of strong finishes and being consistent. In the Chase, Truex Jr won’t do much and he’ll just hang around and finish towards the bottom of the Chase pack.
The 55 Car
With all three drivers last year, the No.55 car was very successful and just barely missed out on victory lane. In 2013, the car will be piloted by the same drivers but Brian Vickers will have a few more races. Mark Martin will have about the same schedule and Michael Waltrip will compete in the same races. A win for the No.55 car would be huge this season and I believe it will get done.
After the season MWR had in 2012, it will be hard to have a repeat performance in 2013 but it can be done. Wins will be a big deal at MWR this season and if they can get to victory lane, success will come easier. Bowyer has nothing to lose this season and he should go all out for the championship and grab a few wins on the way. Truex Jr will set his sights on victory lane and try to get there. The game plan is simple at MWR this season, just win.
By Jason Schultz