The 2012 NASCAR season is now in the record books, but in the season just gone, many drivers stood out and improved from previous years.
Within the 2012 season, several drivers in three of NASCAR’s series achieved several accomplishments in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series, and Sprint Cup Series. Several drivers won their first ever race while others bounced back from a slow and less successful previous season, but five drivers stood out from the rest throughout the 2012 season.
Five drivers who improved from their performances from the 2011 season were Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., James Buescher and Nelson Piquet Jr.
In the 2011 season, some of these drivers fell short on making the chase, winning races or following up on a previous championship run. All of the previous stats didn’t matter as brand new statistics and accomplishments would go on and take over in 2012.
In the Cup Series for Truex, it was his first chase appearance with his team. For Truex’s teammate Bowyer, it was his first chase appearance after missing out the prior season and for Hamlin, it would be his return to championship contention and tying for the most wins in the season with several other drivers.
For two teammates, the 2012 season would become their most successful NASCAR season to date. Buescher and Piquet won their first ever races and would also go on to give their team, Turner Motorsports, its first ever wins in the Trucks series, as well as its first ever NASCAR championship.
Within the five drivers at least four of their teams paid a visit to Victory Lane this season. Two of them even made part of the trucks series historic season of first time winners and of all the different winners.