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.
Denny Hamlin Redeems Himself In 2012
After missing out on a championship in 2010 and after failing to rebound in 2011, Denny Hamlin got himself back into championship contention in 2012.
The 2012 season featured Hamlin capturing many accomplishments as well as becoming one of the most winning drivers in the season. Hamlin made his way to victory lane in five different occasions in the season at Phoenix, Kansas, Bristol, Atlanta, and New Hampshire.
Along with his victories, the win at Phoenix was redemption for Hamlin due to his 2010 championship hopes slipping away at Phoenix. As the 2012 chase came along Hamlin called his win at New Hampshire after missing out on a win in the chase opener.
In the 2012 season Hamlin would finish sixth in the point standings. Along with his five wins this season Hamlin also won three poles and captured 14 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.
For Clint Bowyer 2012 Was New Beginnings
The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season was great for Clint Bowyer as he began his first year with Michael Waltrip Racing.
Starting the year fresh with a new team after spending years with Richard Childress Racing, Bowyer made his way back into the chase for the Sprint Cup after missing out in 2011. For the 2012 chase Bowyer was one of two drivers from MWR to qualify into the chase for the first time in MWR history.
As he qualified into the 2012 Chase Bowyer captured three wins in races that became fuel-mileage races such as the road course race at Sonoma, Richmond, and Charlotte. In his three victories Bowyer had enough fuel to capture the checkered flag.
At the end of the year Bowyer would go on to finish second in the point standings with three wins, 10 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes. Bowyer also went on to average a 10.9 finish this season.< /p>
James Buescher Closes Off His Most Winning Season As Champion
The 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series went on to become one of the series most historic seasons featuring several first time winners, one of them would go on to become the 2012 champion as James Buescher went on to be.
During the 2012 season Buescher became one of the 16 different drivers to visit victory lane in the Truck Series. Throughout the season Buescher went on to become the most winning driver in the truck series with four wins. Buescher went on to win at Kansas, Chicago, and swept both Kentucky races.
Buescher would also be one of the few drivers in the truck series that became repeat winners and also gave his team Turner Motorsports their first couple of NASCAR victories.
He also made his first visit to victory lane in the Nationwide Series in the season opener at Daytona.
At the end of the season Buescher went on to become the 2012 Truck Series champion.
Martin Truex Jr. Helps MWR Reach Their First Chase
Despite missing victory lane this season Martin Truex Jr. still stood out from his competition as he was able to qualify himself within the 12 chase contenders in 2012.
Along with his teammate Clint Boywer, Truex was one of two drivers who helped qualify Michael Waltrip Racing into their first chase appearance. Truex qualified himself into the 2012 chase as being one of the most consistent drivers throughout the season.
Although he did not make a trip to victory lane this season, Truex was close to capturing a win.
At the end of the season Truex would go on to finish 11th in the point standings after a failure at Phoenix would cost him a spot within the top ten in points. Throughout the 2012 season Truex went on to win a pole and seven top-five and 19 top-10 finishes.
Nelson Piquet Jr. Visits Victory Lane In 2012
The 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season feature a winning combo within Turner Motorsports as Nelson Piquet Jr. made the season the best one of his career.
Throughout the 2012 season Piquet went on to dominate in the truck series by capturing several accomplishments as winning four poles in the season. Piquet also went on to capture two wins in the season, with his first win at Michigan being his first trucks series career win.
Piquet went on to finish the season within the top ten in the point standings in seventh. He was part of Turner Motorsports most win season. Along with his two wins Piquet went on to finish with nine top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. He went on to average a 10.8 finish.
The 2012 season went on to be a successful season for Piquet as he also captured a win in another NASCAR series as he won the Nationwide Series race at Road America.
Piquet was also voted the Truck Series most popular driver by the fans and also received the award for most improved driver in 2012.