Five NASCAR Drivers To Watch In 2013 After Making Changes In Their Career

1 of 5

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Makes His Way To The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

stenhouse
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

After finishing his time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with back-to-back championship seasons, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will be moving on up in 2013.

Heading into a new season Stenhouse will be moving into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, replacing Matt Kenseth in the No.17 car for Roush Fenway Racing, going into the next step of his career. After capturing two consecutive Nationwide championships Stenhouse has proven himself to be a championship driver and will now test his abilities in a cup car.

Stenhouse had his first attempt in a cup car in the 2011 season and in his only start that season he captured an 11th place finish. In 2012 he raced in four cup races in order to prepare for his cup move in 2013. From those four races he averaged a 26.5 finish.

After capturing six wins in 2012 and capturing his second Nationwide championship, Stenhouse will attempt to convert his Nationwide success to cup and race for Rookie of the Year honors.

All eyes will be on Stenhouse on how he adopts to a new series, as well as how he competes with Danica Patrick for rookie honors.

2 of 5

Danica Patrick Moves Onto The Cup Series

danica
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2013 NASCAR season Danica Patrick will be taking the next step in her career, heading into one of NASCAR’s biggest series.

After racing for two seasons as a part time driver and one full season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Patrick will be making her move into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series full time. After getting a taste in the cup series with a partial schedule throughout the 2012 season, Patrick will now make her move into the No.10 car of Stewart-Haas Racing for the complete schedule.

In ten Cup races in 2012 Patrick would end up averaging a 28.3 finish. Her best finish would be a 17th place finish at Phoenix in race number 35. Her first Cup race would be her lowest finisher with a 38th place finish. As the season went on Patrick improved her performance.

Going into 2013 Patrick will get the opportunity to show what she learned from her partial schedule. She will be one of the few drivers who will be watched on how she adapts to the changes from switching into a new series and car. Patrick will also be contending for Rookie of the year honors against a former Nationwide Series champion in Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Patrick will have all eyes on her as she will make the change to the cup series and how her racing style will change in 2013 compared to her 2012 appearances.

3 of 5

Brian Vickers Returns To Racing Full Time

Vickers
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Upon the conclusion of the 2011 NASCAR season Brian Vickers was left without a full time ride but during the 2012 season demonstrated he was a driver who deserved a full time ride.

Throughout the 2012 season Vickers signed onto race with Michael Waltrip Racing for eight races after losing his full time ride after Red Bull Racing closed at the end of the 2011 season. In his eight starts Vickers averaged three top-five and five top-10 finishes. He also averaged a 13.2 finish in his eight starts.

Going into the 2013 season Vickers will once again race in a partial schedule for MWR but he will also return to racing full time as he has signed onto race for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series.

Towards the end of 2012 Vickers got a head start with his time with JGR by making a Nationwide Series start. In his only Nationwide race he captured a top five finish.

Heading into the new season Vickers will get another opportunity and have the chance to race for a championship. All eyes will be on him as he makes his return to racing full time.

4 of 5

Joey Logano Moves To Penske Racing

logano
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season will be of new beginnings for Joey Logano as he will be competing with a brand new team for the first time in his career.

Going into the new season Logano will go from racing most of his NASCAR career with Joe Gibbs Racing to joining Penske Racing with current Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski as his teammate. After finishing the 2012 season as one of his most successful seasons up to date, Logano will be looking to capturing more accomplishments with his move to a new team.

In 2012 Logano captured a win in the Cup Series and was in contention for a spot in the chase. Along with the win he would finish with two top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. In his Nationwide races in 2012 Logano was the most winning driver with nine victories.

In his time with JGR in the Cup Series, Logano would win two races with 16 top-five and 41 top-10 finishes with a 18.7 average finish.

Logano will be one of the drivers to watch next season on how he will react with a brand new team as will as how he will work with his new teammate Keselowski.

5 of 5

Elliott Sadler Moves To Joe Gibbs Racing

sadler
Michael Hickey-USA TODAY Sports

After being in championship contention for the past two seasons, Elliott Sadler will attempt to win the championship with a brand new team in 2013.

After racing with Kevin Harvick Inc. and Richard Childress Racing for the past two seasons, Sadler will be making his move to Joe Gibbs Racing, making a change in his championship quest.

In the 2012 season Sadler came close to capturing the Nationwide Series championship but after some things didn't go in his favor in Phoenix, his shot at the championship slipped away. Heading towards the new year JGR gave Sadler the opportunity to continue racing for that championship. Going into the new season Sadler will still having support from his sponsor One Main Financial despite the team change.

Throughout 2012 Sadler captured four wins along with 15 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes. While joining JGR Sadler will be looking to continue his success in the Nationwide Series, as well as giving JGR a chance at a Nationwide title.

All eyes will be on Sadler to see how he adapts to his change to JGR as well as if he will be able to continue competing for a championship.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into a brand new NASCAR season several drivers are ready to get back on the track and some drivers are getting ready for a new start in their careers.

The days heading into the 2013 season are fast approaching and some drivers are signing onto to new teams or moving into a different series. Within all of the drivers making changes for 2013, five of them will ones to watch next season.

Danica Patrick, Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Elliott Sadler, and Brian Vickers will be five drivers to keep an eye on during the 2013 NASCAR season, as these five drivers will make changes in their careers.

In 2013 Stenhouse and Patrick will be making a move into a new racing series. Both drivers will go from racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season. Stenhouse and Patrick along with competing for the Sprint Cup, they will both be racing for the same honors next season.

For Logano and Sadler, both drivers will be making a move to brand new teams. Moving to new teams will give both drivers another opportunity to race for a championship in their respective series.

For Vickers it will be his return to competing in NASCAR full time.

The 2013 season will be of new beginnings for these drivers following their previous accomplishments. For some their new beginnings will be their opportunity at wins and for others it will be a brand new opportunity to make the best of their career.

1 of 5

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Makes His Way To The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

stenhouse
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

After finishing his time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with back-to-back championship seasons, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will be moving on up in 2013.

Heading into a new season Stenhouse will be moving into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, replacing Matt Kenseth in the No.17 car for Roush Fenway Racing, going into the next step of his career. After capturing two consecutive Nationwide championships Stenhouse has proven himself to be a championship driver and will now test his abilities in a cup car.

Stenhouse had his first attempt in a cup car in the 2011 season and in his only start that season he captured an 11th place finish. In 2012 he raced in four cup races in order to prepare for his cup move in 2013. From those four races he averaged a 26.5 finish.

After capturing six wins in 2012 and capturing his second Nationwide championship, Stenhouse will attempt to convert his Nationwide success to cup and race for Rookie of the Year honors.

All eyes will be on Stenhouse on how he adopts to a new series, as well as how he competes with Danica Patrick for rookie honors.

2 of 5

Danica Patrick Moves Onto The Cup Series

danica
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2013 NASCAR season Danica Patrick will be taking the next step in her career, heading into one of NASCAR’s biggest series.

After racing for two seasons as a part time driver and one full season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Patrick will be making her move into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series full time. After getting a taste in the cup series with a partial schedule throughout the 2012 season, Patrick will now make her move into the No.10 car of Stewart-Haas Racing for the complete schedule.

In ten Cup races in 2012 Patrick would end up averaging a 28.3 finish. Her best finish would be a 17th place finish at Phoenix in race number 35. Her first Cup race would be her lowest finisher with a 38th place finish. As the season went on Patrick improved her performance.

Going into 2013 Patrick will get the opportunity to show what she learned from her partial schedule. She will be one of the few drivers who will be watched on how she adapts to the changes from switching into a new series and car. Patrick will also be contending for Rookie of the year honors against a former Nationwide Series champion in Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Patrick will have all eyes on her as she will make the change to the cup series and how her racing style will change in 2013 compared to her 2012 appearances.

3 of 5

Brian Vickers Returns To Racing Full Time

Vickers
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Upon the conclusion of the 2011 NASCAR season Brian Vickers was left without a full time ride but during the 2012 season demonstrated he was a driver who deserved a full time ride.

Throughout the 2012 season Vickers signed onto race with Michael Waltrip Racing for eight races after losing his full time ride after Red Bull Racing closed at the end of the 2011 season. In his eight starts Vickers averaged three top-five and five top-10 finishes. He also averaged a 13.2 finish in his eight starts.

Going into the 2013 season Vickers will once again race in a partial schedule for MWR but he will also return to racing full time as he has signed onto race for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series.

Towards the end of 2012 Vickers got a head start with his time with JGR by making a Nationwide Series start. In his only Nationwide race he captured a top five finish.

Heading into the new season Vickers will get another opportunity and have the chance to race for a championship. All eyes will be on him as he makes his return to racing full time.

4 of 5

Joey Logano Moves To Penske Racing

logano
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season will be of new beginnings for Joey Logano as he will be competing with a brand new team for the first time in his career.

Going into the new season Logano will go from racing most of his NASCAR career with Joe Gibbs Racing to joining Penske Racing with current Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski as his teammate. After finishing the 2012 season as one of his most successful seasons up to date, Logano will be looking to capturing more accomplishments with his move to a new team.

In 2012 Logano captured a win in the Cup Series and was in contention for a spot in the chase. Along with the win he would finish with two top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. In his Nationwide races in 2012 Logano was the most winning driver with nine victories.

In his time with JGR in the Cup Series, Logano would win two races with 16 top-five and 41 top-10 finishes with a 18.7 average finish.

Logano will be one of the drivers to watch next season on how he will react with a brand new team as will as how he will work with his new teammate Keselowski.

5 of 5

Elliott Sadler Moves To Joe Gibbs Racing

sadler
Michael Hickey-USA TODAY Sports

After being in championship contention for the past two seasons, Elliott Sadler will attempt to win the championship with a brand new team in 2013.

After racing with Kevin Harvick Inc. and Richard Childress Racing for the past two seasons, Sadler will be making his move to Joe Gibbs Racing, making a change in his championship quest.

In the 2012 season Sadler came close to capturing the Nationwide Series championship but after some things didn't go in his favor in Phoenix, his shot at the championship slipped away. Heading towards the new year JGR gave Sadler the opportunity to continue racing for that championship. Going into the new season Sadler will still having support from his sponsor One Main Financial despite the team change.

Throughout 2012 Sadler captured four wins along with 15 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes. While joining JGR Sadler will be looking to continue his success in the Nationwide Series, as well as giving JGR a chance at a Nationwide title.

All eyes will be on Sadler to see how he adapts to his change to JGR as well as if he will be able to continue competing for a championship.


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