Five NASCAR Drivers Who Go Under The Radar Heading Into 2013

1 of 5

Martin Truex Jr. looks To Continue Success in 2013

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

For Martin Truex Jr. the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season was a breath of fresh air as several changes in the offseason allowed him to accomplish a great season.

Since the start of the 2012 season Truex became one of the most consistent drivers within the field, which allowed him to become of the 12 chase contenders. The season allowed Truex to make several improvements compared to his previous seasons. In 2012 Truex finished off the season with a spot in the chase but missed the top ten after mechanical failure at the race in Phoenix would take him out of the race, finishing 11th in the points.

Despite finishing 11th Truex captured a pole award, seven top-five and 19 top-10 finishes. His pole award at Texas Motor Speedway has qualified him into the Daytona Shootout in 2013.

The 2012 season allowed Truex to become more of a competitor and came close to capturing a win in a couple of races. With the success from 2012 it will allow Truex to be more competitive in the next season. After being one of the two cars qualified into the chase for Michael Waltrip Racing, Truex will no longer go under the radar.

2 of 5

Brian Scott Looks To Win In 2013

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last two seasons Brian Scott has demonstrated he can be a contender within the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Within the last two Nationwide seasons Scott has raced his best seasons yet with an eighth place finish in the 2011 season followed by a ninth place finish in 2012. For those two seasons Scott had the ability to race a full time schedule as part of the No.11 team for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Throughout his career Scott has finished as the runner-up in the Rookie of the Year standings in both the Trucks and Nationwide Series in his rookie years in those series. He was also the winner of the most improved driver award in the Nationwide Series in 2011.

In the 2012 season Scott captured two top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in the Nationwide Series. In his truck appearances with Kyle Busch Motorsports, he became one of the 16 different winners of 2012, becoming part of a historic trucks season.

Going into 2013 Scott will be looking to continue his improvements in the Nationwide Series with a new team now that he will be in the No.2 car for Richard Childress Racing. With the new ride Scott will be looking to add some wins under his name in the Nationwide Series.

3 of 5

Parker Kligerman Hopes To Find More Success In 2013

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

The 2012 NASCAR season may have started off as a roller coaster ride for Parker Kligerman but by the end of the season he found a way to finish within the top.

In the earlier races of the season Kligerman began racing with his former team Brad Keselowski Racing but by the half way point he would be released from the team. Despite getting released from his previous team, it didn't take him long to find a new one.

Going into the remainder of the 2012 season Kligerman would race his way to the top of the Truck Series standings after joining Red Horse Racing and become of one of the most competitive drivers in every race, making his way to the front of the pack.

Through the remainder for the season Kligerman would be one of the most improved drivers and eventually made his way to victory lane for the first time in his NASCAR career. His first career victory at Talladega Superspeedway and he would finish the season in fifth in the points.

Going into 2013 Kligerman has been linked to Kyle Busch Motorsports to drive the No.54 car in the Nationwide Series but the news has not been made official. Which ever series Kligerman does race in he will be a top competitor looking to add more wins under his name.

4 of 5

Michael Annett Continues To Improve

Michael Hickey-USA TODAY Sports

The 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season provide Michael Annett his best career finish, as well as a chance to become one of the top drivers in the series.

The 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year has been working his way to the top of the series since he made his debut in the last race of 2008. Since his first full time season in 2009 Annett has been racing within some of the series top competitors. In his first since he would finish in the top-10 with a 10th place finish.

He would suffer a small set back in 2010 by finishing in 13th but he would continue to compete to prove he can be a top competitor. By the 2012 season, it would become one of his most successful seasons up to date. Annett would go on to finish fifth in the points with six top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.

During the summer Annett was one of the winner’s in the Dash 4 Cash program.

Since the beginning of his career he has had the backing of his sponsor Pilot Travel Centers and have continue sponsoring him throughout all of the teams he has raced with.

Annett’s top five finish in the points may have been under the radar due to the close championship battle, but he finished off on one of his best career finishes. He will continue to be within the most competitive in 2013 but will be looking to get closer to a championship next season.

5 of 5

Aric Almirola Will Look To Improve In 2013

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Within the last three NASCAR seasons, Aric Almirola has gone on to race in three different series something that separates him from he rest of his competitors.

As a former championship contender in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Almirola has worked his way up leading to his current ride in the Cup Series with Richard Petty Motorsports. Over the last three seasons he has gone to race in all three series, the Truck Series, Nationwide Series and now Cup. He finished with the top 10 in two of those series.

In the 2010 season Almirola went on to finish in second place within the Truck Series points standing, coming close to winning a championship. That season he captured two wins, his first trucks win was at Dover that season. After his success in the trucks Almirola moved to the Nationwide Series in 2011 driving for JR Motorsports.

In the 2011 season Almirola would go on to finish within the top five in the point standings in fourth, capturing seven top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. Althoguh he did not win a race in 2011, Almirola is a past Nationwide Series winner with his first win being in the 2007 season.

Joining RPM in 2012 gave Almirola his first full time Cup Series ride, finishing within the top 20 in points in 20th place. The season saw him capturing his first Cup pole for the Coca Cola 600 as well as a top-five and four top-10 finishes. In the season Almirola had a crew chief change when Mike Ford was introduced as his new crew chief close to the half way point in the season.

Almirola will be looking to improve in 2013 as towards the end of the 2012 season some of his finishes became more consistent. Whether he makes it into the chase will be seen but he will be able to improve after completing his first full time season.

Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Over the years several NASCAR drivers go out to the track every week to race, some drivers get noticed meanwhile others go under the radar.

Every week on the race track every driver goes out to prove that they deserve to go out racing for everywhere on the schedule whether it is the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series or the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Throughout the seasons several drivers have performed well in their series but haven’t received much attention for their accomplishments.

Within all three of NASCAR’s series several drivers have gone to perform well in their series but five have gone underrated. Five drivers throughout NASCAR that have gone underrated are Martin Truex Jr., Brian Scott, Aric Almirola, Michael Annett, and Parker Kligerman.

Most of the five drivers have gone on to become winners in NASCAR. Some recently captured their first ever career win in the 2012 season. Two of these drivers became part of a historic Trucks season that featured 16 different winners. Meanwhile one became one of the drivers to help qualify their team to their first ever Cup Series chase appearance.

Most of five drivers went on to finish within the top 10 in the point standings in their respective series. Two of them would finish within the top 20 after a season of firsts.

These drivers may have gone under the raider for a couple of seasons but after the 2012 NASCAR season, they have proven to be some of the best competitors NASCAR has seen on the track and will compete for wins in 2013.