NASCAR: Can the 2013 Season Be a Breakout Year for Michael Waltrip Racing?

By Jake Thompson
Randy Sartin-USA Today Sports

Last year was a huge season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series  for the Michael Waltrip Racing team. The team led and owned by racing legend Michael Waltrip picked up driver Clint Bowyer from Richard Childress Racing. Bowyer would hop into the driver’s seat of the No. 15 Toyota full-time in 2012. Bowyer was a shot in the arm for this team, once headlined by Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 56, who now finds himself in the second spot behind Bowyer.

While Truex has continued to struggle over this past yea, Bowyer only got better once moving to MWR. In his first year with the team he had a fantastic start to the partnership. Bowyer was able to compete for a career-high three wins over the course of the 2012 season at Sonoma, Richmond, and Charlotte.

When the Chase came around last year Clint Bowyer was, surpisingly to some, a serious contender. Everyone assumed that the Chase would come down to a three-way challenge between Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Jimmie Johnson for the Cup. Instead, Denny Hamlin then Jimmie Johnson faced equipment issues that cost them the Cup. Clint Bowyer wound up in the runner-up spot behind champion Brad Keselowski.

Bowyer has been strong once more this year but has yet to win. It will only be a matter of time, though, as he continues to run strong every week. He is also sitting comfortably in the top ten of the Sprint Cup points standings, securing at this point attendance in the Chase for a second year. Expect another great year from Bowyer and this MWR team.

Jake Thompson is a NASCAR Writer for Follow him on Twitter @JakeThompsonCU and like him on Facebook.

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