Today our 2013 Sprint Cup team previews focus on Michael Waltrip Racing, the organization that finished 2nd in points in 2012. Michael Waltrip Racing will field three entries in 2013, the #15 for Clint Bowyer, #56 for Martin Truex Jr, and the #55 will feature a combination of drivers including Mark Martin, Brian Vickers, and Michael Waltrip.
In his first year with Michael Waltrip Racing, Clint Bowyer surprised everyone with a 2nd place points finish in 2012. Many thought there would be an adjustment period for Bowyer and crew chief Brian Pattie, but the team ran strong all year, accumulating 3 wins. If not for getting caught up in the last lap melee at Talladega and getting intentionally wrecked by Jeff Gordon at Phoenix, Bowyer most likely would have been in the running for the Sprint Cup championship at Homestead. With sponsorship from 5 Hour Energy and Peak Antifreeze, Bowyer and Pattie will team up once again in 2013 and if the debut season for the duo is any indication, this team should have no problem winning races and making the Chase in 2013 and could be a strong contender for the 2013 title.
Martin Truex Jr
The 2012 season for Martin Truex Jr was one in which Truex was competitive week in and week out and came close many times to winning a race, but came up just short every time. The consistent run landed Truex in the Chase and he finished the year in 11th place. Truex and crew chief Chad Johnston will team up once again in 2013 and with the chemistry building between the two, look for Truex to finally get that monkey off his back and get back to victory lane for the first time since 2007 and most likely make it back into the Chase as well.
Although no one driver drove the #55 full time in 2012, the trio of drivers that split up the schedule (Mark Martin, Brian Vickers, and Michael Waltrip) had a good enough performance between the three to land the #55 car at 15th in the owners points in 2012. The three drivers will once again split time in the #55 in 2013, with Martin running 26 races, Vickers running 9 races and team owner Waltrip running the two restrictor plate races at Talladega and the July Daytona race. With the talent in the seat of the #55 car, it definitely would not be a surprise to see this team in Victory Lane at least once this year