In June, Joey Logano scored his first pole of the season at the tricky Pocono Raceway. By weekend’s end, he was still atop the leaderboard, having won his first Cup Series race since 2009.
Sure, Travis Kvapil earned a top-10 finish at Talladega late in the season, but that was mainly because he was able to get through the gigantic wreck on the final lap a little quicker than other drivers.
In all seriousness, there wasn’t much for Bobby Labonte to smile about in 2012, as has been the case for the last several years for a former Cup champ who’s now almost a decade removed from victory lane.
David Gilliland’s No. 38 team was able to make their way into the rain-delayed Daytona 500 and would ultimately post their best finish at another restrictor-plate track, Talladega in May, with a 13th-place result.
Carl Edwards, not known as a restrictor-plate expert, shocked observers by taking the top spot for the Great American Race. In what would be a sign of things to come, he never led a lap despite leading the field to green and endured an up-and-down day
Considering that Landon Cassill was rideless and overlooked this time last year, the very fact that the young Iowa native got a steady ride for 2012 has to be a high point in and of itself.
For Jeff Burton, after a momentum-building finish to 2011 his team went through a questionable personnel switch.
Some might say Sonoma was the high point for Kurt Busch, perhaps the only race in 2012 he had a realistic chance to win driving the No. 51 Phoenix Chevy.
Kyle Busch, who had won the last three spring races at Richmond, spent most of this Saturday night thinking the streak would come to an end.
Following a slow start to his young Penske Racing career with bad luck defining some mediocre performances, AJ Allmendinger found himself at Martinsville Speedway for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500.