Nov 10, 2013; Avondale, AZ, USA; A view of victory lane before the AdvoCare 500 race at Phoenix International Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Who Must Win in 2014

Matt Kenseth led 2013 with seven total wins followed by Jimmie Johnson with six, Kevin Harvick with four but there were some drivers that were winless or just barely caught that win in 2013 that must pull out a victory in 2014.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: He led the series with the most top-10 finishes in 2013 and was thisclose to visiting Victory Lane but unfortunately for Junior, the cards just didn’t line up. With two runner-up finishes at Daytona to his teammate Jimmie Johnson, Junior is in dire need for a win in 2014. Breaking a four year winless streak in 2012 with his victory at Michigan. fans don’t want to wait that long for him to reach P1 again. 2014 needs to see Junior in Victory Lane, especially with his consistency.

Kurt Busch: Another driver where the cards just didn’t fall in their favor, the eldest Busch brother hasn’t been to 2011. With a new ride at Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch should have great equipment that he should be able to take to the top of the board. Busch is itching for that win after coming oh so close in 2013 with Furniture Row Racing.

Denny Hamlin: He notched his only win of 2013 at the season finale in Homestead-Miami after a tragic season started with him missing a handful of races at the beginning of the season. Hamlin is a talented driver who is familiar with Victory Lane but 2013 left him with many battle scars, no pun intended. Hamlin needs to see Victory Lane in 2014 more than once and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him make a run for the Championship as well.

Brad Keselowski: The 2012 Champion almost went winless in 2013 but pulled one out at Charlotte in the Fall. Keselowski had a new teammate, a new car, and also switched to Ford in 2013 and combining that with his teams trouble with NASCAR’s rule book, it left him looking in on the Chase come Chicago. Keselowski and the team are determined not to let that happen again in 2014 and he needs to visit Victory Lane multiple times next season if he wants to reclaim his spot on top of the board at Homestead-Miami.

Tony Stewart: After a devastating injury left him sidelined for a third of the season, Tony Stewart needs to hit 2014 hard and a win would do just that. Stewart knows how to win and with two new drivers at his organization, he needs to prove that this injury didn’t hurt his career or his winning ways. All eyes will be on him when he finally returns to the track at Daytona.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr: Coming off of his rookie year and a very public relationship with fellow driver Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse is one of those drivers who needs to visit Victory Lane in 2014. The two-time Nationwide Series Champion came had some promising races in 2013 and towards the end of the season, made it look like a trip to the winners circle during his rookie campaign wasn’t out of the question. 2014 could be a big year for the 26-year old.

 

Tags: Brad Keselowski Dale Earnhardt Jr Denny Hamlin Kurt Busch Ricky Stenhouse Jr Tony Stewart

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