Photo- Getty Images
The King, Richard Petty, has been unable to pass on any luck from his story book career to his current Cup team. The team has two wins in the past two seasons, not very much like the King. 2013 is a huge chance to perform well with the new car for RPM and they can get on top if they come out of the gate hot. Richard Petty may need to pass along some of his success to his team if he would like to be successful in the upcoming season.
Other than winning at Watkins Glen in the past two seasons, Ambrose has essentially been quiet. Road courses are Ambrose’s thing and during the 34 non-road course races, he doesn’t show much strength. Ambrose will really need to show some muscle on the oval tracks if he wants to shine in NASCAR. 2013 will be the perfect chance for Ambrose to become known as the all around racer rather than the road course expert. If Ambrose can win and be successful on the oval tracks, he could sneak his way into the Chase in the upcoming season.
My Prediction- Ambrose has more success on the ovals with new crew chief Drew Blickensderfer and he’ll come close to victory on an oval. Ambrose will still be a road course king and he may come close to victory on both road courses. The Chase will be out of Ambrose’s reach however, by the time we get to Richmond.
2012 wasn’t a reason to celebrate for Aric Almirola and his No.43 team but, they will be going all-out to make 2013 a year to celebrate. Almirola was a great qualifier last season but, when it came time to race, he wasn’t anywhere near the front. Almirola struggled mightily in his return to the Cup Series last season and his struggles were very noticeable. Almirola has the chance in 2013 to show everyone that 2012 was just an off year and he’s primed and ready to make 2013 the best year of his career. New crew chief Todd Parrott will look to bring the No.43 team together and have a shot at the Chase. 2013 will be a season where Almirola will need to prove himself big time if he wants to stay in Cup.
My Prediction- Almirola has another repeat of last season but, does a little bit worse. Victory lane will be out of reach of the No.43 team and the Chase will be even farther out of his reach. After the season, don’t be surprised if Almirola is out of a ride.
RPM remains on shaky ground with its current driver lineup. Marcos Ambrose has the chance to be successful but, hasn’t shown much success yet. Aric Almirola really needs to step it up this season or he’ll be out the ride. RPM may need to change things up after this season if success doesn’t show up. Richard Petty is smart enough to know when to change things up and he knows he needs to see success out of both of his drivers in 2013.
By Jason Schultz