5 NASCAR Drivers Riding a Big Momentum Wave Early in 2013

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5 NASCAR Drivers Riding a Big Momentum Wave Early in 2013
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Is two races into a 36-race schedule enough time to determine whether or not a Sprint Cup driver has any significant momentum?

Sure, there are plenty of arguments against it. The new Gen Six car hasn't raced on any of the 1.5-mile ovals that make up the majority of the schedule, nor has it had its first race action on a short track. Only one driver—Jimmie Johnson in 2006—has parlayed a Daytona 500 victory into a championship in the Chase era, and only one driver to win the second race of the season has won a title in that era as well. (You guessed it—Johnson again, this time in 2010.)

But these five drivers would like to disagree. If all goes according to plan for them, strong starts to the season are just foreshadowing a great year. They're thinking race victories in the short term, and in most cases, even a Chase berth down the road. Don't be shocked if any of them pull it off based on their early results, which have either shown winning capability or calm consistency.

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