NASCAR's season is grueling. It's long for fans, and we're just watching it on TV. Then you've got race teams, who, for 36 weeks a year, are traveling to a track to bang and bump against 42 other drivers. It's taxing, mentally and physically, and unless you're some freak like Jimmie Johnson, things aren't always going to go your way.
Take the drivers on this list. 2012 was not their year. They missed the Chase by a sliver, or they completely whiffed on it altogether. Or, in the case of Danica Patrick, her credentials to be at the Sprint Cup level were brought into question.
To use the old cliche, what a difference a year makes. Just ask Carl Edwards, whose post-victory flip earlier this season embodies what this piece is about: drivers who've turned it around in 2013.