Hard as it may seem to believe, given there are 43-car fields in each race, only 28 drivers competed in every Sprint Cup event this season.
On one hand, that's sad for the series, but at the same time, it makes it a bit easier for us to issue grades—and not necessarily have to assess the performance of every driver who sat in a Cup car this season.
As a result, we'll be grading 20 drivers—not necessarily the top 20, either—in this exercise.
Full-time series drivers we've chosen not to grade, mainly due to their lack of competitiveness or failure to finish higher in the overall standings, are Paul Menard, Aric Almirola, Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya (particularly since he has left NASCAR and will return to IndyCar racing in 2014), Marcos Ambrose, Casey Mears, David Gilliland, David Ragan, Travis Kvapil, J.J. Yeley and David Reutimann.
And we'll also be counting down from worst to best, as well.
So strap in your favorite chair, and let's see if you agree with our final grades of 2013.