NASCAR Drivers 1 Improvement Away from Contending for a Sprint Cup Title

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NASCAR Drivers 1 Improvement Away from Contending for a Sprint Cup Title
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are both championship contenders heading into 2014.

Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth dominated the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Between the two of them, they recorded 13 wins, and one or the other was the point leader following all but two races during the year.

While Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick all put themselves in championship contention at some point during the Chase, the fight for the title was clearly a two-man battle the entire time.

With the 2014 season just around the corner, teams are gearing up to take another shot at Johnson and attempt to unseat him as series champion.

For some drivers, only minor improvements are needed to become legitimate title contenders. 

In the slides ahead, I will take a look at eight of the sport's top drivers who qualified for the Chase in 2013, but because of Johnson and Kenseth's dominance were never really in the hunt to win the title. I will dissect one area where each of these drivers needs to really focus on if they have any chance of dethroning Johnson and becoming series champion.

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