NASCAR Sprint Cup: 10 Drivers On the Way Up in 2011

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NASCAR Sprint Cup: 10 Drivers On the Way Up in 2011
Jason Smith/Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has already gotten big news that could change his fortunes in for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

He's among a group of drivers for whom 2011 will bring hopes that 2010 will look like a nightmare and not a fond memory.

Realignments, new teams, contraction by some organizations and expansion by others could make 2011 a breakout year for several drivers.

Others will be driven by anxiety over losing their rides, and others still might be padding their credentials for moves they know are coming for 2012.

Here's a look at 10 drivers who might surprise us with their improvement in 2011.

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