As the drivers of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series take the weekend off for the Easter holiday, not only is it an opportunity to spend quality time with family, but it's also a chance to review some early-season performances.
For some drivers like Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards, they can relax this weekend and know that their first eight races have gone as well as possible.
For others, the clock is ticking on the 26-race regular season, and a lot of work still needs to be done if they have visions of making the Chase.
I am going to take a look at eight drivers who have failed to live up to preseason expectations and now have a lot of work to do in the next 18 weeks.
If nothing else, over the last two seasons David Reutimann has been very consistent. He has scored a win in each of the two seasons, and his top 10 and top five productivity were nearly identical in both 2009 and 2010.
Reutimann was a popular dark-horse pick in the preseason to make a run at making his first-ever Chase. This season has been far from what he could have expected.
Through eight races, Reutimann has no top 10 finishes and only sits 26th in the point standings.
His best finish this season is just 13th and he has led a total of just one lap. Reutimann has only finished on the lead lap in three out of eight events thus far this season.
If Reutimann has any shot of turning his season around, he needs his luck to turn around first. Unfortunately for him, Richmond is not one of his top tracks.
In eight starts there, he has just one top 10 finish, and he only led laps in one of those races as well.
Brian Vickers is just 11 months removed from surgery to fix a blood clot issue that nearly derailed his racing career.
Many people wondered how long it would take him to really get back into the swing of things after such an extended layoff.
The 2011 season has certainly seen more downs than ups for the 27-year-old Red Bull driver. Through eight races, Vickers has scored only two top-10 finishes, and he has failed to lead a single lap on the season.
In four of the eight races this year, Vickers has finished 30th or worse, and he currently only finds himself in 28th place in the point standings.
It has also been an uncharacteristic season for Vickers in terms of qualifying as well. Only once has he started a race inside the top 10, and six out of eight races have seen Vickers start 19th or worse.
While a lot of people figured this might be a season of adjustments for Vickers, as he works his way back to top form, nobody could have figured it would be this rough either.
Joey Logano is another driver who had some heavy expectations placed on him prior to the start of the season.
Many experts thought that 2011 would be a breakthrough season for Logano, and that he would crash the Chase party in September.
The season has been anything but a success for the 20-year-old Home Depot driver. Logano scored his first top-10 finish of the season last weekend in Talladega. Only one other time this season has Logano finished better than 23rd.
He led his first two laps of the year last weekend and only sits 24th in the standings. The Gibbs team as a whole has had an odd season thus far.
The team has also suffered from engine issues, as all three drivers have had at least one engine issue this season. Logano saw his motor blow up in Phoenix, where he posted his worst finish so far this year, a 33rd-place effort.
By no means has the 2011 season been terrible for Mark Martin. But it hasn't been great either.
At best, his 2011 campaign could be described as quietly average. He currently finds himself in 14th place in the points.
Martin has scored three top 10s, including an eigth-place finish in that wild eight-man drag race to the finish line last weekend in Talladega.
Other than a 36th place in Texas, Martin has had his other seven finishes this season end up in the top 20.
The problem for Martin could be a lack of running up front. He has led just one lap this year, and the eighth at Talladega is actually his best finish so far.
With the new rules for qualifying for the Chase, Martin may end up being one of the two odd men out when it's all said and done.
Unless Martin can find a way to get into Victory Lane to help secure a spot in the Chase, he will need to start turning some of these decent finishes into really good finishes.
While his teammates Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards have each scored wins and find themselves solidly inside the current cutoff for the Chase, Greg Biffle has been wallowing around mediocrity all season long.
He has scored three top 10s, including a top five at Texas, but he has also had four finishes of 20th or worse.
After a top 10 in Talladega, Biffle finds himself in 16th in the points, which is the highest he has been at any point this season.
By no means is Biffle out of the Chase picture. It's just that as strong as he ran in the second half of the year last season, many expected that he would come out of the gate extremely strong in 2011.
Jamie McMurray had a dream season in 2010. He won three races at three premier tracks on the Sprint Cup Series schedule.
He started the season by winning the Daytona 500. He then went on to win at Indianapolis and Charlotte as well.
After his breakthrough performance of a season ago, many people pegged McMurray as a driver who would contend not only for a spot in the Chase, but for the championship as well.
McMurray has scored just one top 10 finish through eight races, and he has had only one other finish inside the top 20. His season has been mired with some bad luck. He lost a cylinder late in a race while running around the top 10.
Last weekend at Talladega, as he and teammate Juan Montoya finally began to make their moves, he was involved in the incident that took his teammate out.
Two cars got together in front of them and then they were the victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
One of the more perplexing tales of early-season troubles is that of Jeff Burton. Burton is a season removed from qualifying for the Chase and from competing for multiple victories.
This season, Burton has yet to record a top 10 finish. At times he has had trouble getting out of his own way.
After winning his Gatorade Dual during Speedweeks at Daytona, Burton appeared to be on top of his game.
He was running strong in the Daytona 500 before losing an engine halfway through. Other than that, there have been few bright spots for the veteran driver.
He was also one of the stronger cars throughout the Talladega race, before a late-race incident caused him to lose his drafting partner, and he fell back through the field.
Burton currently finds himself in only 22nd place in the standings, and is the only one of four Richard Childress Racing cars not currently in the cutoff for the Chase.
Denny Hamlin was one race away from dethroning Jimmie Johnson as the Sprint Cup Series champion last season. Since failing to win the championship, Hamlin has not looked like a Chase contender at all in 2011.
Hamlin has just one top 10 finish, and he has had four finishes outside the top 20.
He has also been plagued by the early-season engine issues that have spread throughout the entire Joe Gibbs Racing organization.
He currently sits 17th in the points standings and, fortunately for him, the next stop on the schedule is Richmond, which is a track that Hamlin has run very well at in the past.
In 10 starts at the mile track, he has scored two wins and only one time did he finish worse than 15th.
If Hamlin wants to contend for the championship again this season, it would be wise for him to begin his turnaround next week in Richmond, a track that he always runs strong at.