Ranking the 10 Most Overrated Drivers in the Sprint Cup Series

Michael Guadalupe@The_GuadaFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2013

Ranking the 10 Most Overrated Drivers in the Sprint Cup Series

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    NASCAR is filled with with talented drivers.

    Some drivers though, are not as good as they seem to be. Not everyone can be a Jimmie Johnson or Matt Kenseth, but there are a handful of drivers who get paid way too much money—for doing very little.

    Other drivers simply haven't bee relevant in years and continue to slip further away from relevance.

    Then there are the drivers who simply don't live up to the hype and fail to win races in the Chase regardless of how well they run during the regular season. They crack under the pressure and fail to win when everything is on the line.

    To even get into NASCAR is a huge accomplishment and proves that you are a top stock car racer.

    These 10, though, are the most overrated drivers in the Sprint Cup Series.

10. Kasey Kahne

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    Kasey Kahne is the new kid at Hendrick Motorsports and still has a lot to learn.

    Kahne was a solid investment by Hendrick, but as of now, the driver is still rough around the edges.

    He fought hard last season to make it into the Chase, but couldn't do enough to stand out and make a run for the title.

    This year he's won a race (Bristol), and even though he looked solid at Michigan, he pushed too hard and ended up blowing a tire.

    It would send him into the wall and end his day.

    Kahne is a decent driver, but until he starts to become a serious threat in the Chase, he still has a long way to go.

9. Jeff Burton

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    It's safe to say that Jeff Burton is past his prime.

    While last year the excuse of Burton lacking a solid ride within RCR could have easily been used to explain his poor performance, the Gen-6 car has evened things out a bit.

    Other drivers who struggled last year have done much better this season, but Jeff Burton continues to struggle.

    He signed a contract extension with RCR back in 2011, but besides helping the younger drivers in RCR and the ones who will eventually move up from the Nationwide Series, Jeff Burton isn't relevant in the Sprint Cup Series and continues to be overrated.

8. A.J. Allmendinger

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    Before A.J. Allmendinger failed a drug test last year and found himself getting dropped from Penske Racing, it was hard to see what Penske saw in him as a driver.

    Now he's slowly making a comeback into the sport and recently replaced Bobby Labonte at JTG/Daugherty for five races.

    While Allmendinger is a lot younger than Labonte, Labonte is a seasoned vet who has already proven himself in the sport by winning a championship.

    Allmendinger has yet to even win a race. He's hasn’t done anything spectacular throughout his Sprint Cup career, which makes it hard to understand why an organization would even bother to give him a shot.

    Add in his issue from last season, and it’s a waste of time for a team to give Allmendinger a ride for five races.

7. Ryan Newman

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    What has happened to the Rocket Man?

    Once known for his blazing fast speeds, Ryan Newman has severely struggled over the last couple of years.

    He sits 18th in points, and unless he has a major turnaround more than two years in the making, Newman won't be doing much in the postseason.

    Newman is far from the Rocket Man he used to be, and with Kevin Harvick joining Stewart-Haas Racing next season, you have to wonder what will happen to Newman.

    Until he manages to figure out whatever issue is holding him back from living up to his name, Ryan Newman will remain severely overrated.

6. Greg Biffle

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    Greg Biffle may have won at Michigan, but don't let that fool you.

    The Biff had a solid year in 2012 but didn’t capitalize on anything in the Chase. And now that he's won at Michigan, there's talks of the potential his season has to turn around.

    We shouldn't forget how badly he struggled in the beginning of the season, and even though he won at a track where he usually runs good, Biffle struggles to stand out.

    2012 was a step forward from his 2011 season, but don't be fooled by his one win so far in 2013.

    Biffle may make it into the Chase, but he fails to stand out in the postseason and will eventually be known as the third wheel of Roush-Fenway Racing.

5. Martin Truex Jr.

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    Martin Truex Jr. can make it into the Chase, but he struggles at winning races.

    It's great that he can finish well enough throughout the regular season to hold a solid place in the postseason, but it's a spot wasted.

    Truex can't manage to win a race, and when the Chase starts, the only real way to win the championship is to win races.

    He can continue to finish well, but until he breaks his current winless streak, Truex will be wasting a spot in the postseason.

4. Joey Logano

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    Joey Logano continues to try to break out as a top driver.

    From switching to a new team this season to the scuffles with fellow drivers like Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart, Logano has clearly been trying to make a name for himself.

    He's had decent finishes too, but Logano is a driver whom many thought would be big since he first debuted with Joe Gibbs Racing in the Sprint Cup Series.

    His progression to become one of the best has slowed down, and while he might be learning from his fellow teammate Brad Keselowski, Logano is far from being one of the greatest drivers in the sport like Mark Martin once predicted.

    Until he starts to end up in Victory Lane more, Logano will remain one of the most overrated drivers in the sport.

3. Denny Hamlin

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    Denny Hamlin has made it into the Chase since he started driving full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing.

    Every time he's come close to winning the championship though, he ends up failing.

    Now, for the first time in his career, he might miss the Chase. While it's partly due to bad luck since he sat out a couple weeks because of a back injury, Hamlin hasn't done anything to help his chances since he returned.

    The quickest way for him to make it in would be to win several races, because he now sits 26th in points, dropping one position after last week’s race.

    Denny Hamlin might seem like a good driver, but when he's under a lot of pressure, he continues to stumble.

2. Danica Patrick

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    Danica Patrick might be a rookie, but that doesn't mean she isn't overrated.

    Danica has done little in stock car racing to justify her move up the ranks so quickly. Stewart-Haas Racing can claim she will one day be a great driver, but as of right now, Patrick is little more than a dud.

    She put on a great performance at Daytona, but as the weeks have moved on, she is being talked about less and less.

    Yet she still manages to keep a huge fan following. 

    Patrick had a decent finish last week at Michigan, but she continues to struggle even though she is on a fairly decent team.

    Her fans can continue to support her, but until she starts to turn her horrible finishes around, Danica will continue to be overrated.

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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    Dale Earnhardt Jr. is an average driver.

    You would think with his following, though, that he was the best driver in the Sprint Cup Series.

    It's rare for Jr. to actually win a race, and while he makes it into the Chase, thanks to his solid finishes, he has no shot at a championship if he continues to fail to win in the Chase.

    He might have a huge fan following, largely because of his name, but as a driver, Dale is simply lackluster.

    He's part of arguably the best organization in the sport, has a great crew chief, but still struggles to win.

    To make matters even worse, he is NASCAR's highest-paid driver, a clear reflection on his popularity, not his driving ability.

    Dale Jr. has the biggest fanbase in NASCAR but is an average driver at best. Until he starts to get serious and become a real contender for the championship, Dale will remain the most overrated driver in NASCAR.