Good and bad of 2013 - NASCAR NOTES by Lugnut - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

NASCAR NOTES: Good and bad of 2012

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Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"
AUGUSTA, GA. (RNN) - -

With the 2012 season idle, it's a good time to take a look back at the good and bad. Let's start with the bad and move on to the positive.

Several drivers didn't live up to expectations in 2012. Carl Edwards was at the head of the list. After missing the 2011 championship by a single point, the popular driver fell to a disappointing 15th place in the final standings. As changes take place at Roush/Fenway this off-season, Edwards will be looking to rebound in 2013.

Kevin Harvick also fell short of his preseason hype. His 2011 Chase performance left many feeling that 2012 could be his season. However, a series of mechanical failures and slow race cars left his team wondering what happened. With next season being his last at Richard Childress Racing, Harvick will be looking to leave on a strong note.

And it wasn't just the drivers who fell short of expectations. The racing competition produced long green-flag runs with little passing, and many fans wanted more.

On a positive note, we saw more sponsors and new teams enter the sport to show us that the future looks bright.

And a few fan favorites regained their winning form in 2012. Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. returned to the winner's circle after a long absence. Their renewed teams put both into the Chase and revitalized a group of fans that hadn't had a lot to cheer about in recent seasons.

Jimmie Johnson proved that he still had what it takes to contend for another championship title. If it weren't for a close encounter with the outside wall at Homestead, he might just be polishing that sixth trophy for his mantel.

Finally, we saw a vision of the future as Brad Keselowski captured his second major NASCAR driving title in three seasons and forever changed the shape of the sport.

His fascination with social media has opened doors that will never be shut. The access that he has given to race fans around the world with his Twitter account propelled NASCAR into new venues that can only bring great dividends.

His fresh outlook and never-give-up nature is certainly infectious and will driver many teams to work harder to keep up in the coming seasons.

As I look back, this has been an amazing season. There were more highs than lows and the future looks bright. The new media outlets will certainly draw new fans while the new G6 race car will delight the old fan that liked way that the car on the track used to resemble the car in the showroom.

The season might be over but I am ready for 2013 now.

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