2008 was not a particularly bad year for Michael Waltrip, as his on-track performance improved greatly in respect to his maiden season as a Toyota owner/driver.
JJ Yeley always looked good on camera with his sunny disposition and clean-cut, family man image. Unfortunately, a not-so-sunny reputation earned on the racetrack resulted in removal from his ride just before the Watkins Glen race in August.
The vast improvement in performance by Brian Vickers singlehandedly brought legitimacy and respect to Red Bull Racing.
Martin Truex Jr. was the standard bearer for DEI in 2008 – but that wasn’t saying much.
Scott Speed was a busy man in 2008, racing in the ARCA Re/Max Series, Craftsman Truck Series and the Sprint Cup Series.
As mentioned, Reed Sorenson’s year started off incredibly – before teetering off the edge of a cliff and plummeting flat into a deep canyon. Following Daytona, he had just four top-25 finishes until a sixth-place performance at race number 17 in New Hampshire.
After a slow start to the season, Regan Smith finished 14th at Martinsville in the spring to kickstart his rookie campaign. He followed that with six top-25 finishes over the next 15 events.
Mike Skinner served as a fill-in driver for three different teams this season.
Ken Schrader’s season was marked by seat time for four different teams. He began the year by reuniting with BAM Racing, a team he drove for in 2003-05 with modest success.
After being dumped from the No. 70 Chevrolet at the end of 2007, Johnny Sauter was out of options at the Sprint Cup level. As a result, he hoped to regroup with a full-time Nationwide Series ride instead in 2008, driving for James Finch.
All-in-all, 2008 was a continuation of the bad fortune and bad finishes Elliott Sadler has experienced since moving to GEM midway through the 2006 season.
The 2008 racing season showed Scott Riggs is clearly capable of being a solid driver – despite having less than a solid team around him.