My Top 5 disappointments for 2004

Driver Insider
Posted Nov 23, 2004

There were a lot of disappointments this season. Some of those include past NASCAR Champions that failed to get into victory lane this season. Drivers had some high expectations but were never met. Here are the top 5 drivers that I thought would perform better than they did in 2004

1: Dale Jarrett

 The 2 time Daytona 500 Winner and 1999 NASCAR Champion had high expectation for 2004 after finishing 27th in the points in 2003.

He was unable to get into victory lane for the first time since 1992. His best finish of the year came at the Brickyard 400 were he finished 2nd.  He finished 15th in the points and had only 6 top five finishes. Maybe he should consider driving the "Brown Truck.

2: Bobby Labonte

For some reason JGR releaseded crew chief Michael "Fatback" Swain early in the season. This came as a surprise to most being that Labonte was 5th in the points at the time.

The 2000 NASCAR Champion also saw his streak of wins end this year. He's been to Victory Lane at least once in nine consecutive seasons. He won 2 races last season at Atlanta and Homestead.

Did the firing of "Fatback" hurt this team performance? I think so. You don't change crew chief while you're in the top 5 in points and not expect to screw up the chemistry.

3: Kevin Harvick

2003 was a good year for Harvick.In 2003 He finished 5th in the points.He had 11 top fives, 18 top tens, zero DNF's and went to victory lane once. Those are modest number and a lot of teams thought they would be in the middle of the points battle in 04.

He failed to match those numbers though in 2004. 5 top fives and finished in the top ten 14 times. But the he also had 4 DNF's leaving him finishing 14th in the points.

4: Sterling Marlin

Who would have thought in 2004 that he would be 21st in the points at the end of the season? After all this is a driver that was fighting for the title in 2001, He was in 2nd in the points when he suffered a neck injury in a crash forcing him out of the car the rest of the 2001 season. His stats for 2004 were not good to say the least with 3 top 5….7 top 10. He also had 9 DNF's.

5: Michael Waltrip

Mikey was a big disappointment this season. He was always one to watch at the Super Speedways in a DEI car. He failed to see victory lane this year after 2 wins in 2003.  He had 8 top 5 in 2003 and only finished in top 5 twice this year and 6 DNF's. He finished 20th in the points.

DEI has told Mikey that he needs to finish in the top 10 in points in 05 or else. Mikeys DEI days could be over in after 2005.

By: Eddie

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D Kevin Harvick (profile)
D Dale Jarrett (profile)
D Bobby Labonte (profile)
D Sterling Marlin (profile)
D Michael Waltrip (profile)
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