10. Jeff Gordon on the road to recovery
What was the biggest surprise of last season? Denny Hamlin's pole at Phoenix? No. Kyle Busch becoming the youngest ever NASCAR winner? Not even close. It was, without a doubt, the fact that four times champion Jeff Gordon didn't even make the Chase for the Cup.
It was incredible. Just about everyone thought he would make the final ten championship contenders after the cut-off point at Richmond. This came just after a season where he would actually have won the title if the pre-Chase points scoring format had still been in use.
However, he cannot blame the points' format last season, because despite winning the Daytona 500 in February, Jeff Gordon and the number 24 team had too many off days.