A season after recording eight top-five finishes -- including three runner-up results -- on the way to becoming the Sprint Cup Series' rookie of the year, Larson is expected to find Victory Lane for the first time in 2015. Anything less will be a major disappointment.
Getty Images for Texas Motor SpeTodd Warshaw
Although he hovered in the shadow of fellow Sprint Cup rookie Kyle Larson for most of last season, Dillon has demonstrated the poise and driving ability to enjoy a bright future -- with multiple wins -- in NASCAR's premier division.
Getty ImagesJonathan Ferrey
The son of 1988 Sprint Cup champion Bill Elliott made history last year by becoming the youngest champion in NASCAR national series history at the tender age of 18. Now 19, Elliott is expected to make cameo Sprint Cup starts for Hendrick Motorsports in 2015 in preparation for a full-time move up in 2016. Although he won't get many chances to win a Sprint Cup race in 2015, the talent is unquestionably there to steal a victory.
Getty Images for Texas Motor SpeJonathan Ferrey
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Despite struggling in his first two years in NASCAR's top series, the two-time Xfinity Series champion begins 2015 with new hope and a new crew chief in Nick Sandler -- the former head engineer for Roush Fenway Racing's No. 99 team with Carl Edwards.
Getty ImagesRob Carr
Blaney is running only a part-time schedule with the Wood Brothers, but the Sprint Cup newcomer and second-generation driver has showed lots of promise in both the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series. Plus, the Wood Brothers' famed No. 21 Ford always seems to be fast at Daytona and Talladega. Just ask its former driver, Trevor Bayne.
Getty Images for NASCARJared C. Tilton
Sam Hornish Jr.
Back in the Sprint Cup Series full time for the first time since 2010, Hornish looks poised to make good on his second chance. A three-time IndyCar champion, former Indy 500 champion and former NASCAR Xfinity Series championship runner-up, Hornish knows how to win. It's just a matter of doing it in a Sprint Cup Series stock car.
Getty ImagesJeff Zelevansky
Even though Patrick didn't have the big breakthrough that many in the sport hoped she might last year in her second full Sprint Cup season, her improvements on the track were undeniable. But is she ready to win a race? The Stewart-Haas Racing driver is always a factor at the two restrictor-plate tracks, but has been surprisingly stout on occasion at other tracks, as well.