Movin’ on up: The drivers who made the biggest leaps in 2013

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left) and Joey Logano (right) both made major gains in 2013 over their final points position in 2012.

The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season saw a handful of drivers make major leaps forward over their 2012 results.

Here are the five most improved Sprint Cup drivers, based on the 2013 final points standings vs. where they finished in 2012.

KURT BUSCH, +15 — It was a huge year for The Outlaw, as a move to Furniture Row Racing saw him jump all the way from 25th in points in 2012 to 10th this year. Busch and the Denver-based team made history, as they became the first single-car team to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Alas, it was one and done, as Busch will move to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.

KYLE BUSCH, +9 — The younger of the Busch brothers had a huge season, too, rebounding from a disappointing 13th-place finish last year to come home a career-best fourth in points in ’13. Kyle won four races and tied Jimmie Johnson for the series lead in top-five finishes with 16. He was consistently fast in 2013.

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JOEY LOGANO, +9 — Moving to Penske Racing helped Logano big-time as he made the Chase for the first time in his career. Logano finished eighth in points, his best result to date, after being 17th in his final year with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012. With one victory and 11 top fives, Logano had a banner season.

DALE EARNHARDT JR. +7 — While Junior Nation fans were frustrated that the No. 88 didn’t make it to Victory Lane this year, Earnhardt had his best season since joining Hendrick Motorsports, finishing fifth in points after being 12th the year before. Earnhardt had five top fives in the Chase.

JAMIE McMURRAY, +6 — It wasn’t a superb season for McMurray, but it was a good one, as he jumped from 21st to 15th in points. The highlight of his season was a victory in the fall Talladega race.