Sometimes a change of scenery is good, but at the same time it may take time to get used to the new surroundings. Drivers have seen great success one year after changing teams, while others see the best of struggles each week out.
The one organization that has come around to having it's best year has been Michael Waltrip Racing.
Finally, the rewards of a season-worth of effort came full circle.
This year, two new drivers came on board. Sure, one has been on and off for the season, but his impact is certainly felt throughout the entire team. But, the other has also seen proven success with his former employer, and now can say he put his new team in victory lane.
Clint Bowyer signed a deal to drive for MWR last year, leaving his team at Richard Childress Racing. Many saw this as a huge gain for Bowyer, and at the Sonoma Raceway it all showed. As he held on for the final few laps, including a green-white-checkered finish, he has put himself in a great spot, winning his first race in a Toyota and for his new group of guys.
Sure, it didn't mean a win for any of the writers, but for the most part, each one had strong runs, despite having a few worries in the race. In fact, all but one finished in the top-10, with one scoring a top-five.
Take a look how much the standings have changed, or not so much, after the Toyota/Save Mart 350:
Billy Fellin (574) Marcos Ambrose finished 8th (2)
Sal Sigala Jr. (559) Jimmie Johnson finished 5th (1)
Misan Akuya (555) Marcos Ambrose finished 8th (1)
Kelly Crandall (548) Marcos Ambrose finished 8th (2)
James Broomhead (533) Marcos Ambrose finished 8th (2)
Christopher Leone (533) Robby Gordon finished 39th (1)
Dustin Parks (512) Jeff Gordon finished 6th (1)
Rob Tiongson (511) Marcos Ambrose finished 8th (3)
Kara Martin (508) Marcos Ambrose finished 8th (1)
Patti Rodisch (499) Jeff Gordon finished 6th (2)
Ryan O'Hara (484) Jeff Gordon finished 6th (1)
Michael Hirshbein (467) Marcos Ambrose finished 8th (1)
Next Race: Enough of the left and rights, because now it's time to get set for some under the lights action. There won't be any discussion of traffic trouble, congestion and frustration this year. Instead, it will all be about the action on the track.
Darrell Waltrip will be happy to see the Sprint Cup Series make it's return to his home state as next on the schedule is the Kentucky Speedway. A race that last year was all about fans not getting to see the race will surely have a different outcome this time around.
Writers, you only have one race to base results on, but it's a familiar track size. That will be taken into consideration as you make your picks for the Quaker State 400, which are due by Thursday, June 28, at 10 p.m. ET.