NASCAR Rookie of the Year

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The NASCAR Rookie of the Year Award is presented to the first-year driver that has the best season in a NASCAR season. Each of NASCAR's national and regional touring series selects a RotY winner each year.

History of the Award: Grand National/Winston Cup/Nextel Cup/Sprint Cup[edit]

The Rookie of the Year award for NASCAR's premier series was first presented to a driver named Blackie Pitt by Houston Lawing, NASCAR'S Public Relations director, in 1954. While it wasn't an official award, it would help set the standard for the top rookie prize.

From the 1958 through the 1973 seasons, NASCAR did not have an official points system to determine the Rookie of the Year. NASCAR's officials merely gathered together to select a winner. Naturally, this policy came under controversy, as officials didn't consider former champions from rival racing series. This system came to an end in 1973 after Lennie Pond was controversially chosen over Darrell Waltrip for the honor; even though Pond scored more points, he had ran 23 compared to Waltrip's 19 races. Since 1974, the Rookie of the Year points system described below has been used, even if it meant the winner was not the highest finisher in championship points.

The award is currently sponsored by Sunoco. Drivers competing for the award must display the Sunoco contingency decal.

Rookie Points System[edit]

Main Rookie Points[edit]

Rookie of the year candidates earn points for their best seventeen (Sprint Cup), sixteen (Nationwide), or fourteen (Camping World Truck) races of the season. All other points are based on a ten-to-one system.

  1. The highest finishing rookie earns ten points, the second highest finishing rookie earns nine points, etc.
  2. One point is granted to all rookies who enter an event prior to the entry deadline, regardless of finishing position or even if they don't qualify. All rookies with teams that enter past the regular entry deadline ("post entry") do not receive this point.

Rookie Bonus Points[edit]

Bonus points are also awarded to drivers in the following circumstances:

  1. A rookie candidate finishes in the top ten in a race. If that candidate wins, he/she earns ten bonus rookie points. If that candidate finishes second, he/she earns nine bonus rookie points, etc.
  2. "Segment Bonus Points." The season is divided into three segments, the first segment being after the first ten races of the season, the second segment being after the second ten races of the season, and the third segment being the rest of the schedule. The candidate with the most championship points in each segment earns ten bonus rookie points, the candidate with the second-most championship points earns nine, etc. The system is different slightly in the Camping World Truck Series because only has 22 races, compared to the other two series, are run in their season.
  3. The rookie driver who finishes highest in the championship standings at season's end will receive an additional ten bonus rookie points.

Panel[edit]

There is a five-member panel composed of the preceding year's Series Champion, officials, etc. that meet during the final week of the season. They evaluate that year's candidates on the following criteria:

  1. Conduct with officials
  2. Conduct and awareness on the racetrack
  3. Personal appearance and conduct with the media

The panel may penalize rookies for any conduct that may be detrimental to NASCAR.

Anyone involved with a rookie candidate (such as a teammate or car owner) may not serve on that year's panel and will be replaced by another person in that category. In case of the Series Champion, it is the preceding year's Series Champion. In 2002, 2000 champion Bobby Labonte served a second consecutive term on the Cup rookie panel as NASCAR disqualified 2001 champion Jeff Gordon from the position because of his equity ownership in Jimmie Johnson's #48 car.

Eligibility[edit]

Drivers must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible to run for or receive the Rookie of the Year award.

  1. Must have run no more than five (prior to 2001), seven (2001–10), or seven and have been declared to race for driver points in that series (2011–present), races in any previous season.[1]
  2. Drivers who compete in more than five races in a higher NASCAR-sanctioned series are not eligible for the award in a lower series, if they have not declared for the higher series.
  3. If a driver does not start eight races before the end of Race 20 on the schedule, they will immediately become ineligible to earn rookie points for the rest of that season and starting in 2011, remained declared for that series. Drivers may change series declaration in order to avoid this.
  4. A driver may not receive rookie points if he/she starts a race for a team that he/she did not qualify with. However, he/she is still eligible for championship points in that race.

There have been a few cases before the 2011 rule change where aspiring Sprint Cup drivers have sacrificed their future eligibility to be Rookie of the Year candidates by driving part-time schedules including more than seven Cup races. For example, in 2009, Brad Keselowski ended up running 15 races, including a win at Talladega. Two other famous drivers who did the same thing are Carl Edwards (13 Cup races in 2004), and Marcos Ambrose (11 races in 2008).

On the other hand, 2007 Rookie of the Year winner Juan Pablo Montoya was eligible even though he had previously been the 1999 Rookie of the Year in the CART series (which at the time was the top level of open wheel racing.)

The 2009 Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year was Johnny Sauter, who ironically was a veteran of both the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series. He had never run more than three truck races in any previous season, and made no 2009 starts at all in either of the two higher-level series, hence he was eligible for the truck series' rookie award. The 2006 Nationwide Series RoTY runner-up John Andretti was a veteran of the Cup Series but had made only one prior Nationwide Series start, making him eligible for the award.

In 1992, Ricky Craven, the Busch Series Rookie of the Year, actually had run seven races when the limit was five in 1991. However, Craven was only credited with two Busch-only starts, as the other five starts were in combination races with the Busch North Series (now the K&N Pro Series East), which he was a full-time regular at the time. The races were registered in the Busch North Series, so he could enter the race in that series and not compromise his eligibility in the "South" series.

Beginning in 2011, drivers that are ineligible for points in one series cannot earn Rookie points in that series. For example, Trevor Bayne ran 18 races in 2011. However, due to him declaring to run for the Nationwide championship, Bayne was also ineligible to declare for ROTY in 2011. Under revised NASCAR rules on rookie eligibility, Bayne, once he declares as a Sprint Cup driver, will be eligible for the rookie title. Danica Patrick ran 10 races in 2012 in Sprint Cup, though she declared she would race for the Nationwide championship, allowing her in 2013 to declare in Sprint Cup, and race as a rookie. This also allows lower-tier drivers to substitute for injured drivers in higher-tier series without risk of losing rookie eligibility.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Current 2015 ROTY prospects[edit]

History of Sprint Cup RotY Awards[edit]

Below is a list of all winners, and known runner-ups. (Note: some of the drivers listed here are not confirmed as ROY contenders, and competed in more than the maximum number of races to be eligible for ROTY honors.)

* Declared for ROTY, but did not make minimum five (or seven as of 2001, or ten in the Truck Series 2013-) races, still eligible
Ø Died during rookie season, received award posthumously
æ Did not receive an official award
± Died during rookie season and was unable to complete the schedule
Year Winner Runner(s) Up
2014 Kyle Larson Austin Dillon, Justin Allgaier, Cole Whitt, Michael Annett, Alex Bowman, Ryan Truex, Parker Kligerman
2013 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.[2] Danica Patrick, Timmy Hill
2012 Stephen Leicht Josh Wise, Timmy Hill*
2011 Andy Lally T. J. Bell*, Brian Keselowski*
2010 Kevin Conway Terry Cook*
2009 Joey Logano Scott Speed, Max Papis, Dexter Bean*
2008 Regan Smith Sam Hornish, Jr., Patrick Carpentier, Michael McDowell, Dario Franchitti, Jacques Villeneuve*
2007 Juan Pablo Montoya David Ragan, Paul Menard, David Reutimann, A. J. Allmendinger, Brandon Whitt*
2006 Denny Hamlin Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex, Jr., Reed Sorenson, J. J. Yeley, David Stremme, Chad Chaffin, Brent Sherman*
2005 Kyle Busch Travis Kvapil, Mike Garvey, Stanton Barrett, Eric McClure*
2004 Kasey Kahne Brendan Gaughan, Brian Vickers, Scott Wimmer, Scott Riggs, Johnny Sauter
2003 Jamie McMurray Greg Biffle, Tony Raines, Casey Mears, Jack Sprague, Larry Foyt, Hideo Fukuyama*
2002 Ryan Newman Jimmie Johnson, Shawna Robinson*, Carl Long*
2001 Kevin Harvick Kurt Busch, Casey Atwood, Jason Leffler, Ron Hornaday, Andy Houston
2000 Matt Kenseth Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Dave Blaney, Scott Pruett, Stacy Compton, Mike Bliss, Ed Berrier, Jeff Fuller*
1999 Tony Stewart Elliott Sadler, Buckshot Jones, Stanton Barrett*, Dan Pardus*, Mike Harmon*
1998 Kenny Irwin, Jr. Kevin Lepage, Jerry Nadeau, Steve Park
1997 Mike Skinner David Green, Jeff Green, Robby Gordon
1996 Johnny Benson, Jr. Randy MacDonald*, Stacy Compton*
1995 Ricky Craven Robert Pressley, Randy LaJoie, Davy Jones, Steve Kinser*, Mike Chase*, Gary Bradberry*, Terry Byers*
1994 Jeff Burton Steve Grissom, Joe Nemechek, Loy Allen, Jr., John Andretti, Jeremy Mayfield, Mike Wallace, Ward Burton, Billy Standridge, Rick Carelli*, T. W. Taylor*, Rodney Orr±
1993 Jeff Gordon Bobby Labonte, Kenny Wallace, P. J. Jones
1992 Jimmy Hensley Andy Belmont, Dave Mader III*
1991 Bobby Hamilton Ted Musgrave, Stanley Smith, Wally Dallenbach, Jr., Jeff Purvis, Sammy Swindell*, Rich Bickle*, Dave Mader III*, Dorsey Schroeder*
1990 Rob Moroso Ø Jack Pennington, Jerry O'Neil, Jeff Purvis*
1989 Dick Trickle Hut Stricklin, Larry Pearson, Jimmy Spencer, Rick Mast, Ben Hess, Chad Little, Butch Miller, Mickey Gibbs
1988 Ken Bouchard Ernie Irvan, Brad Noffsinger, Jimmy Horton
1987 Davey Allison Dale Jarrett, Steve Christman, Rodney Combs, Derrike Cope, Jerry Cranmer*
1986 Alan Kulwicki Michael Waltrip, Chet Fillip, Davey Allison*, Jerry Cranmer*, Rick Baldwin*, Jonathan Lee Edwards*, Wayne Kramer*
1985 Ken Schrader Eddie Bierschwale, Don Hume
1984 Rusty Wallace Greg Sacks, Phil Parsons, Clark Dwyer
1983 Sterling Marlin Trevor Boys, Ronnie Hopkins, Ken Ragan, Bobby Hillin, Jr.
1982 Geoff Bodine Mark Martin, Brad Teague
1981 Ron Bouchard Morgan Shepherd, Tim Richmond, Mike Alexander, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Joe Ruttman, Stan Barrett, Connie Saylor, Gary Balough
1980 Jody Ridley Lake Speed, Kyle Petty, Slick Johnson
1979 Dale Earnhardt Joe Millikan, Terry Labonte, Harry Gant
1978 Ronnie Thomas Roger Hamby, Blackie Wangerin, Baxter Price, Al Holbert
1977 Ricky Rudd Sam Sommers, Janet Guthrie, Tighe Scott, Tommy Gale, Gary Myers
1976 Skip Manning Terry Bivens, Neil Bonnett, Jimmy Means, Bill Elliott, John A. Utsman, Johnny Ray
1975 Bruce Hill Carl Adams, Bruce Jacobi, Grant Adcox, Chuck Bown, Joe Mihalic, Travis Tiller, Ferrel Harris, Dick May
1974 Earl Ross Richie Panch, Jackie Rogers, Ramo Stott
1973 Lennie Pond Darrell Waltrip, Johnny Barnes
1972 Larry Smith David Sisco, Doc Faustina
1971 Walter Ballard Maynard Troyer, Richard Brown, D. K. Ulrich
1970 Bill Dennis Joe Frasson, Jim Vandiver, Talmadge Prince±
1969 Dick Brooks Buddy Young, Hoss Ellington
1968 Pete Hamilton Dave Marcis, Dr. Don Tarr
1967 Donnie Allison Charlie Glotzbach, Paul Dean Holt
1966 James Hylton Bill Seifert, Frank Warren
1965 Sam McQuagg Henley Gray, Clyde Lynn[N 1]
1964 Doug Cooper J.T. Putney, Buddy Arrington
1963 Billy Wade Bobby Isaac, Larry Manning, J. D. McDuffie
1962 Thomas Cox Cale Yarborough, Ed Livingston
1961 Woodie Wilson Wendell Scott, Lee Reitzel
1960 David Pearson Gerald Duke, Paul Lewis
1959 Richard Petty Fritz Wilson, Buddy Baker, Bob Burdick
1958 Shorty Rollins
1957 Ken Rush
1954 Blackie Pitt æ

NASCAR Nationwide Series[edit]

2011 Rookie of the Year Timmy Hill.

2015 contenders[edit]

History of Nationwide Series RotY Awards[edit]

Year Winner Runner(s) Up
2014 Chase Elliott Dakoda Armstrong, Tanner Berryhill, Chad Boat, Chris Buescher, Ty Dillon, Dylan Kwasniewski, Tommy Joe Martins, Ryan Reed, Ryan Sieg
2013 Kyle Larson Alex Bowman, Nelson Piquet, Jr., Jeffrey Earnhardt, Kevin Swindell, Dexter Stacey, Hal Martin, Juan Carlos Blum
2012 Austin Dillon Cole Whitt, Jason Bowles, Brad Sweet, Johanna Long, Joey Gase, Casey Roderick, Benny Gordon
2011 Timmy Hill Blake Koch, Ryan Truex, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Charles Lewandoski
2010 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Brian Scott, Colin Braun, James Buescher, Parker Kligerman
2009 Justin Allgaier Brendan Gaughan, Michael Annett, Michael McDowell, Erik Darnell, Scott Lagasse, Jr., John Wes Townley, Ken Butler III, Terry Cook, Peyton Sellers, Marc Davis*
2008 Landon Cassill Joey Logano, Bryan Clauson, Dario Franchitti, Cale Gale, Brian Keselowski, Chase Miller, Patrick Carpentier
2007 David Ragan Marcos Ambrose, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Krisiloff, Brad Coleman, Juan Pablo Montoya, Robert Richardson, Jr., Justin Diercks*, Sam Hornish, Jr., Timothy Peters*, Bobby Santos III*, Alex García*, Brian Conz*
2006 Danny O'Quinn, Jr. John Andretti, Todd Kluever, Burney Lamar, Mark McFarland, David Gilliland, Tracy Hines, Joel Kauffman, A. J. Foyt IV*, Jorge Goeters*, Kevin Conway*, Chris Wimmer*
2005 Carl Edwards Reed Sorenson, Denny Hamlin, Jon Wood, Brent Sherman, Kertus Davis, Michel Jourdain, Jr., Tyler Walker, Brandon Miller, Paul Wolfe, Ryan Hemphill, Boston Reid*, A. J. Fike*, Blake Feese*, Kim Crosby*, Donnie Neuenberger*
2004 Kyle Busch Paul Menard, Clint Bowyer, J. J. Yeley, Travis Geisler, Stan Boyd, Andy Ponstein, Billy Parker
2003 David Stremme Coy Gibbs, Joey Clanton, Chad Blount, Jason White, Chase Montgomery, Regan Smith, Damon Lusk, Chris Bingham
2002 Scott Riggs Johnny Sauter, Shane Hmiel, Kerry Earnhardt, Casey Mears, Brian Vickers, Kasey Kahne, Dan Pardus
2001 Greg Biffle Scott Wimmer, Jamie McMurray, Larry Foyt, Kelly Denton, Tim Sauter, Marty Houston, Brad Baker, Christian Elder, David Donohue
2000 Kevin Harvick Ron Hornaday, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jay Sauter, Michael Ritch*, P. J. Jones, Anthony Lazzaro, Mike Stefanik, Mike Borkowski, Derrick Gilchrist, Jay Fogleman*, Dave Steele*
1999 Tony Raines Hank Parker, Jr., Adam Petty, Bobby Hamilton, Jr., Tony Roper, Andy Kirby, Jimmy Kitchens, Kelly Denton* Phillip Morris*, Kerry Earnhardt*, Skip Smith*
1998 Andy Santerre Dave Blaney, Blaise Alexander, Kevin Grubb, Wayne Grubb, Casey Atwood, Mike Cope, Matt Hutter, Lance Hooper, Jason Jarrett, Kevin Schwantz, Brad Loney, Hank Parker, Jr.*, Mike Stefanik*
1997 Steve Park Matt Kenseth, Johnny Chapman, Mark Krogh, Jeff Krogh, Lyndon Amick, Chris Diamond, Jimmy Foster, Jeff McClure, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tim Bender, Doug Reid III, Stanton Barrett, Tim Steele, David Hutto*
1996 Glenn Allen, Jr. Mike Dillon, Shane Hall, Mark Green, Tony Stewart, Mike Harmon, Jerry Nadeau*, Johnny Chapman*, Tim Bender*, Pete Orr*, Andy Hillenburg*, Jimmy Kitchens*, Greg Clark*, Mike Laughlin, Jr.*
1995 Jeff Fuller Curtis Markham, Kirk Shelmerdine, L.W. Miller, David Bonnett, Greg Clark*, John Tanner*, Tim Bender*, Dale Williams*
1994 Johnny Benson, Jr. Dennis Setzer, Kevin Lepage, Stevie Reeves, Randy Porter, Dirk Stephens, Johnny Rumley, Mike Garvey, Robbie Reiser, Chad Chaffin, Michael Ritch*, Kirk Shelmerdine*, Mike Stefanik*, George Crenshaw*, Jeff Neal*, Andy Hillenburg*
1993 Hermie Sadler Joe Bessey, Tim Fedewa, Roy Payne, Nathan Buttke, Jason Keller, Michael Ritch*, Tom Hessert*, Alan Russell*, Ken Wallace*, Page Jones*
1992 Ricky Craven^ Shawna Robinson, Robert Huffman*, Randy MacDonald*, Greg Trammell*
1991 Jeff Gordon David Green, Tracy Leslie, Troy Beebe, Cecil Eunice, Richard Lasater, Jeff Green, Mike Wallace, Mike Oliver, Mike McLaughlin, Rich Burgess*, Shawna Robinson*
1990 Joe Nemechek Bobby Moon, Ward Burton, Jack Sprague, Dana Patten, Davey Johnson, Dave Mader III, Ed Ferree, Frank Fleming, Clifford Allison*
1989 Kenny Wallace Bobby Hamilton, Jeff Burton, Dave Rezendes, Robert Pressley, Brandon Baker, Dave Simpson, Ed Ferree*, Tom Harrington*

^ Craven started seven races in 1991 (the limit was five) but was charged with only two starts. The other five starts were in combination races with the Busch North Series, where he raced as a regular. Both 1991 Busch Series wins were in combination races as a North driver.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series[edit]

2015 contenders[edit]

History of Camping World Truck Series RotY Awards[edit]

Year Winner Runner(s) Up
2014 Ben Kennedy Gray Gaulding, Mason Mingus, Chase Pistone, Tyler Reddick, Tyler Young
2013 Ryan Blaney Darrell Wallace, Jr., Jeb Burton, Germán Quiroga, Brennan Newberry, Ryan Truex*
2012 Ty Dillon Cale Gale, Ross Chastain, John Wes Townley, Dakoda Armstrong, Bryan Silas, Max Gresham, Paulie Harraka, Caleb Holman*, John King*, Jeb Burton*, Dusty Davis*, Tyler Young*, T. J. Duke*
2011 Joey Coulter Nelson Piquet, Jr., Cole Whitt, Parker Kligerman, Miguel Paludo, Johanna Long, Craig Goess, Jeffrey Earnhardt*, Justin Johnson*, Dusty Davis*, Chase Mattioli*, Chris Eggleston*
2010 Austin Dillon Justin Lofton, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Brett Butler, Chris Eggleston*, Dillon Oliver*, Landon Cassill*
2009 Johnny Sauter Tayler Malsam, James Buescher, Ricky Carmichael, J. R. Fitzpatrick, Brian Ickler, Brent Raymer, Chris Jones, Chase Austin*, Ryan Hackett*
2008 Colin Braun Donny Lia, Brian Scott, Justin Marks, Marc Mitchell, Scott Speed, Andy Lally, Phillip McGilton*
2007 Willie Allen Tim Sauter, Joey Clanton, Jason White, Aaron Fike, Blake Bjorklund, Tyler Walker, Kelly Bires*, Peter Shepherd*, Kevin Hamlin*, Casey Kingsland*, Brian Sockwell*
2006 Erik Darnell Chad McCumbee, Marcos Ambrose, Aric Almirola, Bobby East, Kerry Earnhardt, Erin Crocker, Boston Reid, Joey Miller, Robert Richardson, Jr., Kraig Kinser, Scott Lagasse, Jr., Ryan Moore, Michel Jourdain, Jr.*, Sean Murphy*, J. R. Patton*, Tam Topham*
2005 Todd Kluever Timothy Peters, Shigeaki Hattori, Clay Rogers*, Regan Smith, Jimmy Kite*, Nick Tucker*, Kerry Earnhardt*
2004 David Reutimann Tracy Hines, Robert Huffman, Brandon Whitt, Chase Montgomery, Shane Sieg, Kelly Sutton, Ken Weaver, Chris Wimmer, Shelby Howard, Brad Keselowski
2003 Carl Edwards Jody Lavender, Randy Briggs, Tina Gordon, T. J. Bell, Doug Keller, Teri MacDonald*
2002 Brendan Gaughan Bill Lester, Jason Small, Dana White, Trent Owens*, Rodney Sawyers*, Loni Richardson*, Aaron Daniel*, Randy Briggs*, Angie Wilson*, Donnie Neuenberger*
2001 Travis Kvapil Ricky Hendrick, Matt Crafton, Billy Bigley, Jon Wood, Willy T. Ribbs, Brian Rose, Nathan Haseleu, Larry Gunselman, Chuck Hossfeld, Ricky Sanders, Jason White*, Jason Small*, Bill Lester*, Mark Petty*
2000 Kurt Busch Carlos Contreras, Scott Riggs, Jamie McMurray, Rick Ware, Wayne Edwards, Coy Gibbs, Kenny Martin, Donny Morelock*, J. D. Gibbs*
1999 Mike Stefanik Scott Hansen, David Starr, Marty Houston, Tim Steele, Ryan McGlynn, Phil Bonifield, Ernie Cope*, Mike Clark*, Nipper Alsup*, Randy Nelson*
1998 Greg Biffle Andy Houston, Scot Walters, Wayne Anderson, Kevin Cywinski, Dominic Dobson, Rob Morgan, Rick McCray, Randy Nelson*, David Starr*, Joe Gaita*, Billy Pauch*, Joe Bush*, Tommy Archer*, Mike Hope*, Freddie Query*, Andy Michner*, Dave Stacy*, Jimmy Davis*, Monty Klein*
1997 Kenny Irwin, Jr. Rick Crawford, Stacy Compton, Tony Raines, Boris Said, Tony Roper, Tammy Jo Kirk, Randy Tolsma, Terry Cook, Kevin Harvick, Rob Rizzo, Lonnie Rush, Jr., Kelly Denton, Mike Cope, Andy Genzman*, Toby Porter*, Brandon Butler*, Kenny Hendrick*, Bob Schacht*, Mike Colabucci*, Dave Smith*
1996 Bryan Reffner Doug George, Lance Norick, Bobby Gill, Jay Sauter, Lonnie Cox, Charlie Cragan, Ron Barfield, Jr., Butch Gilliland, Joe Gaita*, Kevin Harvick* Dave Smith*, Joe Madore*, Steve Mendenhall*, Rodney Combs, Jr.*, Terry McCarthy*, Jerry Robertson*, Doug Thorpe, Jr.*, Rick Markle*

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Dick Hutcherson won nine times and finished second in the championship standings in 1965, but was not considered to be eligible due to being a champion in the IMCA.
Citations
  1. ^ Rutherford, Kevin (May 17, 2012). "Six Solutions to the Cup Series' Rookie Problem (Besides Danica)". Frontstretch.com. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  2. ^ NASCAR (November 17, 2013). "Stenhouse Jr. wins Sunoco Rookie of the Year". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  3. ^ "KBM Announces Additions to Driver Lineup for 2015". Kyle Busch Motorsports. November 14, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-15.