NASCAR'S Sprint Cup field is ripe with
youthful talent as its 2014 rookie class
enters the season with lofty
COURTESY OF NASCAR
Last year's Rookie of the Year battle came down to the finish,
with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. edging out Danica Patrick for the
This year's encounter looks to include a larger field and more
excitement. But just how far can they go?
Only two drivers in their first full-time seasons, Carl Edwards
in 2005 and Denny Hamlin in 2006, have made the Chase in the
10-year history of the format.
Here is a look at a few select rookies from the 2014 class,
hailed by many as the best we've seen in years.
Dillon enters the season as top choice by many fans for rookie
of the year. He won the rookie title in trucks in 2010, the truck
title in 2011, the Nationwide rookie crown in 2012 and then the
Nationwide championship in 2013.
Dillon's title came despite him not being able to pull off a win
during the entire season, making him the first NASCAR national
series champion to earn a title without a victory. And he certainly
has the pedigree. His grandfather is team owner Richard Childress.
A relative stock-car newcomer is expected to be Dillon's
biggest challenger. Larson was eighth in the Nationwide standings
in his second year of full-time stock-car competition. The 2012
K&N Pro Series East champion, Larson also won a truck race at
Rockingham and top rookie honors in Nationwide in 2013.
THE REST OF THE FIELD
Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett and Parker Kligerman round out
the five most promising candidates for Rookie of the Year, and
they each have bona fide backgrounds.
Allgaier posted an impressive Nationwide performance last
year, finishing fifth in the standings for Turner Scott Racing.
Annett, who missed eight Nationwide races last year after breaking
his sternum, will drive for Tommy Baldwin Racing.
Parker Kligerman, who finished ninth in Nationwide, will drive
for Sawn Racing, which is entering its second season.