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Rookie of the Year Possibilities

February 25, 2014
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

NASCAR'S Sprint Cup field is ripe with

youthful talent as its 2014 rookie class

enters the season with lofty

Article Photos

Austin Dillon




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.


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.

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