The 2014 NASCAR rookie class has already made an impact this year. One of the most talented rookie fields where the Rookie of the Year (ROY) title is up for grabs has had NASCAR fans excited for what the lies in the years ahead.
Austin Dillon was the focal point of many fans early this year, thinking he would be the clear cut ROY candidate. Dillon returned the famous number three, that Dale Earnhardt drove to six titles, to the track at Daytona this year and started on the pole. Dillon has won the rookie title in trucks in 2010, the overall truck title in 2011.
He followed that up by winning ROY in the Nationwide series in 2012 and the overall championship in 2013. Dillon won the title last year despite the fact of not having a win during the season. This was the first time in NASCAR history that had happened. Backed by his grandfather and team owner Richard Childress, Dillon should be a mainstay in the sport.
His top competitor is Kyle Larson Larson doesn’t have the history like Dillon, but was last years ROY in the Nationwide Series and finished eighth in the standings. Larson posted a title in the K&N East Pro Series in 2012. Many questioned if the jump to replace Juan Montoya in the 42 car was too soon, but Larson is quickly answering the doubters.
So far this year, Larson leads the rookie point standings by 13 over Austin Dillon. Half of the races this year, have seen Larson finish in the top 10. In the regular standings, scored slightly different, Dillion is ahead of Larson in 10th place, however both drivers would find a spot in NASCAR’s new playoff system “The Chase” if the season ended today.
The rest of the field consists of former dirt track star, Justin Allgaier, Cole Witt, Alex Bowman, Ryan Truex, Parker Kligerman and Michael Arnett. Allgaier has shown the most promise early on, but none appear on the same level as Dillon or Larson.