2008 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Standings

  • Rookie Page: do not plan on keeping with or trying to figure out the Rookie of the Year standings. Even following the rules has become fruitless and my numbers never match up all the time, so instead of showing folks the incorrect standings, will just post the standings and who was the highest finishing rookie for each race and NASCAR RoTY standings.(2006)


    The scoring system to determine the Raybestos Rookie of the Year varies from NASCARíS point system for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. The following is a breakdown of the Raybestos Rookie of the Year scoring system:

    ē A 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point system is used for scoring finishing positions by the rookies. The highest-finishing rookie in each race earns 10 points, the second-highest, nine points, etc.

    ē Of the 36 races, only the top 17 are counted in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie race.

    ē In order to be eligible for the Rookie of the Year award, a driver must attempt to qualify in at least eight events out of the first 20 events.

    ē Attempting to qualify for a race earns the rookies one bonus point, which is a bonus that is available for all 36 events.

    ē Bonus points are awarded for a finish in the top 10. A rookie who wins a race is awarded 10 points, second place gets nine and so on down the line with a 10th-place effort earning one point.

    ē Following the final race of the season, the highest-ranking rookie in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship receives 10 bonus points. The second-highest rookie earns nine points, third receives eight, etc.

    ē During the final weekend of the season, a Raybestos Rookie of the Year panel meets and rewards favorable conduct in the following categories: Conduct with NASCAR officials in the garage and pit areas; conduct and awareness on track; personal appearance and relationship with the media. The panel rates each driver, with scoring ranging from a maximum of 10 to a minimum of 1. Total points will be averaged from each panel memberís ballot. The points derived from the panel will be added to the entry, competition, and bonus points after the final race of the season to determine the overall Raybestos Rookie of the Year winner.

    Rookie Stripes: rookies will be noted on the car they drive by a yellow stripe on the rear bumper of the car.
    sometimes a driver not up for the award may have yellow stripes on tracks they have not competed on before.

      Standings from Raybestos

      Car#-Driver, Races Attempted, Races Run, Points
      #01-Regan Smith, 34, 34, 236
      #77-Sam Hornish, 36, 34, 229 [not in top 35 in owners pts]
      Patrick Carpentier, 30, 24, 210 [released after Talladega in Oct by #10 GEM team]
      Michael McDowell, 21, 20, 193 [is currently out of the #00 ride]
      Dario Franchitti, 12, 10, 119 [Ganassi #40 team suspended operations, driver to IRL]
      Jacques Villeneuve, 1, 0, 1 [released after missing Daytona 500 & no sponsor by BDR #27]
      (thru 11-16-2008)

      Race, Highest-Finishing Rookie
      Daytona 500, #77-Hornish Jr., 15th (1)
      Auto Club Speedway, #01-Smith, 31st (1)
      Las Vegas, #40-Franchitti, 31st (1)
      Atlanta, #77-Hornish Jr., 25th (2)
      Bristol, #01-Smith, 26th (2)
      Martinsville, #01-Smith, 14th (3)
      Texas, #10-Carpentier, 28th (1)
      Phoenix, #77-Hornish Jr., 20th (3)
      Talladega, #01-Smith, 21st (4)
      Richmond, #01-Smith, 21st (5)
      Darlington, #00-McDowell, 28th (1)
      Charlotte, #77-Hornish Jr., 13th (4)
      Dover, #77-Hornish Jr., 18th (5)
      Pocono, #00-McDowell, 27th (2)
      Michigan, #77-Hornish Jr., 22nd (6)
      Sonoma, #00-McDowell, 21st (3)
      New Hampshire, #01-Smith, 27th (6)
      Daytona, #10-Carpentier, 14th (2)
      Chicago, #10-Carpentier, 30th (3)
      Indy, #10-Carpentier, 18th (4)
      Pocono, #00-McDowell, 24th (4)
      Watkins Glen, #10-Carpentier, 20th (5)
      Michigan, #77-Hornish Jr., 22nd (7)
      Bristol, #01-Smith, 14th (7)
      California, #10-Carpentier, 18th (6)
      Richmond, #00-McDowell, 20th (5)
      New Hampshire, #01-Smith, 23rd (8)
      Dover, #00-McDowell, 29th (6)
      Kansas, #10-Carpentier, 29th (7)
      Talladega, #01-Smith, 18th (9)
      Charlotte, #77-Hornish Jr., 22nd (8)
      Martinsville, #77-Hornish Jr., 34th (9)
      Atlanta, #77-Hornish Jr., 24th (10)
      Texas, #77-Hornish Jr., 23rd (11)
      Phoenix, #01-Smith, 23rd (10)
      Homestead, #01-Smith, 34th (11)

      Best Finishing Rookies, Times:
      #77-Hornish Jr., 11
      #01-Smith, 11
      Carpentier, 7
      McDowell, 6
      Franchitti, 1

    • Smith named 2008 Rookie of the Year: Rean Smith in the #01 The Principal Finacial Chevy clinched the Raybestos Rookie or the Year in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The year-end payout for 2008 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is $75,000, the same amount Darrell Waltrip earned from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for his 1982 Cup series championship. Smith will earn a grand total of $91,500 from Raybestos brand Brakes for his efforts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season. Smith became the first Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the 52-year history of the program without a DNF (did not finish). He was running at the finish in all 34 starts he made this season.
      ∑ This is the first Raybestos Rookie of the Year title for Dale Earnhardt Inc.
      ∑ Smith led or shared the lead in Raybestos Rookie standings in the 26 of the 36 Sprint Cup Series races this season.
      ∑ Smith scored a 34th-place finish in the Ford 400 and captured Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the 11th time in 2008.
      SMITH: YOU WERE THE UNDERDOG FOR RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR BUT HAD A SOLID SEASON ALL YEAR LONG? DO YOU TAKE A LOT OF PRIDE IN BEATING SOME BIG NAMES FOR THIS AWARD? ďI do. You know, there were a lot of big names that I was racing against and you look at the stuff at the beginning of the year, not very many people had me chartered as one of Ďem that was going to contend for Raybestos Rookie of the Year championship. So definitely had a little bit of a chip on the shoulder about that and wanted to go out there and prove that there is still a good olí stock car path and NASCAR path to get to this series. I feel like we did that to a certain extent. Obviously there were weeks I wanted to run better and there was weeks where we ran good and didnít get what we deserved or ran good and got what we deserved. All in all, I'm very proud to win the Raybestos Rookie of the Year. You look at the names that are on there and some good names to be included with. At the end of the day you canít change that. Itís going to be there forever.Ē
      HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO HAVE THIS ACCOMPLISHMENT BUT HAVE YOUR FUTURE BE SO UNCERTAIN? ďThis time of year if you donít figure out what youíre doing itís always difficult but itís something at the end of the day you can put that on the shelf at the house and have that accomplishment. Iím very confident in my abilities as a race car driver. This yearís been a tough year and was a tough year for all the rookies. No excuses for that. It was a difficult year with the new car and thatís all their way to it. Iím pretty confident Iíll be driving a Cup car for somebody next year. I just donít know which one and if not then Iíll look to the other two series and work hard to get back to this level.Ē(Camp and Assoc/Raybestos PR)(11-17-2008)

      Pre/Post Race Reports/ News

    • News and Notes - Pre-Homestead, Post-Phoenix:
      ∑ Regan Smith was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the November 9 Checker OíReilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, scoring a 23rd-place finish. Smith grabbed top rookie honors for the 10th time in 2008.

      ∑ Sam Hornish Jr. leads Regan Smith by THREE points (199-196) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the November 16 Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.

      * David Ragan was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2007 Ford 400, scoring a 10th-place finish. Ragan also led the race once for one lap and was the only first-year driver to lead the event.

      * DID YOU KNOW? Tony Stewart is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Stewart captured the inaugural Ford 400 in 1999 by 5.289 seconds over Bobby Labonte. He led the race four times for 44 laps.

      * DID YOU KNOW? The most laps led by a Raybestos Rookie in eight previous races at Homestead is 52 by Casey Atwood in 2001.

      * DID YOU KNOW? The only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole in nine Sprint Cup races at Homestead is Jamie McMurray. McMurray won his first-career pole at the 2003 Ford 400 on his way to claiming Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. McMurray finished ninth in the race, his 13th top-10 finish of the 2003 season.

      * The most Raybestos Rookies to finish inside the top-10 at Homestead is THREE (2001 and 2006):
      2001: Casey Atwood, third
      2001: Kevin Harvick, seventh
      2001: Jason Leffler, 10th
      2006: Martin Truex Jr., second
      2006: Denny Hamlin, third
      2006: Clint Bowyer, 10th

      * Top-five finishes by Raybestos Rookies in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
      1999: Tony Stewart, FIRST
      2001: Casey Atwood, third
      2006: Martin Truex, Jr., second
      2006: Denny Hamlin, third

      * Top-10 finishes by Raybestos Rookies in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
      1999: Tony Stewart, first
      2000: Dave Blaney, ninth
      2001: Casey Atwood, third
      2001: Kevin Harvick, seventh
      2001: Jason Leffler, 10th
      2002: Ryan Newman, sixth
      2002: Jimmie Johnson, eighth
      2003: Jamie McMurray, ninth
      2004: Brendan Gaughan, sixth
      2006: Martin Truex, Jr., second
      2006: Denny Hamlin, third
      2006: Clint Bowyer, 10th
      2007: David Ragan, 10th

      ∑ Raybestos Rookies that have led at least one lap in the Ford 400:
      1999: Tony Stewart (four times for 44 laps)
      2001: Casey Atwood (twice for 52 laps)
      2001: Kevin Harvick (three times for 47 laps)
      2002: Ryan Newman (once for 28 laps)
      2002: Jimmie Johnnson (once for 27 laps)
      2006: Martin Truex Jr. (once for 27 laps)
      2007: David Ragan (once for one lap)
      (Camp & Assoc/Raybestos)(11-14-2008)

    • Raybestos ROOKIE HISTORY
      ∑ Did You Know? The most recent Raybestos Rookie to win a Sprint Cup Series race is Juan Pablo Montoya. Montoya captured the 2007 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, crossing the finish line 4.097 seconds ahead of second-place Kevin Harvick (55 races).

      ∑ Did You Know? The most recent Raybestos Rookie to win a pole position in the Sprint Cup Series is Patrick Carpentier. Carpentier captured the top starting spot for the 2008 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (19 races).

      ∑ An Historical First: For the first time in NASCARís modern-era (since 1972), THREE drivers shared the lead in the Raybestos Rookie standings in 2008. After the second race of the season, Sam Hornish, Jr., Dario Franchitti and Regan Smith were all tied at the top of the standings.

      Ryan Newman holds the all-time Raybestos Rookie record for most poles (6), most top-fives (14) and most top-10s (22).

      Denny Hamlin is the only Raybestos Rookie to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup since the program was created in 2004.

      Hamlin holds the record for most earnings by a Raybestos Rookie ($6.6 million in 2006).

      The record for most wins by a Raybestos Rookie is three, shared by Tony Stewart (1999) and Jimmie Johnson (2002).

      A Raybestos Rookie has posted multiple victories SEVEN times in NASCAR Sprint Cup:
      1987: Davey Allison, two
      1999: Tony Stewart, three
      2000: Dale Earnhardt Jr., two
      2001: Kevin Harvick, two
      2002: Jimmie Johnson, three
      2005: Kyle Busch, two
      2006: Denny Hamlin, two

      More than one Raybestos Rookie has posted victories in their rookie season only three times: Morgan Shepherd and Ron Bouchard (one each in 1981), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two) and Matt Kenseth (2000), Jimmie Johnson (three) and Ryan Newman (2002).

      The way to the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship is to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year. Since 1979, six Raybestos Rookie of the Year drivers have gone on to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup title: Dale Earnhardt (1979), Rusty Wallace (1984), Alan Kulwicki (1986), Jeff Gordon (1993), Tony Stewart (1999, 2005) and Matt Kenseth (2000).

      The longest streak for a Raybestos Rookie to be in the top-10 in the Sprint Cup Series championship standings during the sportís modern-era is 60 races (2001 MBNA Platinum 400 through 2002 Ford 400).(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos)(11-14-2008)

      see past notes for each race on my 2008 ROTY News and Notes page


    • 1957 Ken Rush
    • 1958 Shorty Rollins (1)
    • 1959 Richard Petty
    • 1960 David Pearson
    • 1961 Woody Wilson
    • 1962 Tom Cox
    • 1963 Billy Wade
    • 1964 Doug Cooper
    • 1965 Sam McQuagg
    • 1966 James Hylton
    • 1967 Donnie Allison
    • 1968 Pete Hamilton
    • 1969 Dick Brooks
    • 1970 Bill Dennis
    • 1971 Walter Ballard
    • 1972 Larry Smith
    • 1973 Lennie Pond - Darrell Waltrip
    • 1974 Earl Ross (1)
    • 1975 Bruce Hill
    • 1976 Skip Manning
    • 1977 Ricky Rudd
    • 1978 Ronnie Thomas
    • 1979 Dale Earnhardt (1) - Joe Millikan, Terry Labonte, Harry Gant
    • 1980 Jody Ridley (1)
    • 1981 Ron Bouchard (1), Tim Richmond
    • 1982 Geoffrey Bodine
    • 1983 Sterling Marlin
    • 1984 Rusty Wallace - Phil Parsons
    • 1985 Ken Schrader - Eddie Bierschwale, Don Hume
    • 1986 Alan Kulwicki - Michael Waltrip, Chet Fillip, Pancho Carter, Kirk Bryant, Davey Allison [listed 4 races], Derrike Cope [2 races], Jerry Cramer [3 races], Rick Baldwin [2 races], Jonathan Edwards [2 races], Wayne Slark [1 race]
    • 1987 Davey Allison (2) - Dale Jarrett, Steve Christman, Rodney Combs, Derrike Cope
    • 1988 Ken Bouchard - Ernie Irvan, Brad Noffsinger, Jimmy Horton
    • 1989 Dick Trickle - Hut Stricklin, Larry Pearson, Jimmy Spencer, Rick Mast, Ben Hess, Chad Little
    • 1990 Rob Moroso - Jack Pennington, Jerry O'Neil, Jeff Purvis
    • 1991 Bobby Hamilton - Ted Musgrave, Stanley Smith, Wally Dallenbach Jr.
    • 1992 Jimmy Hensley - Dave Madar III, Andy Belmont
    • 1993 Jeff Gordon - Bobby Labonte, Kenny Wallace, P.J. Jones
    • 1994 Jeff Burton - Joe Nemechek, Steve Grissom, Loy Allen, John Andretti, Jeremy Mayfield, Mike Wallace, Ward Burton
    • 1995 Ricky Craven - Robert Pressley, Randy LaJoie, Steve Kinser, Davy Jones
    • 1996 Johnny Benson - Stacy Compton [listed as a candiate for 1 race], Randy MacDonald [3 races]
    • 1997 Mike Skinner - David Green, Jeff Green, Robby Gordon
    • 1998 Kenny Irwin - Kevin Lepage, Jerry Nadeau, Steve Park
    • 1999 Tony Stewart (3) - Elliott Sadler, Buckshot Jones
    • 2000 Matt Kenseth (1) - Dale Earnhardt Jr.(2), Dave Blaney, Scott Pruett, Stacy Compton, Mike Bliss
    • 2001 Kevin Harvick (2) - Kurt Busch, Casey Atwood, Jason Leffler, Ron Hornaday Jr, Andy Houston
    • 2002 Ryan Newman (1) - Jimmie Johnson(3), Carl Long, Shawna Robinson
    • 2003 Jamie McMurray - Greg Biffle(1), Tony Raines, Casey Mears, Jack Sprague, Larry Foyt
    • 2004 Kasey Kahne - Brendan Gaughan, Brian Vickers, Scott Wimmer, Scott Riggs, Johnny Sauter
    • 2005 Kyle Busch (2) - Travis Kvapil, Stanton Barrett, Mike Garvey, Eric McClure
    • 2006 Denny Hamlin (2) - Clint Bowyer, Martin Trux Jr., David Stremme, Reed Sorenson, Brent Sherman
    • 2007 Juan Pablo Montoya (1) - David Ragan, Paul Menard, David Reutimann, A.J. Allmendinger
    • 2008 Regan Smith - Sam Hornish Jr., Michael McDowell, Patrick Carpentier, Dario Franchitti

      (NOT a 2002 candidate but won - Jamie McMurray(1) and ran and won ROTY in 2003
      winner bold; wins if any in parens() - rest of rookie class listed if known

    • ROTY Finishes In Final Top 10
      Driver, Rank, Year.
      James Hylton, 2nd, 1966
      Denny Hamlin, 3rd, 2006
      Shorty Rollins, 4th, 1958
      Tony Stewart, 4th, 1999
      Jimmie Johnson, 5th, 2002
      Ryan Newman, 6th, 2002
      Dale Earnhardt, 7th, 1979
      Jody Ridley, 7th, 1980
      Earl Ross, 8th, 1974
      Kevin Harvick, 9th,2001
      Walter Ballard, 10th, 1971


    • Rookies: #48-Jimmie Johnson tied Tony Stewart's rookie record for most wins by a Cup Rookie of the Year candidate with three in 2002. #12-Ryan Newman holds the rookie record [Modern Era 1972-present] of top fives, with 14, Hylton holds the all time record with 20. The top ten's record [Modern Era 1972-present] is held by Newman with 22, which is 10 below the all rtime record of Hylton in 1966. Some comparisions (all were Rookie of the Year except Earnhardt Jr):

      1958 Shorty Rollins
      29 (of 51) races, 1 win, 12 top 5's, 22 top 10's, 0 poles, final points postion was 4th

      1959 Richard Petty
      21 (of 44) races, 0 wins, 6 top 5's, 9 top 10's, 0 poles, points pos 15th

      1962 Tom Cox
      42 (of 53) races, 0 wins, 3 top 5's, 20 top 10's, 0 poles, points pos 19th

      1966 James Hylton
      41 (of 49) races, 0 wins, 20 top 5's, 32 top 10's, 1 pole, points pos 2nd

      Modern Era 1972-present:
      1979 Dale Earnhardt
      27 (of 31) races, 1 win, 11 top 5's, 17 top 10's, 4 poles, points pos 7th

      1987 Davey Allison
      22 (of 29) races, 2 wins, 9 top 5's, 16 top 10's, 5 poles, points pos 21st

      1999 Tony Stewart
      34 races, 3 wins, 12 top 5's, 21 top 10's, 2 poles, 4th in points

      2000 Matt Kenseth
      34 races, 1 win, 4 top 5's, 11 top 10's, no poles, 14th in points

      2000 Dale Earnhardt Jr
      34 races, 2 wins, 3 top 5's, 5 top 10's, 2 poles, 16th in points

      2001 Kevin Harvick
      35 (of 36) races, 2 wins, 6 top 5's, 16 top 10's, no poles, 9th in points

      2002 Jimmie Johnson
      36 races, 3 wins, 6 top 5's, 21 top 10's, 4 poles, 5th in points

      2002 Ryan Newman
      36 races, 1 win, 14 top 5's, 22 top 10's, 6 poles, 6th in points

      2006 Denny Hamlin
      36 races, 2 wins, 8 top 5's, 20 top 10's, 3 poles, 3rd in points
      a BOLD stat is the record holder as the end of 2006

    • Some Rookie Stuff: Jamie McMurray is the 4th driver to pick up his 1st career Cup win at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the modern era (The others: 2000: Matt Kenseth; 1995: Bobby Labonte; 1994: Jeff Gordon). McMurray became the 3rd rookie to win this year, joining Jimmie Johnson & Ryan Newman. It marks the first time that 3 rookies have won a Cup race in the same season in the modern era [1972-present]. Of the 13 first-time winners since 2000, 7 of those have come on Bruton Smith (SMI Tracks). 2000: Dale Earnhardt Junior (Texas), Matt Kenseth (Charlotte), & Jerry Nadeau (Atlanta; 2001: Kevin Harvick (Atlanta), Elliott Sadler (Bristol); 2002: Kurt Busch (Bristol) & Jamie McMurray (Charlotte).(10-13-2002)

    • Quickest wins by a driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won in only his 12th Cup start. Ron Bouchard won a Cup race in his 11th start in 1981 at Talladega, Mark Donohue won in his 5th Cup start in 1973 at Riverside, the earliest in the 'modern era' of Cup, he would only make one more Cup start. Others: Morgan Shepherd won in his 15th start (Martinsville) in 1981, but wasn't named Rookie of the Year. Several other drivers won in their first year, but weren't considered ROTY candidates: Dan Gurney at Riverside in 1963 in his third race and Mario Andretti at Daytona Beach in 1967 in his fifth start.
      BUT in 2001, #29-Kevin Harvick won his first Cup race in his third ever start, the best ever in the modern era [1972-present]. McMurray won in his 2nd start at Lowe's today which is the new Modern Era record and ties the all time record, set by John Rostek, who won in his 2nd career start in April 1960 at Arizona State Fairgrounds.
      ALSO of Note, Johnny Rutherford won a Daytona Qualifying race in his first start back in 1963, back then the Qualifier races counted as wins and the championship and points. And of course Jim Roper won in his first start, the first race ever held by NASCAR in 1949 and Jack White won in his first start in 1949, the 5th race of the season.(10-13-2002)

    • First time back-to-back - Correction: #48-Jimmie Johnson's victory comes a week after #12-Ryan Newman won, marking the first time in series history rookies have won back-to-back races.(News and Record), Actually in 2000 Dale Earnhardt Jr and Matt Kenseth won back-to-back points races, with Earnhardt Jr winning at Richmond and Kenseth winning at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May of 2000, the Winston was run between the two races, also won by a rookie, Dale Earnhardt Jr.(9-23-2002)

    • Earnhardt Jr the fastest Correction and UPDATE: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr has won his first two Winston Cup races faster then anyone in Winston Cup modern era. Earnhardt Jr won his 2nd race in his 16th start. Tony Stewart did it in his 32nd race, Dale Earnhardt in his 41st, Jeff Gordon 50th, Darrell Waltrip 65th and Bobby Labonte 77th. Not sure what the all time record is but Red Byron won his 2nd race in his 5th start during the first NASCAR Grand National(Before Winston Cup) season in 1949
      Correction: Davey Allison also won his 2nd race in his 16th start(5-7-2000)
      Harvick: #29-Kevin Harvick won his 2nd Cup race in his 17th start.
      UPDATE: add #48-Jimmie Johnson ties the record as he won his 2nd race in his 16th start.(6-2-2002)

    Other Season's Rookie of the Year Pages:
    2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
    2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001
    2000 | 1999 | 1998

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