2010 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Standings

  • No sponsor for Rookie of the Year award: Many reports have long-time sponsor Raybestos having dropped its backing / sponsorship of NASCAR's Rookie of the Year programs in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. In Sprint Cup, only one rookie driver [Kevin Conway] ran the majority of the races in 2010 and no driver is scheduled to run the full Sprint Cup Series in 2011 as a rookie.(1-11-2011)

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

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 member’s 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.

      Final Rookie Standings from Raybestos

      Car#-Driver, Races Attempted, Races Run, Points, Final Points
      #7/34/37/38-Kevin Conway, 29, 28, 209, 227
      #46/09/55-Terry Cook, 3, 12, 39, 55
      (thru 11-21-2010)

      NOTE: #12-Brad Keselowski ran over seven Sprint Cup races in 2009 and is not eligible in 2010 for rookie of the year

      SEVEN races is the most a driver can race in ONE season and still run for ROTY

      Race, Highest-Finishing Rookie
      Daytona 500, none qualified, Cook made an attempt, Conway did not attempt
      Auto Club, #37-Conway, 31st (1)
      Las Vegas, #37-Conway, 36th (2)
      Atlanta, #37-Conway, 31st (3)
      Bristol, #38-Conway, 28th (4)
      Martinsville, #38-Conway, 31st (5)
      Phoenix, #38-Conway, 33rd (6)
      Texas, #38-Conway, 27th (7)
      Talladega, #38-Conway, 30th (8)
      Richmond, #38-Conway, 37th (9)
      Darlington, #37-Conway, 33rd (10)
      Dover, #37-Conway, 33rd (11)
      Charlotte, #34-Conway, 35th (12)
      Pocono, #34-Conway, 35th (13)
      Michigan, #34-Conway, 40th (14)
      Infineon, #34-Conway, 28th (15)
      New Hampshire, #34-Conway, 32nd (16)
      Daytona, #34-Conway, 14th (17)
      Chicago, #34-Conway, 33rd (18)
      Indianapolis, #34-Conway, 34th (19)
      Pocono, #34-Conway, 31st (20)
      Watkins Glen, #34-Conway, 31st (21)
      Michigan, none attempted
      Bristol, #7-Conway, 36th (22)
      Atlanta, #7-Conway, 37th (23)
      Richmond, #7-Conway, 41st (24)
      New Hampshire, none attempted
      Dover, #7-Conway, 37th (25)
      Kansas, #7-Conway, 38th (26)
      Auto Club, #7-Conway, 31st (27)
      Charlotte, #7-Conway, attempted but dnq'd
      Martinsville, #7-Conway, made the race, but Robby Gordon drove the car
      Talladega, none attempted
      Texas, none attempted
      Phoenix, none attempted
      Homestead, #7-Conway, 30th (28)

      Best Finishing Rookies, Times:
      Conway, 28
      Cook, 0
      Races with no rookie, 8

      Pre/Post Race Reports/ News

    • No sponsor for Rookie of the Year award: Many reports have long-time sponsor Raybestos having dropped its backing / sponsorship of NASCAR's Rookie of the Year programs in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. In Sprint Cup, only one rookie driver [Kevin Conway] ran the majority of the races in 2010 and no driver is scheduled to run the full Sprint Cup Series in 2011 as a rookie.(1-11-2011)

    • Conway named Raybestos Rookie of the Year: #7-Kevin Conway clinched Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in today’s Ford 400. Conway’s best finish of the season came in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, a 14th-place finish. He claimed top rookie honors in 29 races this season and was credited with a 30th-place finish at Homestead.

      “I think I learned a whole lot. You just learn how to race at an entirely different level. These are the best race car drivers in the world and just to have the opportunity to race with them is really an honor and a privilege. It’s tough when you do it with smaller independent teams, the teams themselves are struggling to survive and sustain. When you jump on prog rams like that as a Raybestos Rookie it just kind of adds that much more, I think, to when you have teams that are still learning while you’re learning. That added a little bit of extra stress or a little angle to our learning curve so to speak. All in all I have to thank so many people that have made it possible. ExtenZe really believed in me and I think had a little bit more faith in me than I did by saying hey, let’s go Cup racing instead of going and running the Nationwide Series. It’s just awesome when you have people that believe in you, support you; people like Joe Gibbs and Darrell Waltrip just a lot of people all the way down the line. I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for them, the things they’ve done for me. It’s just so many people, my family, just everybody that has made this possible. It’s been a journey for the last 24 years to get to this point.”

      “That was huge. To know that we still have the best finish in Front Row Motorsports team history out of the last five years was great. It was our best finish of the year this year so to be able to do that especially in my first start at Daytona is really awesome. Just very excited to have the opportunity to have the opportunity to be here, man. This is a dream come true. It’s a little surreal. It hasn’t really sunk in yet to be the Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.”

      “Well it’s been a crazy year both on and off the racetrack for me. Started out definitely getting thrown into the deep end of the pool but certainly it’s been a year that’s been unforgettable. I feel like I’ve really grown a lot as a race car driver and as a person off the racetrack. It’s been an awesome opportunity and privilege and driving with teams that kind of throws it back to the old days where it seems like you’re driving for smaller independent teams that are clawing their way trying to make their stronghold in the sport and you combine that with a rookie driver it makes for a pretty steep learning c urve. Had some awesome people around me this year and a lot of support who helped make this possible. It’s certainly been a dream come true for sure.”

      “I think just how tough the Sprint Cup Series really is and how great these race car drivers really are. I mean they are the best race car drivers in the world and when you look at what Jimmie Johnson has just accomplished as well as what Denny [Hamlin] and Kevin [Harvick] what they’ve been able to accomplish, it’s pretty awesome to see that they really are the best race car drivers in the world. I think the biggest thing you learn is just how competitive this series really is.?

      “We’re going to announce our 2011 plans very soon, hopefully shortly after the banquet. This weekend Robby Gordon [team owner] was in Baja for the Baja 1000 and I was planning on practicing and qualifying the car and one thing kind of led to another and ended up running today. We were planning on having Robby come back but he didn’t end up coming back. It was kind of a very last minute decision so I ended up getting the chance to run the car today and kind of had it set up for him so we were scrambling a little bit to kind of change it around a little bit. We struggled today.&nb sp; Today was really, really tough. We struggled so I guess he was probably watching and glad he didn’t come back to run it.”

      “Steve Lane has brought a lot to the table. Robby is a small independent one-car team and they build everything in-house, bumper-to-bumper. Steve has been able to bring a lot of his experience from working with the larger teams with Ganassi and some of the ones he’s been with over the last few years and it’s really kind of help to bring some new fresh ideas and get things back to basics a little bit to try to hopefully turn th e program around.”
      (Camp & Assoc/Raybestos)(11-22-2010)

    • Raybestos Rookie News and Notes - Pre-Homestead, Post-Phoenix

      * DID YOU KNOW? Tony Stewart is the only Raybestos Rookie to win in 11 previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) 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.

      * 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

      * The most Raybestos Rookies to finish inside the top-10 at Homestead are 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-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

      * DID YOU KNOW? The most laps led by a Raybestos Rookie in 11 previous races at Homestead are 52 by Casey Atwood in 2001.

      · 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 Johnson (once for 27 laps)
      2006: Martin Truex Jr. (once for 27 laps)
      2007: David Ragan (once for one lap)

      * DID YOU KNOW? The only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole position in 11 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is Jamie McMurray. McMurray won his first-career pole at the 2003 Ford 400 on the way to claiming Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. McMurray scored a ninth-place finish in the race, his 13th top-10 finish of the 2003 season.

      * Joey Logano was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2009 Ford 400, scoring a 24th-place finish.

      (Camp & Assoc./Raybestos)(11-18-2010)

    • Raybestos ROOKIE HISTORY

      * Joey Logano won 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano captured top rookie honors 26 times in 36 races and officially claimed the honor by 33 points (270-237) over Scott Speed. At 19 years of age, Logano became the youngest driver to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

      * Logano scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (race #17). The victory came in his 20th career start. He finished the season with one win, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes and placed 20th in the final series championship standings.

      * Logano is the THIRD driver from Joe Gibbs Racing to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year, joining Tony Stewart (1999) and Denny Hamlin (2006).

      · Did You Know? Joey Logano is the most recent Raybestos Rookie to win a Sprint Cup Series race, capturing the 2009 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ahead of second-place Jeff Gordon (55 races ago).

      · 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 (91 races ago).

      * Did You Know? The most recent Raybestos Rookie to score a top-five finish is Logano, who placed third in the 2009 AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (40 races ago).

      * Regan Smith (2008) 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 and captured top rookie honors over Sam Hornish Jr. by just seven points (236-229).

      · The 2008 season marked the first time in NASCAR’s modern-era (since 1972) that THREE drivers shared the lead in the Raybestos Rookie standings. 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.

      * The record for most earnings by a Raybestos Rookie 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 during their first season only three times:
      1981: Morgan Shepherd (one) and Ron Bouchard (one)
      2000: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two) and Matt Kenseth (one)
      2002: Jimmie Johnson (three) and Ryan Newman (one)

      * 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 sport’s modern-era is 60 races (2001 MBNA Platinum 400 through 2002 Ford 400).(11-18-2010)

      see past notes for each race on my 2010 ROTY News and Notes page

    • Logano first Rookie to win in 71 races: Raybestos Rookie #20-Joey Logano rallied from a lap down and stretched his fuel mileage to perfection to win the rain shortened LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Logano scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in just his 20th start and his first in two starts at New Hampshire. He became the first Raybestos Rookie [Keselowski is not a Rookie Candidate] to win in 71 races, dating back to Juan Pablo Montoya’s victory at Infineon Raceway in 2007. He joined Ryan Newman (2002) as the only Raybestos Rookies to win in 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire. He won in just his second start at New Hampshire and led the race just once, covering the final 10 laps. Logano leads Scott Speed by 31 points (199-168) in the overall Raybestos Rookie standings. Logano scored his first top-five and fourth top-10 of the 2009 season.(Raybestos PR)(6-29-2009)

    • NASCAR to implement rookie orientation program: NASCAR will implement a one-day rookie orientation seminar next February for newcomers to its three national touring series. The annual program will be designed for rookies and drivers 22 and under, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Wednesday. It will focus on NASCAR rules and policies as well as the adjustment to competing on the national stock-car circuit. “It’s something we’ve been looking at for the last two or three years,” Poston said. “We looked at what all the other leagues do, and one thing we realized is all the other leagues do this, and there seems to be a lot of benefit both for the league and their participants.” The program will include University of Central Florida professor Dr. Richard Lapchick of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports to address professional and personal conduct and Aegis Laboratories’ Dr. David Black to address the NASCAR substance-abuse policy. NASCAR Chairman Brian France also would be one of the presenters with other NASCAR executives, NASCAR’s medical liaisons, series directors, veteran drivers and track operators. “We want to do this to touch base with drivers that are new to the national series and make sure that they have an opportunity at their very start to get face-to-face with NASCAR executives, to understand the sport and who we are,” Poston said. “It’s really to welcome to the national series, welcome them to the sport and also to answer any questions that they have.” NASCAR has an 18-year-old age limit for its three national touring series and has toyed with the idea of increasing the age minimum for the Sprint Cup Series. Poston said that is still under consideration.(SceneDaily)(11-4-2009)


    • 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
    • 2009 Joey Logano (1) - Scott Speed, Max Papis, Dexter Bean

      (NOT a 2002 candidate but won - Jamie McMurray (1) and ran and won ROTY in 2003)
      (NOT a 2009 candidate but won a race - Brad Keselowski (1), didn't run for the award in 2009 or 2010)
      winner bold; wins if any in parens() - rest of rookie class listed if known

    • ROTY Finishes In Final Top 10 of Drivers Standings
      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:
    2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
    2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001
    2000 | 1999 | 1998

    Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Cup News Page
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