2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year

Updated 5-7-2017

Sections of this page:
Rookie Stripes, Standings, Race-by-Race Results,
News and Notes, Rookie History, Rookie of the Year Winners,
Rookies Top 10 of Drivers Standings, Rookies Records, Previous ROTY Pages


The scoring system to determine the Sunoco Rookie of the Year varies from NASCAR'S point system for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. The following is a breakdown of the Sunoco 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 Sunoco 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 Sunoco 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;
and 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 Sunoco Rookie of the Year winner.

rookies will be noted on the car they drive by a yellow stripe on the rear bumper of the car.
sometimes a driver not a Rookie of the Year Candidate may have to run a yellow stripe if they not competed on that race track before.
or if NASCAR decides the driver doesn't have enough experience.

#19-Daniel Suarez, 106, best finish of 7th(2x) (2 top tens)
#13-Ty Dillon, 99, 13th(2x)
#77-Erik Jones, 97, 8th (1 top ten)
#83-Corey LaJoie(B), 82, 24th(2x)
#23-Gray Gaulding(A), 70, 20th
(A) didn't attempt to run the Daytona 500, plans to run rest of the season
(B) scheduled to run part-time, but has run all the races so far, non-chartered team
(from the Official Race Report each Monday)

race, driver, finish, rookie pts awarded
1) Daytona 500, #83-LaJoie, 24th, 11
2) Atlanta, #77-Jones, 14th, 11
3) Las Vegas, #77-Jones(2), 15th, 11
4) Phoenix, #19-Suarez, 7th, 15
5) Auto Club, #19-Suarez(2), 7th, 15
6) Martinsville, #77-Jones(3), 12th, 11
7) Texas, #13-Dillon, 17th, 11
8) Bristol, #13-Dillon(2), 13th, 11
9) Richmond, #19-Suarez(3), 12th, 11
10) Talladega, #13-Dillon(3), 13th, 11
11) Kansas, TBD
Best Finishing Rookies, Times:
#77-Jones, 3
#19-Suarez, 3
#13-Dillon, 3
#83-LaJoie, 1
#23-Gaulding, 0
Races with no rookie, 0

2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Race-by-Race Results

Talladega Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points (5-7-2017):
#13-Dillon, finished 13th, 11 rookie points
#19-Suarez, 19th, 10
#23-Gaulding, 20th, 9
#83-LaJoie, 27th, 8
#77-Jones, 33rd, 7

Richmond Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points (4-30-2017):
#19-Suarez, finished 12th, 11 rookie points
#13-Dillon, 26th, 10
#23-Gaulding, 31st, 9
#83-LaJoie, 32nd, 8
#77-Jones, 38th, 7

Bristol Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points (4-23[24]-2017):
#13-Dillon, finished 13th, 11 rookie points
#77-Jones, 17th, 10
#19-Suarez, 18th, 9
#83-LaJoie, 24th, 8
#23-Gaulding, 29th, 7

Texas Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points (4-9-2017):
#13-Dillon, finished 17th, 11 rookie points
#19-Suarez, 19th, 10
#77-Jones, 22nd, 9
#83-LaJoie, 32nd, 8
#23-Gaulding, 34th, 7

Martinsville Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points (4-2-2017):
#77-Jones, finished 12th, 11 rookie points
#13-Dillon, 22nd, 10
#83-LaJoie, 28th, 9
#23-Gaulding, 29th, 8
#19-Suarez, 32nd, 7

Auto Club Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points (3-26-2017):
#19-Suarez, finished 7th, 15 rookie points
#77-Jones, 14th, 10
#13-Dillon, 18th, 9
#83-LaJoie, 30th, 8
#23-Gaulding, 37th, 7

Phoenix Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points (3-19-2017):
#19-Suarez, finished 7th, 15 rookie points
#77-Jones, 8th, 13
#13-Dillon, 16th, 9
#23-Gaulding, 36th, 8
#83-LaJoie, 38th, 7

Las Vegas Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points (3-12-2017):
#77-Jones, finished 15th, 11 rookie points
#19-Suarez, 20th, 10
#13-Dillon, 21st, 9
#23-Gaulding, 34th, 8
#83-LaJoie, 39th, 7

Atlanta Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points (3-5-2017):
#77-Jones, finished 14th, 11 rookie points
#13-Dillon, 15th, 10
#19-Suarez, 21st, 9
#83-LaJoie, 34th, 8
#23-Gaulding, 37th, 7

Daytona 500 Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points (2-26-2017):
#83-LaJoie, finished 24th, 11 rookie points
#19-Suarez, 29th, 10
#13-Dillon, 30th, 9
#77-Jones, 39th, 8
#23-Gaulding, did not race

Current Season News and Notes

none posted so far


* Joey Logano won 2009 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 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 Rookie of the Year, joining Tony Stewart (1999) and Denny Hamlin (2006).

· Did You Know? Joey Logano is the most recent 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 (56 races ago).

· Did You Know? The most recent 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 (92 races ago).

* Did You Know? The most recent Rookie to score a top-five finish is Logano, who placed third in the 2009 AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (41 races ago).

* Regan Smith (2008) became the first 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 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 Rookie record for most poles (6), most top-fives (14) and most top-10s (22).

* Denny Hamlin is the only 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 Rookie Hamlin holds the record for most earnings by a Rookie ($6.6 million in 2006).

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

* A 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 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 Rookie of the Year. Since 1979, six 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 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).(1-11-2011)


2016 Chase Elliott (0) - Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher(1), Brian Scott, Jeffrey Earnhardt
2015 Brett Moffitt (0) - Matt DiBenedetto, Jeb Burton, Alex Kennedy, Tanner Berryhill
2014 Kyle Larson (0) - Austin Dillon, Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett, Cole Whitt, Alex Bowman, Ryan Truex, Parker Kligerman
2013 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (0) - Danica Patrick, Timmy Hill
2012 Stephen Leicht (0) - Josh Wise
2011 Andy Lally (0) - no other drivers ran for the award
2010 Kevin Conway (0) - Terry Cook
2009 Joey Logano (1) - Scott Speed, Max Papis, Dexter Bean
2008 Regan Smith - Sam Hornish Jr., Michael McDowell, Patrick Carpentier, Dario Franchitti
2007 Juan Pablo Montoya (1) - David Ragan, Paul Menard, David Reutimann, A.J. Allmendinger
2006 Denny Hamlin (2) - Clint Bowyer, Martin Trux Jr., David Stremme, Reed Sorenson, Brent Sherman
2005 Kyle Busch (2) - Travis Kvapil, Stanton Barrett, Mike Garvey, Eric McClure
2004 Kasey Kahne - Brendan Gaughan, Brian Vickers, Scott Wimmer, Scott Riggs, Johnny Sauter
2003 Jamie McMurray - Greg Biffle (1), Tony Raines, Casey Mears, Jack Sprague, Larry Foyt
2002 Ryan Newman (1) - Jimmie Johnson (3), Carl Long, Shawna Robinson
2001 Kevin Harvick (2) - Kurt Busch, Casey Atwood, Jason Leffler, Ron Hornaday Jr, Andy Houston
2000 Matt Kenseth (1) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2), Dave Blaney, Scott Pruett, Stacy Compton, Mike Bliss
1999 Tony Stewart (3) - Elliott Sadler, Buckshot Jones
1998 Kenny Irwin - Kevin Lepage, Jerry Nadeau, Steve Park
1997 Mike Skinner - David Green, Jeff Green, Robby Gordon
1996 Johnny Benson - Stacy Compton [listed as a candidate for 1 race], Randy MacDonald [3 races]
1995 Ricky Craven - Robert Pressley, Randy LaJoie, Steve Kinser, Davy Jones
1994 Jeff Burton - Joe Nemechek, Steve Grissom, Loy Allen, John Andretti, Jeremy Mayfield, Mike Wallace, Ward Burton
1993 Jeff Gordon - Bobby Labonte, Kenny Wallace, P.J. Jones
1992 Jimmy Hensley - Dave Madar III, Andy Belmont
1991 Bobby Hamilton - Ted Musgrave, Stanley Smith, Wally Dallenbach Jr.
1990 Rob Moroso - Jack Pennington, Jerry O'Neil, Jeff Purvis
1989 Dick Trickle - Hut Stricklin, Larry Pearson, Jimmy Spencer, Rick Mast, Ben Hess, Chad Little
1988 Ken Bouchard - Ernie Irvan, Brad Noffsinger, Jimmy Horton
1987 Davey Allison (2) - Dale Jarrett[HOF], Steve Christman, Rodney Combs, Derrike Cope
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]
1985 Ken Schrader - Eddie Bierschwale, Don Hume
1984 Rusty Wallace[HOF] - Phil Parsons
1983 Sterling Marlin
1982 Geoffrey Bodine
1981 Ron Bouchard (1), Tim Richmond
1980 Jody Ridley (1)
1979 Dale Earnhardt[HOF](1) - Joe Millikan, Terry Labonte[HOF], Harry Gant
1978 Ronnie Thomas
1977 Ricky Rudd
1976 Skip Manning
1975 Bruce Hill
1974 Earl Ross (1)
1973 Lennie Pond - Darrell Waltrip[HOF]
1972 Larry Smith
1971 Walter Ballard
1970 Bill Dennis
1969 Dick Brooks
1968 Pete Hamilton
1967 Donnie Allison
1966 James Hylton
1965 Sam McQuagg
1964 Doug Cooper
1963 Billy Wade
1962 Tom Cox
1961 Woody Wilson
1960 David Pearson[HOF]
1959 Richard Petty[HOF]
1958 Shorty Rollins (1)
1957 Ken Rush

some Notes:
race wins during rookie year in parens()
(NOT a 2002 candidate but won - Jamie McMurray (1) and ran and won ROTY in 2003)
(NOT a 2009 candidate but won - Brad Keselowski (1), didn't run for the award in 2009 or 2010)
(NOT a 2011 candidate but won - Trevor Bayne (1) and ran for ROTY in 2004)
rest of rookie class listed above, 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
Chase Elliott, 10th, 2016


Rookies: #48-Jimmie Johnson tied Tony Stewart's rookie record for most wins by a Sprint 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-time record of Hylton in 1966. Some comparisons (all were Rookie of the Year except Earnhardt Jr):

Most wins as a ROTY Candidate
Tony Stewart, 3, 1999
Jimmie Johnson, 3, 2002 [didn't win award]
Davey Allison, 2, 1987
Kevin Harvick, 2, 2001
Kyle Busch, 2, 2005
Denny Hamlin, 2, 2006

1958 Shorty Rollins 29 (of 51) races, 1 win, 12 top 5's, 22 top 10's, 0 poles, final points position 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
2014 Kyle Larson 36 races, 0 wins, 8 top 5's, 17 top 10's, 1 pole, 17th in points (Chase system)
2016 Chase Elliott 36 races, 0 wins, 10 top 5's, 17 top 10's, 2 poles, 10th in points (Chase system)
a BOLD stat is the record holder as the end of 2016

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)

Rookie of the Year Pages by Season:

2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998