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Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year: A Two Man Race?

Kyle Larson might be one of two drivers that could win Rookie of the Year in '14.
Kyle Larson might be one of two drivers that could win Rookie of the Year in '14.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Everyone is fired up about the Rookie of the Year contenders in 2014. You have - at the time of writing - five drivers announced for Rookie of the Year contention in 2014. Unfortunately, it’s hard to believe anything besides the Rookie of the Year battle being a two man race.

Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson are the only two Rookie of the Year contenders with the equipment to back up their ability behind the wheel. Austin will be running the No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing which was the No. 29 of Kevin Harvick from 2013. The No. 29 team won three races alongside making The Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2013. Larson will be replacing Juan Pablo Montoya behind the wheel of the No. 42 for Ganassi Racing which is a solid enough ride to keep Larson running upfront on a consistent basis.

They have three challengers for Rookie of the Year with Parker Kligerman and Cole Whitt driving for Swan Racing while Michael Annett drives for Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2014. Swan Racing was showing signs of improvement toward the end of the 2013 season. However, signs of improvement aren’t good enough to contend with the Richard Childress Racing’s and Ganassi Racing’s of the world. That doesn’t mean that Parker Kligerman and Cole Whitt will not see solid finishes this season. It’s a matter of seeing them finish ahead of Dillon and Larson on a consistent basis. Tommy Baldwin Racing hasn’t shown too many signs of improvement from the past few seasons. It really is difficult to picture the organization running better than Swan Racing, much less Richard Childress Racing and Ganassi Racing.

This doesn’t change the fact that NASCAR has one of the strongest group of Rookie of the Year contenders in quite a number of years. It’s too bad they all aren’t in top caliber equipment, because that would be a great battle.