Rookie Contenders Finding Groove 10 Races In
This season’s crop of Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates continues to impress – especially Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon, who currently sit 1-2 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. The two are separated by only 18 points (122-104).
Larson is out front early, and for good reason. He has posted two top fives and five top 10s in his last seven starts, including a runner-up finish at Auto Club Speedway. In the first 10 races, he has posted an average finish of 15.4. Larson is also the highest ranked rookie in the NSCS driver standings (13th) passing Dillon (14th) following his top-10 finish at Talladega.
Though Larson has garnered much of the spotlight early this season, Dillon has enjoyed solid runs in the early going. Dillon returns to Kansas Speedway, the sight of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut (2011), having posted one top-10 finish this season. Dillon’s average finishing position almost mirrors Larson’s (15.4) at 16.0. Dillon’s one start at Kansas produced a 26th-place finish.
Though Larson slightly betters Dillon in several key Loop Data categories their performances have been fairly similar through the first 10 races of 2014:
Larson – Driver Rating (78.7); Avg. Running Position (18.5)
Dillon – Driver Rating (70.8); Avg. Running Position (20.1)