Both Stenhouse and Patrick currently race in the Nationwide Series but both drivers will be making a big transition next year when they go to the cup series full time. Heading into the cup series will be their next big step as both drivers will compete for the same honor next year, the Rookie of the Year title.
Stenhouse has been racing in the Nationwide series since 2009, compared to Patrick who got her start in 2010. Stenhouse has a year of experience in the NASCAR circuit over Patrick. Stenhouse has about double the starts in the Nationwide Series than Patrick.
In his time in the Nationwide Series Stenhouse has made 87 starts and 5 career wins in the series. He is the regaining Nationwide Series champion and posted two wins and 16 top fives and 26 top 10 finishes in his championship year. Just this season alone he has captured three wins, seven top fives and nine top ten finishes. Stenhouse also has cup series experiences under his name as he raced in the 2012 Daytona 500 for Roush Fenway Racing’s No.6 car.
Patrick is currently racing in her first full time season in NASCAR in the Nationwide Series. She initially made her NASCAR debut in the 2010 season opener in Daytona and this is her third Nationwide season. Through out her three seasons Patrick has managed to gain 1 top five and four top 10 finishes in 39 starts. Patrick also has cup experience as well since she is racing a partial schedule for Stewart-Haas Racing this season.
Both Stenhouse and Patrick will be leaving the Nationwide Series to go the Cup Series Full time next season. Patrick had initially announced prior the season that in 2013 she would race full time in the cup level after racing a full year in Nationwide.
After racing for Roush Fenway for several years Matt Kenseth announced his departure from the team, which opened the way for Stenhouse to make the transition to his next ride. Although his plans for the 2013 season are set Stenhouse is still looking to repeat in his Nationwide success from 2011 this year.
Next year’s Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the year battle will feature the 2010 Nationwide Rookie of the year and the 2011 Nationwide champion in Stenhouse and the top female finisher in NASCAR history with Patrick.