NASCAR Rookies in Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series are Beginning to Impress

By Dalton Keene
Rookie Kyle Larson
Getty Images

Rookies are sometimes tough to really gauge on how good they will be in the future or how good they will be in the near future. But the rookies this year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series are some really talented race car drivers. In the Nationwide Series there’s Chase Elliott, who just won his first career race at Texas Motor Speedway just last week, Ty Dillon, who dominated the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last season and Ryan Reed, who is an up and coming Roush Fenway driver who we could see in the Sprint Cup Series in just a few years.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie class is just as good, with the likes of Austin Dillon, Alex Bowman, Michael Annett, Cole Whitt, Kyle Larson and a host of others. The future looks very bright for NASCAR. It would be something to see the current NNS rookies make it to the NSCS next year and actually learn some stuff from the current NSCS rookies that have already been there and done that.

NASCAR On Fox Analyst and Legendary Crew Chief Jeff Hammond has been around NASCAR for a very long time. He has seen Matt Kenseth, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., start out as a rookie and make a name for themselves. He had very good things to say about the current crop of rookie drivers in the NSCS and the NNS.

“I hope fans pay attention to this rookie class and find a new, upcoming superstar to pull for.  I’m not just talking about Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott but also Austin Dillon, who is a great young man who is doing a good job amongst tough competition, and Justin Allgaier, who quietly is going about his business.  This is a great time because not only do we get to see drivers when they’re great; we also get to see them become great.”

That wasn’t all that Jeff Hammond had to say. He also mentioned that NASCAR is different from other sports, NASCAR fans get to see young talent grow on the biggest stage. I personally believe that is just one of many things that can separate NASCAR from other sports in the coming years. No sport offers the ability to see young talent grow up and learn from the best right before your eyes.

No matter who you like now, in a year or two I promise you will see a lot more Kyle Larson fans, a lot more Austin Dillon fans, a lot more Cole Whitt fans. When that all happens, you will realize that the new age of NASCAR is here and is here to stay for a while.

Dalton Keene is a NASCAR writer for, you can follow him on twitter @daltonjkeene and add him to your circles on Google.

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