No rookie driver has committed to run the full Cup seasonUPDATE Jayski rumors that Brian Keselowski and his team are working on cars to run Sprint Cup for 2011 that Keselowski plans to run for Rookie of the Year. The team has recently acquired three Penske Dodges to go along with their current fleet of former Gillette/Evernham cars.
01/13/11 One storyline NASCAR fans won’t be reading about in 2011 will be a race for Sprint Cup rookie of the year.
So far no rookie driver has committed to run the full Cup season.
With teams looking to reduce costs and sponsors hesitant to take a chance on unproven drivers, Cup teams have mostly shied away from driver development programs in recent years.
That has resulted in only three rookies competing full time in Cup the last two years – Scott Speed and Joey Logano in 2009 and Kevin Conway in 2010. Conway, a driver with limited Nationwide Series experience, had a sponsor (Extenze) that wanted to go Cup racing and struck a deal to race with Front Row Motorsports. He ran nearly the full season despite struggling with Front Row and Robby Gordon Motorsports to win the rookie title.
It appears that there aren’t any new drivers planning to compete for the Cup rookie title in 2011, and Roush Fenway Racing is the only organization that has plans to have development drivers compete for the Nationwide title.
Still, there’s talented young drivers on the horizon. Which one will get an opportunity to possibly move to Cup in the next couple of years?
It’s hard to tell. Performance, potential and sponsorship all play key roles in who gets an opportunity and who doesn’t. Scene Daily
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