2013 Rookie Of The Year Preview

The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie Of The Year has some serious potential this year. Even though there are only two serious contenders, for the first time in a few years the ROY might be given to a future superstar. Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr are already big names in NASCAR and now in 2013 they take challenge to the biggest stage: The Sprint Cup Series

Jan 10, 2013; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr during Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Stenhouse certainly has to be the favorite. With two championships and eight wins in the last two years of Nationwide Series competition, it’s hard to think Danica is going to win but anything is possible.

Also for the first time in over 12 years we are going to see somebody other then Matt Kenseth behind the wheel of the #17 car.

Stenhouse has raced in five Sprint Cup races so far and has a best finish of 11th at Charlotte in the Wood Brothers Ford subbing for Roush-Fenway Racing teammate Trevor Bayne in 2011.

Stenhouse certainly has a good team to work with, the 17 team won three races last year with Matt Kenseth. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has the talent and the team so be on the lookout for Stenhouse to possibly win a few races this year including the Daytona 500.

The other contender is Danica Patrick.

Unlike Stenhouse though, Danica has never won a Nationwide Series race. Her best finish last year was an 8th place finish at Texas.

She will be driving the #10 for Stewart-Haas Racing with Tony Gibson atop her pit box.

Fun Fact: The reason Danica Patrick isn’t driving the number 7 like she does in the Nationwide Series is because Robby Gordon wouldn’t give it to her according to ESPN.

Anyway, Danica definitely has a shot to win some races, especially at the restrictor plate races.

With Tony Stewart as a teammate she will probably get some good advice about tracks from the former champion as well as from Ryan Newman.

The 2013 Rookie Of The Year certainly is going to be the best battle in many seasons and hopefully will bring back the prestige that the award once held.

Topics: Danica Patrick, NASCAR, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Rookie Of The Year, Sprint Cup Series

Want more from Beyond the Flag?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.

TEAMFeed More Beyond the Flag news from the Fansided Network

Hot on the Web From golf.com