Not since 2006, when Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. battled for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, has there been this much attention focused on the rookie title.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Timmy Hill and Danica Patrick, all eligible for 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors, enter this season with high expectations. Stenhouse, the two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, and Hill won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Patrick finished the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series 10th in points.
"This year's Sunoco Rookie class is going to be truly exciting to watch," said Andrew Kabakoff, Sunoco Brand Manager. "We are proud to support NASCAR's rising stars and wish them the best of luck as we look forward to a very exciting season of racing."
The Coors Light Pole Award is another key contingency partner that will undoubtedly receive a lot of attention this season.
Danica Patrick's pole victory in Daytona placed the award in the spotlight this week, as did the season-opening Sprint Unlimited, where the field was set by 2012 Coors Light Pole winners and past champions of the event. The Coors Light Pole Award is presented to the fastest eligible qualifier in each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Duralast, the 'Official Brakes of NASCAR,' has become the newest addition to the stable of companies that participate in the NASCAR Contingency Program with the creation of the "Brake in the Race Award" across both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. The weekly award will be given to the highest eligible driver in the running order at the time of the first caution of each race. The year-end award winner will be the driver who wins the "Brake in the Race Award" the most times during the course of the season. In the event of a tie, the final series point standings shall serve as the tiebreaker.
"We are proud of the strong lineup of NASCAR Contingency Program sponsors across our three national series this year, and are enthused by the excitement surrounding the intense competition for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award," said Norris Scott, NASCAR vice president, Partnership Marketing. "NASCAR contingency sponsors and teams display a level of collaboration and teamwork that is unmatched in sports and continues to be one of the major reasons companies choose to partner with NASCAR."
The NASCAR Contingency Program strives to build strong relationships with high quality, performance driven brands that are leaders in their respective categories, and award money to NASCAR teams via per race and year-end awards. Competitors become eligible for prize money by displaying sponsor decals on the front fender of their race cars and trucks. In some instances, use of a sponsor product is also required.
For a detailed description and special award standings of national series awards presented via the NASCAR Contingency Program please visit www.nascarmedia.com.
From Nick Kelly / NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications