The final two 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie drivers that I will take a look at are Austin Dillon and Justin Allgaier. Both of these talented individuals have worked their way up through the lower series and are getting their chance in a Sprint Cup Series ride. For Dillon and Allgaier, it hasn’t always come easy but getting their chance to run with the veterans of this sport every week will make for a season they won’t forget. Austin Dillon: Collecting championships in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (2011) and the Nationwide Series (2013), Austin Dillon is used to making headlines. The grandson of racing icon Richard Childress, Dillon has had to work his way up through the ranks and will be one of the high profile rookies competing this season.
He kicked off his 2014 campaign by announcing the return of the famed No. 3 to the Sprint Cup Series, something that hasn’t happened since Dale Earnhardt’s death at the 2001 Daytona 500. Dillon proved to be fast in the iconic race car by topping the charts during preseason thunder in early January.
Can he follow that up with a fast car during Speedweeks? We will have to wait and see, but one thing is for certain – Dillon will be one rookie making headlines multiple times this season.
Justin Allgaier: In one of NASCAR’s famed “Worst Kept Secrets,” it was announced just recently that Justin Allgaier would be moving up to the Sprint Cup Series with Phoenix Racing, driving the No. 51 Brandt Chevrolet.
Allgaier spent five seasons in the Nationwide Series and collected three wins. His best finish in the standings was third in 2011. With his wins coming at Bristol, Chicago and Montreal, Allgaier can handle any type of track on the circuit and that versatility will help him get a handle of these larger Sprint Cup cars.
The 2008 ARCA/ReMax Series Champion will be the first full-time driver this organization has seen in a while and that consistency will be the backbone of this team. Moving up to the top tier series with a reliable team like Phoenix Racing was a good move on Allgaier’s part. He could take this team far as he gains a little more experience in the series.
These two rookies enter the series with a handful of Sprint Cup experience under their belts and that will help them immensely in their first season campaigns. Dillon is one of the favorites to win the ROTY title this season and could possibly contend for wins in 2014.