Each season, a new rookie class emerges with yellow strips and little experience. With fresh eyes, they take a look at the task at hand and try to learn everything they possibly can about the car, the track and the team each weekend, building that important notebook that they can look back on for years to come.
This season, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is seeing it’s biggest rookie class in recent history. With eight new drivers running for the coveted Rookie of the Year award, 2014 is gearing up to be one of the best Rookie of the Year battles ever.
Here is a look at two of the rookies in this year’s class, the Swan Racing duo of Cole Whitt and Parker Kligerman.
Cole Whitt: After losing his full-time Nationwide Series ride at JR Motorsports at the end of 2012, Cole Whitt is back and moving up. In 2014 the 22-year old will be behind the wheel of the No. 26 Swan Racing machine in the Sprint Cup Series.
Making seven NSCS starts last season, Whitt got a taste of the new Gen-6 car and some of the circuits toughest tracks. With his best finish of 25th at Phoenix in 2011, Whitt has a lot of room for improvement but at just 22, time is on his side. Whitt finished seventh in NNS standings in 2012 and although he hasn’t collected a win in one of NASCAR’s major touring series, his talent behind the wheel speaks for itself.
Whitt could prove to be a factor in races where speed is high, such as Daytona, Talladega, Texas and Kansas. Being with a team like Swan Racing leaves Whitt with room for improvement and growth for the future.
Parker Kligerman: Another young driver in the Sprint Cup Series, 23-year-old Parker Kligerman is getting his chance at a full-time Sprint Cup Series ride. Piloting the No. 30 for Swan Racing, Kligerman showed promise in his two starts for the team in 2013 with an 18th place finish at Texas and 25th place finish at Homestead.
Finishing ninth in NNS standings for Kyle Busch Motorsports, Kligerman had three top five and 13 top-10 finishes in 2013 in his first full season in the series. Kligerman competed in the Camping World Truck Series for two seasons, collecting one win at Talladega in 2012.
Having two young drivers at Swan Racing in 2014 could prove to be a great success in the future of this small team.
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