Dueling Rookies Vie for Roush Fenway's 12th Rookie of the Year Award; Stenhouse Jr. and Braun to battle for familiar award for Roush Fenway Racing DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2010) -- Roush Fenway dueling rookies Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (No. 6 ...
Dueling Rookies Vie for Roush Fenway's 12th Rookie of the Year Award; Stenhouse Jr. and Braun to battle for familiar award for Roush Fenway Racing
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2010) -- Roush Fenway dueling rookies Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (No. 6 CitiFinancial Ford) and Colin Braun (No. 16 Con-Way Freight Ford) will each spend the 2010 Nationwide season battling for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award. Both will vie to become the 12th Roush Fenway driver to bring home the coveted award in one of NASCAR's three major series and the fifth Roush Fenway driver to win the award in the Nationwide Series.
"For me personally, the biggest goal is to be able to win the rookie of the year championship," said Braun last week at Daytona media day. "I think that we absolutely have a shot at it. All I can do is be in contention for top-fives and top-10s and just put myself in a position to win."
"We're going to shoot for the rookie of the year, run consistently and focus on top 10s," said Stenhouse Jr. "I think if we focus on top 10s and top fives, anything can happen when you're running in the top five, so that's our plan and that's what I've been doing off the track."
Greg Biffle was both the first Roush Fenway driver to win a rookie award (Truck series in 1998) and the first to win the award in the Nationwide Series (2001).
"It is definitely something that you shoot for when you move into a new series," said Biffle. "Going into a season you always set goals and for a rookie to go out and compete and turn laps and be in contention for that is always one of the things you look to accomplish. We were able to do that in both the Truck and Nationwide Series and it's something I'm still proud of."
Matt Kenseth, the only Roush Fenway driver to win the award at NASCAR's highest series, ranks winning the award amongst his highest accomplishments.
"I remember that there was a rather large rookie class that season in the Cup Series and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was one of the other rookies that I can remember racing hard against that year," said Kenseth. "It was a tremendous honor to win the rookie of the year title in 2000, especially because it seemed like Dale Jr. seemed to be the favorite to win the honors.
"He had actually beaten me for the Nationwide Series Championship titles the two years prior, so we really focused on earning the rookie of the year title in 2000. It was just really cool to be able to accomplish that with my team and I was proud of that accomplishment."