BUSCH: Rookie midseason review

Midseason Review: 2006 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award DENNY HAMLIN SUPPLANTS MARTIN TRUEX JR. AS MEDIA FAVORITE DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 13, 2006) -- Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet) has scored many surprising victories in 2006, ...

Midseason Review: 2006 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award

DENNY HAMLIN SUPPLANTS MARTIN TRUEX JR. AS MEDIA FAVORITE

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 13, 2006) -- Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet) has scored many surprising victories in 2006, beginning with the non-points Budweiser Shootout in February. The 20-year-old also scored his first career NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victories -- the Telcel Motorola Mexico 200 in March and the Pocono 500 from the pole in June, respectively.

So his latest triumph -- being chosen as the media favorite to win the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award -- should come as no surprise.

In a midseason poll open to members of the media, Hamlin was the runaway favorite to capture the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award. He finished with 665 points and grabbed 101 first-place votes of the 111 votes cast. In the earlier preseason poll, Hamlin was chosen to finish second behind Martin Truex Jr. (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet).

But the Chesterfield, Va., native has put together a stellar rookie campaign with one win, three top fives and six top-10 finishes heading into Sunday's event at New Hampshire International Speedway. He currently is 12th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings and 50 points behind 10th place -- which means a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.

Hamlin is the leading Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender with 202 rookie points, 24 more than second-place Clint Bowyer (No. 07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet) who has 178 points. Bowyer was picked second by media in the mid-season poll with 527 points, including nine first-place votes. He was picked to finish third in the preseason poll.

Truex, the two-time defending NASCAR Busch Series champion, was picked to win the rookie title in the preseason poll, but dropped to third in the midseason poll. Truex finished the voting with 400 points and only one first-place vote. He currently is fourth in the rookie standings with 153 rookie points.

J.J. Yeley (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet) was voted fourth in the midseason poll, up from his predicted sixth-place finish in the preseason poll. He is fifth in the rookie standings with 149 points.

Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Target Dodge), currently third in the rookie standings, was chosen to finish fifth with 287 points. Sorenson has captured the Raybestos Rookie of the Race Award four times this season, second to Hamlin who has nine. He was picked to finish fourth in the preseason poll.

David Stremme (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge) rounds out the list with 136 points. He currently is sixth in the rookie standings with 121 rookie points. Stremme rounds out the list in sixth place in the midseason voting. He was fifth in the preseason pole.

2006 Preseason Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award
1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Clint Bowyer
4. Reed Sorenson
5. David Stremme
6. J.J. Yeley

2006 Midseason Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Clint Bowyer
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. J.J. Yeley
5. Reed Sorenson
6. David Stremme

-nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers J.J. Yeley , Martin Truex Jr. , David Stremme , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Reed Sorenson