MEDIA POLL TABS MARTIN TRUEX JR. AS FAVORITE IN NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES' RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR COMPETITION DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2006) -- With two NASCAR Busch Series championships under his belt, Martin Truex Jr. (No. 1 Bass Pro...
MEDIA POLL TABS MARTIN TRUEX JR. AS FAVORITE IN NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES' RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR COMPETITION
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2006) -- With two NASCAR Busch Series championships under his belt, Martin Truex Jr. (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) is the most accomplished of the seven drivers seeking the 2006 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
According to the media, he's also the favorite to win the award.
Truex topped a preseason poll in which media members ranked the field of rookie contenders from first to seventh place. A total of 198 votes were cast on www.nascarmedia.com. Drivers received 10 points for first place, nine points for second place, eight points for third place, seven points for fourth place, six points for fifth place, five points for sixth place and four points for seventh place.
Truex tops an impressive field widely considered the best rookie class in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series history. He received 1,179 points, including 71 first-place votes to edge Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Chevrolet) by 118 points. Hamlin, who became the first rookie to win the Budweiser Shootout last Sunday, grabbed 78 first-place votes, the most of any driver, and finished with 1,061 points.
Clint Bowyer (No. 07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet) finished third in the voting with 932 points and 21 first-place votes. Bowyer was locked in a tight battle for the NASCAR Busch Series championship with Truex last season and finished in second place. The two drivers were one-two in the point standings throughout the second half of the season before Truex secured the title at the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Target Dodge) and David Stremme (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge) are fourth and fifth, respectively. The Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates teammates combined for two wins and 17 top-five finishes in the NASCAR Busch Series last season. Sorenson received 892 points and 20 first-place votes; Stremme received 619 and three first-place votes.
Rounding out the list are J.J. Yeley (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet) with 576 points and three first-place votes and Brent Sherman (No. 49 Serta Dodge) with 257 points and one first-place vote.