The 2023 NASCAR season is upon us, and when the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Craftsman Truck Series unload at Daytona International Speedway, we know which drivers will carry the yellow taped bumpers signifying their place inside the Sunoco Rookie of the Year battle.
In the NASCAR Cup Series, Noah Gragson and Ty Gibbs, who have battled it out in the NASCAR Xfinity Series over the last several seasons, will battle it out for Rookie of the Year honors.
Gibbs won the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship in a great battle over Gragson in the season finale at Phoenix Raceway in November.
Gragson will be piloting the No. 42 entry for the newly rebranded LEGACY Motor Club, while Gibbs will be driving the No. 54 entry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Sammy Smith will duke it out against Parker Retzlaff for Rookie of the Year.
Smith, an Iowa native who has won the last two ARCA Menards Series East championships, and who competed in nine NASCAR Xfinity Series races in 2022, will drive the No. 18 entry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Retzlaff, who hails from Wisconsin, will pilot the No. 31 entry for Jordan Anderson Racing which expands to two cars for the 2023 season.
Meanwhile, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will feature more rookies in the 2023 season than the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series combined. In all, there will be five drivers battling for the Rookie of the Year crown in the truck series.
Nick Sanchez, who scored the 2022 ARCA Menards Series championship, will battle for the honor in the No. 2 entry with Rev Racing, which moves to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in a partnership with Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Rajah Caruth, Sanchez’s teammate from the ARCA Menards Series who finished third in the championship standings in 2022, will also compete for the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year Award.
Caruth will drive the No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado for the full schedule in 2023.
Daniel Dye, who finished runner up in the 2022 ARCA Menards Series point standings, will also run for the award in 2023.
Dye will serve as a teammate to Caruth at GMS Racing. Dye will pilot the No. 43 truck.
Jake Garcia, who will go full-time racing for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing in the No. 35 entry, and Bret Holmes who returns in his own No. 32 entry this season, will also both run for the Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2023.