On Tuesday, NASCAR officially announced the 2024 Rookie of The Year (ROTY) classes for the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
In the NASCAR Cup Series, Josh Berry, Kaz Grala, Zane Smith, and Carson Hocevar will all compete for the prestigious honors this season.
Berry, a native of Hendersonville, Tennesee, enters his first full-time campaign in the NASCAR Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing, replacing future NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Ford Mustang.
The former champion of the CARS Late Model Tour will be competing against Spire Motorsports teammates Zane Smith and Carson Hocevar for the coveted title this season. Smith, the 2022 NASCAR Truck Series champion, will pilot a Trackhouse-aligned No. 71 Chevrolet, while Hocevar will drive the team’s No. 77 entry.
Berry, Smith, and Hocevar will also be the primary competitors for the award this season, barring a major setback. However, Kaz Gala is also in the running for the award, despite the fact he isn’t scheduled to compete full-time.
Grala, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, is scheduled to compete in 25 NASCAR Cup Series events for Rick Ware Racing this season, driving the No. 15 Ford Mustang. However, the former Daytona winner will also run the season-opening Daytona 500 in a third entry for Front Row Motorsports.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series has the largest Rookie of The Year (ROTY) class of NASCAR’s National Series, as well as what will likely turn out to be the most competitive with drivers Jesse Love, Dawson Cram, Shane van Gisbergen, Hailie Deegan, and Leland Honeyman.
Love, the defending ARCA Menards Series champion, appears to be the favorite for the award, alongside three-time Australian Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen, both of whom will be driving entries within the RCR-Kaulig alliance.
Deegan, who joins AM Racing after a three-year stint in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, may be an underdog when it comes to the Rookie of The Year (ROTY) title in 2024, piloting the No. 15 Ford Mustang for a team that just missed out on the Xfinity Series post-season last year.
Honeyman is the founding driver of the Xfinity Series program for Young’s Motorsports, while Cram is getting his first opportunity to run full-time in NASCAR’s National Series in 2024. While both drivers may not contend for a post-season spot, they’ll be there to capitalize should any of the main contenders falter
In the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, the battle for Rookie of The Year (ROTY) is currently only between three different drivers — Layne Riggs, Thad Moffitt, and Conner Jones.
Riggs will be piloting the No. 38 Ford F-150 for championship-winning team Front Row Motorsports in 2024 and appears to be the clear favorite for the award. Moffitt, the grandson of Richard Petty, is debuting Faction46, a brand-new team owned by Lane Moore.
Finally, Conner Jones is listed as a contender for Rookie of The Year, but won’t compete full-time in the NASCAR Truck Series in 2024. Per his website, Jones will run a 13-race schedule in the No. 66 Ford F-150, beginning with the second race of the year at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Regardless of the current outlook, the season must first be run, in order to determine who takes home Rookie of The Year. The 2024 NASCAR season begins this week at Daytona International Speedway, with the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and NASCAR Truck Series taking on Speedweeks.