NASCAR 2023 Rookie of the Year: List of drivers eligible for the award released

NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship
Ty Gibbs embraces the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship trophy in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The 2023 season of the NASCAR Cup Series brings a familiar rivalry to the highest echelon in stock car racing this year. Last season saw spectacular racing in all three national series of the sport. Joey Logano managed to add to his credentials with yet another championship to his name in the Cup Series, whereas controversial protege Ty Gibbs clinched the ultimate prize in the Xfinity Series.

It was an emotional moment when Ty Gibbs was honored as the Xfinity Series champion during the NASCAR awards ceremony.

Going up against four other drivers in the season finale in Phoenix, the most notable rivalry came in the form of Ty Gibbs competing against JR Motorsports' Noah Gragson. Already under pressure due to his less-than-popular way of racing his teammate, Gibbs managed to make the most of the performance he had on championship day and came out on top.

Bringing the swagger to the 2023 Cup Series rookie class like only @NoahGragson can 💪

The NASCAR Cup Series is now all set to witness two vastly different characters in the form of Gragson and Gibbs in the highest echelon of the sport this year. With both rookies making their full-time debuts, NASCAR has also gone ahead and revealed the official candidates for the 2023 Rookie of the Year award. Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing and Legacy Motor Club respectively, Gibbs and Gragson will be worth keeping an eye on in 2023.

Both Noah Gragson and Ty Gibbs have prior NASCAR Cup Series experience

Noah Gragson and Ty Gibbs have significant prior experience in the highest echelon of stock car racing. The two substituted Alex Bowman and Kurt Busch respectively after both drivers were ruled out of shape to drive in the Cup Series,

Gibbs has 15 race starts under his belt with 23XI Racing in 2022, whereas Gragson took part in 18 races with various teams such as Kaulig Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. Neither of the drivers planned to run as many races in the 2022 season in the Cup Series, however, unforeseen circumstances such as injured drivers meant both were regularly taking up substitute driver duties.

With Austin Cindric clinching last year's Rookie of the Year Award after his spectacular victory in the 2022 Daytona 500, it remains to be seen how two young guns from the Xfinity Series will battle it out on track this season. The NASCAR Cup Series calendar kicks off next weekend at the LA Memorial Coliseum, with the exhibition-style Busch Light Clash marking the first race of 2023.

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Edited by Anurag C
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