NASCAR Media Week: Dillon, Larson lead talented rookie class

Published On: Jan 28 2014 12:11:02 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 28 2014 08:40:00 PM CST

Call it a youth movement.

Not since 2008 has the NASCAR Sprint Cup series seen so many rookies.

Austin Dillon, Michael Annett, Alex Bowman, Cole Witt, Parker Klingerman, Kyle Larson, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Truex will all run for NASCAR rookie of the year this season.

Dillon and Larson are probably the most high profile of the group.

Dillon will drive the legendary number 3 car for his grandfather Richard Childress.  The team, that has carried the number 29 for the past 13 seasons, obviously has all the pieces to compete for wins and championships, the rest will be up to Dillon.

“I’m really excited about how fast our cars have been,” said Dillon. “We’re all open about what we are going to be going against this season and I think that’s what is going to take to go out there an compete and win races.”

Larson talks over the wheel of the number 42 Chip Ganassi racing Chevy, which hasn’t won a race on an oval track since 1998 and has just four total wins since the 21-year-old Larson was born.

“I’m really excited to get this whole season going,” said Larson. “I’m hoping for really good things this season maybe get a win or just be really consistent this year.”

New beginning for Newman

At this time last season, Ryan Newman had no idea what he would be doing in 2014. He knew he had just on season left on his contract with Stewart-Haas racing. He also knew that would probably be it for his time there.

Despite all that noise and distraction off the track, Newman still managed to win a race and make the 2013 Chase for the Championship field.

This season Newman moves over the Richard Childress Racing, where he will drive the number 31 Chevy. And although he says nothing has changed for him as far as on the track goes, he is in a much better place off the track.

“It’s the first time in my career that I’ve been with a team that’s already established,” said Newman.  “From a racing stand point I could sit in that racecar and not even think about where my name is written on a piece of paper.  It’s really about just going out there and driving the racecar. It’s a little bit of weight off my shoulder, more so when I’m out of the racecar.”