By HEATHER WILLIAMS
7:05 PM CST, February 12, 2011
So on a beautiful sunny February day in western Kansas, I did what any good NASCAR fan would. I spent the entire day parked in front of the tv watching Daytona practice, the ARCA race and finally the Bud Shootout. The shortest off season in sports seems like it lasts an eternity for us fans. But as I watched, something kept bothering me and I need to get it off my chest. Let's talk rookie of the year.
First of all a qualifier, I met Kevin Conway last year. He's a nice kid who really just wants to go racing, and who knows, maybe if he was in good equipment he might be a good driver. But is this really happening? Is he really in the Bud shootout while former series winners and/or chasers like Brian Vickers and Martin Truex Junior watch? Seriously NASCAR? You are trotting out Kevin Conway as a standard of excellence in the sport? He won a rookie of the year race of one. He finished 35th in the points and has one top 20 finish.
Meanwhile, they have taken a rule, meant at least from the fans prospective to promote development and series identity on the Nationwide series, a twisted it to a mockery of the Rookie of the year race. Trevor Bayne is going to for a Nationwide championship, but he is also going to run 17 Cup races. But the new rules make him ineligible for rookie of the year.
Come on NASCAR, a little common sense here. Bayne is a future star in this sport. His name fits along former rookies of the year Kasey Kahne, Dale Junior and Denny Hamlin. It just makes no sense that Conway gets to have all the perks of being rookie of the year, just because he ran an entire season in 30th place, but Bayne (and for that matter Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards in the past) don't because of some crazy rule.
NASCAR loves to change rules. This is one they might want to take under consideration 2012. I mean what is the point of rookie of the year? It's time to take a good hard look.
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