NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of Year: One Driver Pulling Away

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 09: Chase Briscoe, driver of the #14 Throwback Ford, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway on May 09, 2021 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

After this weekend’s Drydene 400 at Dover, we’ll be halfway through the regular season of the NASCAR Cup Series competition, and Chase Briscoe has extended his lead over fellow Rookie of the Year contender Anthony Alfredo. The NASCAR odds reflect (see chart below) that Briscoe is more of a threat.

Briscoe now has a points lead of 73 for the honor (198-125). While neither driver seems in position to make the postseason in their first full season on the circuit (unless, of course, one of them wins a race), there’s no question who has been most dominant. For those who bet online, Briscoe’s been an intriguing candidate at certain tracks.

Briscoe nearly cracked the top 10 twice in the last three races (11th-place finishes at Talladega and Darlington), and he’s been in the top 20 six times this year. He drives for Tony Stewart in the Stewart-Haas No. 14 Ford, the same number Stewart once drove, and is 26 years old.

Alfredo, on the other hand, has only cracked the top 20 once this year — at Talladega (12th-place finish). While Briscoe has finished every race, Alfredo has three DNFs (did not finish). He’s driving for owner Bob Jenkins and the Front Row Motorsports team. He turned 22 in late March.

Here’s a look at the odds for this weekend:

To win at Dover:

Briscoe (+15000)

Alfredo (+75000)

To finish in the top three for the season championship:

Briscoe (+2500)

Alfredo (n/a)

Briscoe should be smiling when he arrives in Dover this week. Last year he won the Dover Xfinity Race on Aug. 23, dominating with a race-best 107 laps led. It was just one of his nine season wins in the series, as Briscoe finished fourth in the Xfinity standings in 2020.

It becomes more apparent week after week that Briscoe should nab the prestigious Cup Series Rookie of the Year honors. If he does, he’ll join past winners like Jeff Gordon (1993), Rusty Wallace (1984), Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (1979), David Pearson (1960), and Richard Petty (1959) — all of whom went on to have NASCAR Hall of Fame careers. 

Past Winners

The NASCAR Rookie of the Year Award was first awarded in 1954. Blackie Pitt won the first version of the award.

Past 10 Rookie of the Year winners (Total ROY candidates each year in parenthesis)

2020 – Cole Custer (5)

2019 – Daniel Hemric (10)

2018 – William Byron (2)

2017 – Erik Jones (4)

2016 – Chase Elliott (5)

2015 – Brett Moffitt (6)

2014 – Kyle Larson (8)

2013 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (4)

2012 – Stephen Leicht (4)

2011 – Andy Lally (3)

Place NASCAR Bets at BetMGM

Don’t miss an opportunity to bet on NASCAR betting odds, futures, and more at BetMGM. We have up-to-the-minute NASCAR betting tips to ensure the best racing betting experience. Check out all of your options with us.

Brian McLaughlin is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of BMac and Herd’s FCS Podcast. He has written for The Sporting News, headed up the PARADE Magazine High School All America teams, covered FCS college football for HERO Sports … and is a veteran reporter of five spring Daytona Speedweeks (1997, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009). Follow BMac on Twitter @BrianMacWriter.