Thursday, November 16, 2006

2006 Nextel Cup Rookie Grades and 2007 First Look

The grades for the 2006 rookie class:

11 Denny Hamlin: A+ = Hamlin's had one of the top rookie seasons ever, up there with the first years of Davey Allison and Tony Stewart.  A rookie championship contender doesn't happen often.

07 Clint Bowyer: B+ = A very solid driver and a solid team that should only get better.

41 Reed Sorenson: B- = Has put up some respectable numbers for the little amount of experience he had in February.

1 Martin Truex Jr.: C = Starting to come around, but honestly I expected more from the two-time Busch Champion and the 1 team.

18 J.J. Yeley: D+ = Yeley is still learning, but he really should learn to finish races and learn to get on pit road correctly.

40 David Stremme: D = To Stremme's credit the 40 is running about where it did last year with Sterling Marlin.

Brent Sherman: Incomplete = HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

2007 First look:

00 David Reutimann: His season will depend on everything around him - could be top 20, could be out of the top 35.

01 Regan Smith: He'll have a great mentorto learn under... but does he have the talent?

6 David Ragan: Huge shoes to fill in the 6 car but if he has his head on straight and is patient he'll be fine.

11 Paul Menard: The early favorite in my book.  He has the experience, team, and equipment to be a solid top 20 team a la the 07 this season.

42 Juan Pablo Montoya: He'll get the most attention next season but I think everyone should guard against expecting too much too soon.  Obviously the talent is there and win wouldn't be out of the question.

84 A.J. Allmendinger: Could have tough first year but he will definitely succeed at this level.  Like Reutimann, it will depend heavily on how good the Camry is.


walnutzmaniac said...

Like you said, Catfish, I don't consider Martin Truex, Jr. a "Rookie" and I too expected a whole lot more out of him in the Nextel Cup Series - - but then again - - - I guess he was driving Michael Waltrip's crap cars - - so what did you expect ???  Yeah right!!! LOL   Been there, done that !!!  Yeah right !!!  LOL

As for 2007 Season Rookies, I'm checking out this kid that Tony Stewart has brought to the surface - - - Josh Wise. He's going to be on Michael Waltrip Racing, Inc.'s team in 2007 Season. He's got a bunch of championships under his belt already. He just won the USAC Championship this year.  It should be fun to watch him and see how he fairs in a TOYOTA in the 2007 Season !!!

thecatfishshow said...

He'll be in the Trucks I believe, too early to tell although he may do rather well.  I think DEI should benefit from the addition of Menard and the 11 team.  I think Paul's got a lot of talent and is the most ready to compete at the Cup level right now.