PHOENIX – Chase Briscoe is the second-straight Stewart-Haas Racing driver to win Rookie of the Year honors, following up on Cole Custer winning the award in 2020.
When the checkered flag fell at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, among the drivers to put a bow on a successful 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season was Chase Brisoe. Despite crashing out due to a left rear tire failure and finishing 35th, the Mitchell, Indiana driver will now forever be remembered as the top first-year driver in his class.
Chase Briscoe was officially named the Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Cup Series for 2021 at the conclusion of Sunday’s season finale at Phoenix, allowing him to put two hands on an award he already effectively had wrapped up. Briscoe’s Rookie of the Year title was secured by virtue of his performance throughout the season, which saw him be the top-finishing rookie over ROTY rival Anthony Alfredo 29 times compared to Alfredo’s seven.
Briscoe also earned 655 points en route to a 23rd place finish in the final standings, nearly double the total Alfredo earned.
The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season was indeed one of the most remarkable in recent memory, as Kyle Larson’s dominant season en route to the Championship was complemented by a high amount of parity and competition throughout the field. While Larson led all drivers with 10 wins, a total of 16 different drivers and eight different race teams visited Victory Lane.
Of the 32 drivers that ran the entire season, 31 — including the entire Top 30 in the final points standings — earned at least one Top 10 finish. All drivers in the Top 30 led at least four laps during the year, and all drivers in the Top 12 led at least 100.
Larson’s 10 wins were more than double the total won by the next-winningest drivers, as Martin Truex Jr. and Alex Bowman tied for the best of the rest with four wins. There were three first-time winners during the season, with Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell scoring their maiden wins at Daytona and Bubba Wallace scoring his first win at Talladega.
2021 NASCAR Cup Series standings
- 1. #5 – Kyle Larson – 10 wins, 20 Top 5s, 26 Top 10s
- 2. #19 – Martin Truex Jr. – 4 wins, 13 Top 5s, 20 Top 10s
- 3. #11 – Denny Hamlin – 2 wins, 19 Top 5s, 25 Top 10s
- 4. #9 – Chase Elliott – 2 wins, 15 Top 5s, 21 Top 10s
- 5. #4 – Kevin Harvick – 10 Top 5s, 24 Top 10s
- 6. #2 – Brad Keselowski – 1 win, 10 Top 5s, 17 Top 10s
- 7. #12 – Ryan Blaney – 3 wins, 11 Top 5s, 20 Top 10s
- 8. #22 – Joey Logano – 1 win, 10 Top 5s, 19 Top 10s
- 9. #18 – Kyle Busch – 2 wins, 14 Top 5s, 22 Top 10s
- 10. #24 – William Byron – 1 win, 12 Top 5s, 20 Top 10s
The 2022 season begins with a non-points exhibition race Feb. 6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before kicking off its 36-race slate of points-paying events with the 64th Daytona 500 on Feb. 20 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. FS1 will broadcast the Busch Clash at the Coliseum, and FOX will broadcast the Daytona 500. Each event will be live and can also be heard on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.