By Shawn Miller
Drivers will not have to compete in every event for eligibility, which will be based on several factors. A rookie will be categorized as a driver who has never completed a full season with the series and who has not won five or more feature races during his or her career.
At the start of each season, drivers must declare their intent – with a maximum of three attempts – which will be endorsed by a seven-person panel by either the 15th race of the season or April 15.
“We are adapting the selection process, recognizing the challenges participants face on the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series,” World Racing Group CEO Brian Carter said. “While it doesn’t require a full commitment, the driver has to compete in a substantial number of events.”
The Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Presented by ButlerBuilt standings will require participation in at least 50 percent of the races scheduled and will be based on average feature finish.
“I think this will encourage younger drivers to hit the road with the series, which benefits the drivers, teams, series and the fans of the sport,” World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Director Carlton Reimers said.
Former recipients of the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award Presented by ButlerBuilt include: Cody Darrah (2011), Ben Gregg (2010), Brian Ellenberger (2009), Lucas Wolfe (2008), Kerry Madsen (2007), Chad Kemenah (2006), Shane Stewart (2005), Kraig Kinser (2004), Jason Sides (2003), Jeff Shepard (2001), Danny Wood (2000), Tim Shaffer (1999), Dale Blaney (1998), Donny Schatz (1997), Joey Saldana (1996), Randy Hannagan (1995), Sid Blandford (1994), Greg Hodnett (1993), Aaron Berryhill (1992), Jim Carr (1991), Stevie Smith (1990), Joe Gaerte (1989), Andy Hillenburg (1988), Cris Eash (1987), Johnny Herrera (1986), Mark Kinser and Greg Wooley (1984), Brad Doty (1982), Jeff Swindell (1981), Bobby Davis Jr. (1980) and Tim Green (1979).
Here is a point-by-point breakdown of the new rookie program:
- Never have completed a full season
- Have not won more than five World of Outlaws races in their career
- Maximum three declarations of intent
The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Armor All (Official Car Care Products), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), Gravely Tractors (Official Lawn Equipment), University of Northwestern Ohio, VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel), Vicci (Official Apparel); in addition to contingency sponsors, including: Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, JE Pistons, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, KSE Racing Products, MSD Ignitions, Penske Shocks and Superflow Dynos; along with manufacturer sponsors, including: Astro Titanium, ButlerBuilt, Fuel Safe, Intercomp, J&J Auto Racing, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, S&S Volvo and TNT Rescue.