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The Best Performing Rookies of 2024 (So Far)

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What’s Happening?

One of the most fun storylines to watch throughout any NASCAR season is the Rookie of the Year battle across all three series. It’s an opportunity to watch the early stages of what could be a stellar career. There are a few rookies who have been particularly impressive early in the 2024 season, and these are the best performers.

  • There are 11 rookies across all three NASCAR National Touring Series. Rookies tend to struggle a lot in their first season at any level, but, flashes of brilliance often foreshadow an illustrious career.
  • Today, we look at three rookies that have been especially impressive this season. Can they parlay that into a long NASCAR career?
  • Fans love to talk about how rookies do. Fans love to debate which rookies will continue to succeed and which ones will flame out.

Jesse Love

Jesse Love, the Daily Downforce’s #4 Prospect, has been nothing short of spectacular in his first four Xfinity Series races with Richard Childress Racing. He’s won 2 poles, won 3 stages, and led more laps (193) than anyone in the series. The one issue he had early was putting it all together at the end of a race, which he did at Phoenix, coming home in 2nd.

Many were skeptical of how Love would react to the step-up in competition from ARCA to Xfinity in 2024, but, Love has impressed so far. While teammate Austin Hill has two wins so far, Love was in contention in both of those races. It feels like only a matter of time before Love puts it all together and takes home his first Xfinity Series checkered flag.

Given his age (19 years old), Love may not be rushed to the Cup Series in 2025, but, he is a future Cup Series driver. Could he slot into either Austin Dillon’s or Kyle Busch’s seat at RCR in the near future?

Shane Van Gisbergen

SVG’s transition from Australian Supercars to NASCAR has been very smooth to this point. He has 2 top-10s and a top-5 in his first four Xfinity Series starts, all of which are on tracks he has never seen before. His only lackluster finish, 37th at Las Vegas, was due to an engine failure.

Many expected SVG to struggle on ovals early in the 2024 season, but, he has taken to them very quickly. He’s already a threat on road courses, and he has a road course coming up this weekend at COTA. For SVG, making the Playoffs is an easily attainable goal.

Trackhouse is not going to rush SVG to the Cup Series full-time, but, if he keeps performing like this, then why keep him down? He’s already won a Cup Series race, and if he succeeds on ovals in Xfinity, there is nothing else for him to prove. The question is, what spot opens up at Trackhouse for SVG?

Carson Hocevar

Carson Hocevar currently leads the NASCAR Cup Series rookie standings. After getting caught up in an accident in the season opener at Daytona, he rattled off two top-15s in 3 races and three consecutive top-20s. He continues to consistently get the same results he was attaining in Cup Series fill-in duty in 2023.

Hocevar was seen as a raw, but talented prospect coming into the season. Many felt that he could and would be good, but, it may take some time to get there. He also had a reputation for being overly aggressive at times.

Hocevar has been fast, but he has also raced clean. He is getting better in the areas he needs to get better in, and as he and Spire continue to improve, the sky is the limit.

These rookies are the ones to watch the rest of the season. Could they find victory lane before the season is over?

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Joshua Lipowski

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