2020 NASCAR Cup Series rookie class

Photo By: SaJorden Miller / Kickin' the Tires

By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer

With the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season on the horizon, six different drivers will be eligible for Rookie of the Year Honors.

Eligible drivers this season include; Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer, Brennan Poole, John-Hunter Nemechek and Quin Houff.

Kickin’ the Tires breaks down the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series rookie class, their 2019 statistics and more.

(Photo By: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP)

Christopher Bell: Bell spent his 2019 season piloting the No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In that time, he amassed a career-high eight wins, six pole awards, 20 top-five, and 21 top-10 finishes.

Bell makes the much-anticipated move to the NASCAR Cup Series where he will drive for Bob Leavine’s Leavine Family Racing in the No. 95 Toyota.

In addition to this time spent in the NXS, Bell won the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship and tallied up seven wins, 26 top-five and 41 top-10 finishes in 54 career series starts. The Daytona 500 will mark not only Bell’s first 500 start but his Cup debut as well.

(Photo By: SaJorden Miller / Kickin’ the Tires)

Tyler Reddick: Reddick makes the full-time move to the Cup Series for Richard Childress Racing behind the wheel of the No. 8 Chevrolet. Last season, he piloted the No. 2 for RCR in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Reddick is coming off a phenomenal season where he not only won the 2019 NXS Championship (his second), but amassed five poles, six wins, 24 top-five, and 27 top-10 finishes.

In addition, Reddick has made 63 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series starts from 2013 through 2016. In that time he had three poles, three wins, 25 top-five and 40 top-10 finishes.

(Photo By: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Cole Custer: Custer makes the move from the NASCAR Xfinity Series to the Cup level in 2020 after a very impressive 2019 campaign behind the wheel of the No. 00 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing. Custer tallied up six poles, seven wins, 17 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes.

Custer also saw success in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series over a three-year span from 2014 through 2016. In that time, he earned two wins, and tallied up five poles, nine top-five and 24 to-10 finishes.

The Daytona 500 will be Custer’s first but overall it marks the drivers fourth Cup start after making three starts in the No. 51 for Rick Ware Racing during the 2018 season. To date Custer’s best Cup finish is 25th in his debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The California native will take over the No. 41 Ford Mustang vacated by Daniel Suarez.

(Photo By: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP)

Brennan Poole: Poole will make not only his Daytona 500 debut next month but his NASCAR Cup Series debut as well. The Texas native will pilot the No. 15 Chevrolet for Jay Robinson’s Premium Motorsports.

Poole’s 2019 racing ventures consisted of 13 events in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series for OnPoint Motorsports. Over those 13 starts, he earned one top-five and four top-10 finishes.

Poole has previously spent time racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, having made 83 starts over a three-year span from 2015 through 2017. In his NXS career Poole has tallied one pole, eight top-five and 36 top-10 finishes.

(Photo By: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP)

John-Hunter Nemechek: Nemechek will pilot the No. 38 Ford for Front Row Motorsports for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. This won’t mark the first-time that Nemechek is behind the wheel of a Front Row Motorsports entry.

In 2019, he made his NCS debut at Texas Motor Speedway in the No. 36 Ford filling in for Matt Tifft. He finished 21st in his debut and went on to make starts at both Phoenix Raceway and the season-finale at Homestead Miami Speedway, finishing 27th and 23rd, respectively.

Previously, the 22-year old has spent time in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series.

In NXS competition he has one pole, one win, 12 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes over a two-year span from 2018 through 2019.

In addition, he’s made 99 starts in the Truck Series from 2013 through 2019 tallying up two poles, six wins, 28 top-five and 49 top-10 finishes.

Nemechek joins Michael McDowell as Front Row Motorsports two drivers for 2020 as the team scales back to two full-time entries instead of the three it ran last season.

(Photo By: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP)

Quin Houff: Houff joins StarCom Racing for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons where he will pilot the No. 00 Chevrolet.

The Daytona 500 will be Houff’s first but not his NCS debut. He made his series debut at Phoenix Raceway last Spring in the No. 77 for Spire Motorsports, finishing 30th.

He went on to make 16 more NCS starts last season for both Spire Motorsports and Premium Motorsports.

Overall, Houff’s best finish of 2019 was a 28th in the Coca-Cola 600 last May.

In addition, the 22-year old made 10 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series between 2017 and 2018. He went on to earn a career best finish at Iowa Speedway in 2017 when he finished 12th.

Houff replaces Landon Cassill in the 00 who had spent the last two years piloting that car for SCR.

The NASCAR Cup Series season-opener Dayton 500 will take place on Sunday February 16 at 2:30 p.m. live on Fox.

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