NASCAR ROTY RANKINGS 1983: Ranking the Rookie of the Year Classes Through the Years

Join me as we take a look at every NASCAR Cup Rookie of the Year class from 1972 (the start of the modern era) through 2021, going from the worst to the first in terms of overall careers of each year’s rookie class.


Sterling Marlin's rookie car

Winner: Sterling Marlin (Hamby).  Runners Up: Trevor Boys (Hylton), Ronnie Hopkins (Henderson), Bobby Hillin Jr. (Hillin).  Aborted Attempt: Ken Ragan

How their careers turned out: It definitely took awhile, but Sterling Marlin wound up having a great career, punctuated by a pair of Daytona 500 wins and a 2002 season where he could’ve won the Cup championship if not for an injury.  Its a big drop-off from Sterling, however, to a guy famous for being Canadian (Boys), a guy famous for absolutely nothing (Hopkins), and a guy famous for winning one race and absolutely nothing else (Hillin).

“Fun” “Fact” about the winner: The long wait for his first Cup win makes Sterling Marlin a lot like Michael Waltrip, only much much MUCH less insufferable.

Ranking: #24 out of 50 updated four times weekly

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