Originally posted on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 3/7/13

IOWA CITY, IA - JUNE 19: Danica Patrick, driver of the Team Godaddy.com Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda, speaks to the media during a press conference before the IRL Indycar Series Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 19, 2009 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
This NASCAR Sprint Cup season features two top rookie of the year candidates, Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. I think being a rookie today in NASCAR is probably a little different than what we're really accustomed to seeing because most of our competitors have a pretty good background in racing in other series, whether it's been in the Nationwide Series or other forms of racing like open wheel or dirt cars. I think the intimidation factor is not quite as great. I think also it has a lot to do with how good your equipment is. Patrick has joined the established and championship-winning Stewart-Haas Racing organization with crew chief Tony Gibson. Stenhouse, a two-time Nationwide champion, takes over the championship-winning No. 17 of Matt Kenseth. I do remember back in the early years, watching rookie racers get in and try to race. A lot of times they found themselves with underfunded teams and it made it very hard for them to learn. I think in today's environment, it's a...
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