Kevin Harvick named Rookie of the Year

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. -- Throughout the 2001 NASCAR season, if he was told a task might be impossible, Kevin Harvick took delight in proving the doubters wrong. In the process, he took home the hardware to prove his accomplishments. Harvick, driver ...

Kevin Harvick named Rookie of the Year

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. -- Throughout the 2001 NASCAR season, if he was told a task might be impossible, Kevin Harvick took delight in proving the doubters wrong. In the process, he took home the hardware to prove his accomplishments.

Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, claimed the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award. He finished the season with a total of 331 points, 66 points ahead of second-place Kurt Busch.

A native of Bakersfield, Calif., Harvick took over the Richard Childress-owned ride after the death of seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion, Dale Earnhardt.

During the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, Harvick visited the winner's circle twice (Atlanta - 3/11 and Chicago - 7/15) and collected six top-five finishes and 16 top 10s.

He also topped the season off with a ninth-place finish in the final point standings (Harvick is the only driver to finish in the top-10 in points that only competed in 35 events, rather than 36). His NASCAR Winston Cup career earnings were in excess of more than $3 million.

Harvick found himself pulling double-duty in 2001, competing in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, and the NASCAR Busch Series. Often times, Harvick was racking up time on runways to get to and from events that were not held in conjunction with each other.

It was his sheer determination, along with an abundance of talent that led him to win the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Championship.

The final 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings are:

1. Kevin Harvick (331 rookie points)
2. Kurt Busch (265)
3. Casey Atwood (254)
4. Jason Leffler (224) 25. Ron Hornaday Jr. (215)

The remaining four drivers in the 2001 rookie class each posted at least one top-10 finish - Kurt Busch (best finish - third, 1st Talladega), Casey Atwood (best finish - third, Homestead-Miami), Jason Leffler (best finish - 10th, Homestead-Miami) and Ron Hornaday, Jr. (best finish - ninth, Las Vegas).

Former winners of this award include seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion, Dale Earnhardt (1979), Rusty Wallace (1984) and Jeff Gordon (1993).

The NASCAR Winston Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year winner is determined by the sum of entry points, competition points, top-10 points, segment bonus points, Rookie of the Year panel points and final driver championship standing bonus points.

Raybestos Brakes, the Official Brake of NASCAR, based in McHenry, Ill., has been sponsor of the Rookie of the Year programs in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series since 1996.

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