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Nationwide Series Primed to Produce Sprint Cup Talent After Extended Lean Period

Where is the next big-time Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year? What was very recently a hard-fought award with plenty of competition has died down to a whisper. Drivers like Andy Lally and Kevin Conway, a wily road-course veteran and NASCAR's equivalent of the pay-driver, respectively, have been able to win the award, relatively uncontested, in the past two years. Compare that to the 2007 class, which featured such competitors as Juan Pablo Montoya, Paul Menard, David Ragan and A.J. Allmendinger. 2006 was even more star-heavy, with Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer all coming from that class. Both of those classes also featured a number of drivers who never made big names for themselves but nonetheless land occasional Sprint Cup ri...

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