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Ryan Truex, who won't race at Homestead, leads Nationwide rookie battle

Ryan Truex
Ryan Truex

NNSracing.com

Ryan Truex leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, but he won't be able to defend his lead in the final race of the season, the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Truex took the lead after finishing eighth at Phoenix last weekend and carries a three-point edge over Timmy Hill and Blake Koch into this weekend's race.

But Truex isn't on the Homestead entry list and has to hope the complicated formula for determining the series' top rookie will tilt in his favor after Homestead.

The best 16 finishes counting toward the season title. It starts with points being awarded to each rookie relative to the others, but it also includes bonus points for a top-10 finish and for where a rookie finishes in the final season standings.

Plus, a panel judges each rookie based on conduct on and off the track.

Truex has raced in only 17 of the 33 Nationwide races to date, compared with 32 for Hill and 31 for Koch. But Truex has one top-five and five top-10 finishes in his limited action, while neither Hill nor Koch have a top-10 between them.

"I don't know if this is enough to take the lead or win it or what," Truex said after the Phoenix race. "I gave it my best and we'll see what happens. ...

"I had fun and hopefully we can get Rookie of the Year."