10 August 2011

Who are the Future Stars of NASCAR?

It is always critical for NASCAR to develop young talent, but possibly not as important as now, where there is a shortage of young talent at the Sprint Cup Series level this year, as this and last year's rookie of the year races have been very shallow. But there does seem to be hope on the horizon as there seem to be some bright talents coming up through the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. Let's take a look at who are some future stars of the sport.

Trevor Bayne
Bayne was labeled one of the top up and comers when he pulled the epic upset and won the Daytona 500 running the famous #21 for the Wood Brothers but he showed a lot of promise when Micheal Waltrip Racing took a chance on him midway through the 2009 Nationwide Series season. He was then lured to Roush Fenway Racing during last year and he's shown the ability to run up front in quality equipment while keeping the car clean and out of trouble. He has also shown immense talent on the plate tracks.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Stenhouse really struggled last season in his first full season in the Nationwide Series last year but after sitting out a few races last year, he really turned it on and had some really good finishes. This year he has been even better as he is leading the Nationwide point standings due to incredible consistency with a series leading 17 top tens, tied for the series lead in top fives and also has a pair of wins. He and Bayne look to be regulars in Cup sooner rather than later.

Justin Allgaier
Allgaier really turned some heads in the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series when he won the final three races to take the series crown and impressing Roger Penske, who gave him a full time ride in Nationwide. Allgaier showed a tremendous amount of racing skill in 2009 and 2010 as he finished in the top six in the series standings both years. Sponsorship struggles forced him out at Penske but he has caught on at Turner Motorsports and currently sits fifth in the point standings this year.

Austin Dillon
Some might have felt that nepotism has gotten Dillon where he is right now. However, it is clear that is has been talent that has gotten Richard Childress' grandson where he is today. In his first full season in the Truck Seres last year, Dillon struggled at first but caught fire midway through the season and stormed all the way to a fifth place finish in the final standings. This year has been even better for Dillon as he sits at the top of the Truck Series standings right now and is one of the clear favorites to take the championship at season's end.

James Buescher
Buescher has bounced around a little bit over the past couple of seasons but his talent has always shone through. Now in a comfortable spot running full-time in the Truck Series and part-time in Nationwide for his father-in-law at Turner Motorsports, he has shown remarkable consistency this season in trucks as he sits third in the points with a series leading 12 top tens.

Other Young Drivers of Note:
Brian Scott
Parker Kligerman
Ricky Carmichael
Ryan Truex
Cole Whitt
Joey Coulter

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