DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Filled with prospects coming from Nevada to Georgia, from Canada to Mexico, and a number of hometowns in between, NASCAR unveiled today the 2013 driver roster for the NASCAR Next program at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.
NASCAR Next, an evolution of the Next9 initiative that began in 2011, is an overarching industry initiative to help spotlight NASCAR’s rising stars – and bolster fan recognition around talent that will grow into NASCAR Sprint Cup Series mainstays. In addition to competing on various NASCAR series across the country, drivers in the program will participate in several media and promotional activities throughout the next 12 months.
“This program has made great strides in a short time,” said Jill Gregory, NASCAR vice president, industry services. “The evolution of NASCAR Next builds on that success with the influx of young, talented drivers continuing throughout all of NASCAR’s racing series. This program provides a platform to help foster their growth within our sport, and introduce these young and talented drivers to NASCAR fans who will likely be hearing more about them in years to come.”
This year’s NASCAR Next group ranges from 15 to 24 years of age, represents three countries and 10 U.S. states from Nevada to Connecticut. They have amassed 32 NASCAR touring series wins and one series title. The multicultural group represents a diversity in geography (10 different U.S. states, in addition to Canada and Mexico), with racing backgrounds from asphalt to dirt and open wheel to stock car.
The team was assembled through a thorough process that included separate nominating and voting panels. Drivers must be between the ages of 15-25, have tangible and expressed goals in eventual competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and possess the skill set to realize that goal.