So here we are folks halfway through the 2012 NASCAR Season.
The Sprint Cup Chase field is starting to take form, but to make things a little more interesting, I wanted to take not just this years Sprint Cup Series drivers, but other drivers as well including the Nationwide and Camping World Truck drivers and have come up with a list of the top 20 future drivers in the world.
This list is compromised of drivers from all three major NASCAR series and is not based solely on wins or top 10 finishes, but on pure talent and future possibilities.
In short,I thought to myself if I was starting a NASCAR team, who would I want to build a team around.
Some people might agree with me, but I’m betting most people won’t, don’t be afraid to let me know what you think on Twitter or Facebook.
1. Kyle Busch, (age 27) At such a young age Kyle Busch has already accomplished so much, he is the all-time leader in Nationwide wins with 49, after last year passing Mark Martin’s previous total of 49. He is yet to win a Championship but at such a young age and such a wheel-man of the sport, it seems like only a matter of time before Busch begins to dominate the top level.
2. Brad Keselowski, (age 28) After winning a Nationwide Championship in 2010 Keselowski has quickly became one of the most exciting drivers at the Sprint Cup level, he is only driver with three wins this season and is a close second when it come’s to popularity based on his Twitter account where he has an astounding 275,000 followers, you can follow him @keselowski.
3. Denny Hamlin, (age 31) Another driver who maybe on the cusp of greatness Hamlin has accumulated 19 wins thus far in his Sprint Cup career, he recently inked a new deal with Joe Gibbs Racing. In 2006 Hamlin became the first ever Rookie to qualify for the Chase, where he finished third.
4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (age 24) After the recent departure of Matt Kenseth from Roush Fenway Racing, Stenhouse will step in 2013 to begin his full-time journey at NASCAR’s highest level. He was the 2011 Nationwide Champion and has finished in the top-10 46-times in 88-races for an over 50% ratio, easy to see why Roush Fenway Racing is ready to get things going.
5. James Buescher (age 22) Another young face in the Camping World Truck Series and part-time Nationwide Series, Buescher made it known that he was a force to be reckoned with by winning the Nationwide season opening Daytona race. He has also picked up two wins this season in the Truck Series, winning at Kansas and Kentucky. Right now Buescher is one of the hottest drivers on the market.
6. Austin Dillon (age 22) After winning the 2011 Camping World Truck Series Championship, Richard Childress Racing wasted no time bringing Dillon to the Nationwide level, where he is wasting no time getting acclimated, just last week he picked up his first win in the Nationwide Series at Kentucky. He has also posted 15 top-10’s in 26 total races.
7. Joey Logano (age 22) Another one of the young guns on the Sprint Cup level, Logano has recently been on the hot seat at Joe Gibbs Racing, but a win at Pocono could have changed that. Logano was thought to be the next can’t miss driver/ He became the youngest driver to ever win a Nationwide race (18 yrs 21 days) and the youngest driver to win a Sprint Cup race (19 years, 4 days). It’s easy to see why so many people want a piece of “Sliced Bread.”
8. Landon Cassill (age 22) One of the younger drivers in Sprint Cup, Cassill gets a little pity based on the fact that he drives for an under funded organization (BK Racing). Still, every single week Cassill is in the thick of things, before the start of the season he got his first full-time ride with BK Racing, formerly known as Redbull Racing. It’s only a matter of time before one of the big boys swoops in and signs Cassill to a new deal.
9. Cole Whitt (age 21) The sole fact the Dale Earnhardt Jr. is his boss is good enough to solidify Whitt’s spot on this list. Whitt is another younger driver in the Nationwide Series, who is running his first full-time season for JR Motorsports. With Dale Jr. steering the ship for this young gun, it should only be a matter of time before we see a lot of him in victory lane.
10. Danica Patrick (age 30) It would be easy to dismiss Patrick’s name on this list, but it seems no matter how hard the skeptics try to prove she does not belong in Racing’s highest series, she has made it clear that she does not plan on going anywhere anytime soon. Patrick is currently ninth in points in the Nationwide Series and could be on the cusp of greatness. With Tony Stewart as her boss, it would be hard to bet against her.
11. Aric Almirola (age 28)
12. Nelson Piquet Jr. (age 26)
13. Justin Allgaier (age 26)
14. Trevor Bayne (age 21)
15. Martin Truex Jr. (age 32)
16. David Ragan (age 26)
17. Sam Hornish Jr. (age 33)
18. Regan Smith (age 28)
19. Paul Menard (age 31)
20. Michael McDowell (age 27)
There it is folks, remember don’t get to crazy because Dale Jr., Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Jimmy Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and the other 15 or so superstars from the NASCAR of today, this is the top 20 drivers going forward for the next 20 years and who you would build a team around.
Tags: Brad Keselowski Carl Edwards Chase Cole Whitt Dale Earnhardt Jr Danica Patrick Denny Hamlin Draft Fantasy Greg Biffle James Buescher Jimmie Johnson Joey Logano Justin Allgaier Kyle Busch Landon Cassill Matt Kenseth Mike Dezotell NASCAR NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Nationwide Series Nelson Piquet Jr Paul Menard Regan Smith Ricky Stenhouse Jr Sam Hornish Jr. Trevor Bayne