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(Photo: Mike Neff)

NASCAR 101: Meet the Drivers Making Their NASCAR Debuts This Weekend

It doesn’t happen that often, so take note: this weekend, you can see drivers make NASCAR debuts in each of the top three series.

As NASCAR rolls to Kentucky Speedway for a tripleheader weekendwith the Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck series on tap (as long as it stops raining, at least), fans will have the opportunity to see a rare thing in the sport, especially on the Cup level, since it’s not necessarily easy to make it to this level of the sport at all, let alone continue on in a full-time capacity.

By the time this article is up (barring, again, rain or other delays) and given that all three qualify their cars and trucks into the field (and that’s not necessarily a given), one will have already made his first foray into the sport, while one each are prepping for Friday and Saturday.

Just who are these drivers? Where did they come from? If you’re even a casual NASCAR fan, chances are you’ll at least know some of the names.

Trucks: Cody Coughlin

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The Camping World Truck Series is home to many young drivers who are trying to make their mark.

With Thursday’s Camping World Truck Series race from Kentucky a truck short of a full field, that ensured Cody Coughlin’s series debut – and not just that, he also has no starts in syome of the lower NASCAR-sanctioned feeders like the K&N Pro Series. The Delaware, Ohio, native, who turns 20 in December, will be most familiar due to the name; he’s part of the same Coughlin family that’s been synonymous with NHRA for the past while (the sponsor is family company JEGS, in case you wondered). The young driver first surfaced on the national stock car level last year with 11 starts in the ARCA Racing Series, all for Venturini Motorsports, scoring three top 5s and eight top 10s. In 2015, he’s made six additional starts with top 5s, three top 10s and two poles. Surprise, surprise: he drove for Venturini Thursday, piloting the team’s part-time No. 25.

XFINITY: Tyler Young

Not as well-known a last name as the other two, but Tyler Young has been on your radar if you’ve been following the Camping World Truck Series the past three years. Young, who turns 25 next week, has been driving in the series since 2012, starting with a part-time campaign for his family-owned No. 02 that blossomed into a full-schedule effort beginning last year and continuing into 2015. The Midland, Texas, driver is enjoying his best season on the circuit at the moment, scoring his first top 10 at Dover (10th) and with an average finish three spots higher than last year. His jump to XFINITY coincides with performing a doubleheader; after all, he’s got his normal ride to run this week, too. He’s in the No. 90, a car fielded by either Mario Gosselin’s DGM Racing or SS-Greenlight Racing, depending on the week.

Sprint Cup: Will Kimmel

Yep, a Kimmel has returned to NASCAR’s highest series. Will Kimmel, son of Bill Kimmel, Jr. and nephew of ARCA’s arguable greatest-of-all-time in Frank Kimmel, will step up to the big leagues Saturday. Kimmel’s certainly popped up on the NASCAR side the last few years, most recently running five races for Tri-Star Motorsports in the XFINITY Series in 2014. But his bread and butter has been ARCA much as his family name suggests, with no wins over 83 starts but 13 top 5s and 28 top 10s for the family team. His ride for Saturday? The No. 32 for Go FAS Racing.

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About Kevin Rutherford

Kevin Rutherford
Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

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