NASCAR has selected the next class of drivers who have the potential to reach great heights in the sport on Tuesday afternoon with the announcement of the 2016-17 NASCAR Next class.
This 11-driver group was chosen through an evaluation process that featured the opinions of NASCAR executives, the Drivers Council, and media members. To fit the criteria, the drivers must be between 15 and 25 years of age and have the ability and potential to accomplish their goal of competing at NASCAR’s premiere level.
-The class includes 15-year-old Harrison Burton who is the son of former Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton. He currently competes in the K&N Pro Series East.
-Ashdod, Israel native Alon Day is the first driver from the NASCAR Wheelen Euro Series to be among the NASCAR Next Class and began racing in the series last year, finishing second in the standings.
-Dirt racer Tyler Dippel made the switch to stock cars this season after competing in the DIRTcar Racing Series and already has one K&N Pro Series East victory under his belt back in March at Mobile.
–Todd Gilliland, son of David Gilliland, won his first four starts in the K&N Pro Series and visited Victory Lane in both the East and West series openers in 2016.
-17-year-old Noah Gragson originates from Las Vegas, Nev. and has followed a similar career path to Las Vegas natives Kurt and Kyle Busch. He collected two K&N Pro Series West victories last season and is searching for more this year.
-Canadian Gray Klutt currently competes in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series and was named the series’ rookie of the year last season.
-24-year-old Julia Landauer has been featured on the TV show ‘Survivor,’ earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Stanford University, and currently competes in the K&N Pro Series West.
–Ty Majeski is a Seymour, Wisconsin native and showcased his skills at New Smyrna Speedway earlier this year by capturing three wins and the 2016 Super Late Model championship during the World Series of Stock Car Racing.
-19-year Matt Tifft has been a familiar face around the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series this season as he has competed for Joe Gibbs Racing, JGL Racing, and Red Horse Racing. He captured his first XFINITY Series pole at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this month.
This initiative has led many of today’s young Sprint Cup Series stars such as Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson to the premiere level and has helped many drivers land rides in the top three series in NASCAR.
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