The NASCAR Nationwide Series season isn’t far away. Testing begins in mid-late January which should set up all of the great possibilities which can happen for the 2013 season.
A new champion will be crowned. A new rookie of the year will be awarded with honors not even mentioned in the past. There will even be new drivers in new places come 2013.
After ending the 2012 season with a close championship battle, the Nationwide Series should have even a stronger battle in 2013 with several former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers running a full schedule in the second tier series.
Rumors are circling the sport about three young drivers which could end up having championship runs within the near future.
Parker Kligerman, who was originally a Penske Racing development driver, will likely be leaving the Camping World Truck Series for the Nationwide Series in the 2013 season. Kligerman raced with Red Horse Racing for the second half of the season in 2012 and made a championship run until a crash at Phoenix ended his hopes at a championship. According to Godfather Motorsports, Kligerman will be joining Kyle Busch Motorsports on a full-time basis in 2013. The opportunity is probably Kligerman’s best, but if it doesn’t work out, it can destroy his confidence which did happen when he drove for Brad Keselowski Racing.
Then there is Brian Scott. Scott had all of the potential in the world a few years ago. But, once he moved to the Nationwide Series, his career seemed to back track. After blowing his opportunity with Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 11 car for the past two years, Scott will not be returning to the team in 2013 as he was replaced by veteran, Elliott Sadler. The Boise, Idaho native will likely be replacing Sadler at Richard Childress Racing in the No. 2 Chevrolet which Sadler drove for two years as well which will create a swap of the two drivers one could say.
Ward Burton’s son, Jeb Burton, was spectacular in the five races he competed in for Hillman Racing in the Camping World Truck Series this season. Burton’s performances early on in the season have landed him a job with Turner Motorsports, the team that just won the championship with James Buescher.
Turner Motorsports has announced the signing of Halifax, Virginia native Jeb Burton. Burton has signed a two-year contract with Turner Motorsports to run a full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule and a limited NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule in 2013 and 2014, announced on the Turner Motorsports website.
The announcements should be exciting for these young drivers as well as race fans. The young talent is coming together for the sport as the drivers which deserve full-time rides are finally getting them.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.