10 Possible “Matt Harvey”-Type NASCAR Drivers
Can Someone Dominate NASCAR in the Future Like Matt Harvey Dominates Baseball?
The future is coming and coming fast. Not just figuratively, but literally.
Probably more than ever, sports throughout the country are seeing the next generation of stars coming up through the ranks at paces faster than imaginable. Look at Matt Harvey. He was in the minor leagues for just two seasons. Although he wasn't stellar, he ended up getting the call to the big leagues and has since dominated the MLB. His story is well known throughout sports fans across the country.
Harvey has it all. He has the work ethic, will to win, strength, agility, aggressiveness, heart, courage, looks, etc. What else can this guy have? Oh, and he's basically going to be the face of New York and all of baseball if he keeps up the pace.
Well, how does Matt Harvey relate to NASCAR? Considering his fastball could probably pass a race car on the turns at a short track, he seems to have a rather good arm. In NASCAR, the older generation is starting to slow down. Now, it's time for the next generation to step up to the plate.
With the way NASCAR has developed, talent has become secondary to financial needs. It costs millions of dollars a year just to sponsor a car in the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and evidently, the Sprint Cup Series. There's plenty of talent coming up throughout the rankings. It's just a matter of giving them the equipment and funding to enable them to make it within the sport.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.
10. Ryan Truex
Ryan Truex is on the verge of getting to victory lane. He's been sidelined with a neck injury this year and hasn't been able to race since Daytona where he landed a job with Turner-Scott Motorsports. Then, right before his injury, Phoenix Racing announced that Truex would race at his home track, Dover, in the Sprint Cup Series. He's all but healed now and signed a development deal with Richard Petty Motorsports. He should replace Michael Annett next year in the Nationwide Series and could run a part-time Sprint Cup Series car for the team next year. He'll be making his Sprint Cup Series debut at Bristol in August for Phoenix Racing, which should be quite interesting to see. Truex has driven for Michael Waltrip Racing, RAB Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Hillman Racing. The guy won back-to-back K&N Pro Series East championships with MWR in 2009 and 2010, he'll be at the top soon enough.
9. Justin Allgaier
The former Penske Racing development driver is probably one of the most consistent racers anyone will see. He has a great sponsor that supports him in Brandt with Turner-Scott Motorsports not willing to give him up. Justin Allgaier flat out loves the team and they love him. Rumors say he'll be driving the No. 51 car in the Sprint Cup Series if team co-owner Harry Scott Jr. eventually buys Phoenix Racing. Either way, Allgaier will be in the Sprint Cup Series on a full-time basis, probably by 2015 at the latest and surely, he will do well. He'll contend for championships with his consistency and will win at least a race a season once he gets adjusted to the level of racing. He hasn't won too much in the Nationwide Series because the team just isn't capable of doing so, but he'll prove people wrong if he gets a shot at the top.
8. Dylan Kwasniewski
The reigning K&N Pro Series West champion, Dylan Kwasniewski, is now on the east coast and dominating that series too. He has a contract with Turner-Scott Motorsports and will likely move up to the Camping World Truck Series next season. He's winning races left and right. When he isn't winning, he's still be running in the top-10. Believe it or not, a guy with a last name as hard to pronounce as his will be in the Sprint Cup Series by the time he's 21 if not even sooner.
7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
This is self-explanatory. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. came from no where to win back-to-back Nationwide Series titles and now he's Jack Roush's newest cat within his hat. Stenhouse is using his first year at NASCAR's most elite level just to learn and make sure he doesn't wreck any race cars. He's in the top-20 in points now and is coming close to success quickly. By this time next year, it wouldn't be a surprise if he's in the top 10 in points with a win or two.
6. Trevor Bayne
Trevor Bayne won a Daytona 500 in his second career Sprint Cup Series start. His personality is stunning, he's religious and he knows how to drive a racecar very well. It'll be another year or two before he's full-time in the Sprint Cup Series with Roush-Fenway Racing, but he will definitely do well. Bayne has already won a few 1.5 mile track races which is the majority of the schedule, something Roush loves to see.
5. James Buescher
The man should have moved up to the Nationwide Series this year, but that's alright. James Buescher won the Camping World Truck Series championship last year and has a Nationwide Series win to his resume. Buescher has won a whole bunch of races now and will be a champion in the Sprint Cup Series by 2025. He'll be in a Nationwide Series car next year, replacing Allgaier as he'll go to the Cup Series, which should lead the path for Buescher to join him in a two-car effort in 2015.
4. Darrell Wallace Jr.
Darrell Wallace Jr. is looking to make history each weekend. He's close to being the first African-American driver to win a Camping World Truck Series race. He has a development deal with Joe Gibbs Racing and currently drives for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Expect Wallace Jr. to be in the Cup Series whenever Gibbs can expand to four cars. This could be as early as next year on a part-time basis. Wallace can win races but needs a little more development to become more consistent.
3. Ryan Blaney
Ryan Blaney is flat out, freaking fast. Blaney has won a Camping World Truck Series race and went from driving an under funded Tommy Baldwin Racing car, to earning a development deal with Penske Racing. Blaney has done very well with Brad Keselowski Racing this year and will likely run a full Nationwide Series slate next year before moving up to the Sprint Cup Series. He surely has what it takes to win on any level. He nearly won a few Nationwide Series races so far and there's no reason that he won't do just that once he races full time in that series. Personality wise, he's a quiet guy. However, he'll probably open up a drop once he starts to get a little more comfortable with the media. He'll be in the Sprint Cup Series by 2015.
2. Chase Elliott
He may be only be 17, but Chase Elliott drives like a veteran. He doesn't over drive his cars and saves his equipment, which makes him run up front at the end of the day. Winning at Pocono, he became the second youngest ARCA Series winner ever and has run four Camping World Truck Series races this year, finishing no worse than sixth in those races. Elliott has a great relationship with Hendrick Motorsports and crew chief Lance McGrew. McGrew was once a Sprint Cup Series crew chief and has helped guide the way for Elliott who will likely run a full Truck Series schedule next year, steadily moving up through the ranks each year.
1. Kyle Larson
Kyle Larson is insanely good. He's driving for Turner-Scott Motorsports this year, but is under contract from Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing for the long haul. It's becoming more likely that he'll be in the Nationwide Series for 2014 with a full-time schedule in the Sprint Cup Series in 2015. He's sponsor friendly and has the talent that a young Jeff Gordon once showed. Larson's only problem is, he hasn't been on most of the tracks that the Nationwide Series races on, so it's going to take him a little while before he finds victory lane. However, he's seventh in points after Chicagoland, which is beyond impressive for a rookie coming from dirt cars. Larson has what it takes to win, he has the looks, he has the aggressiveness and the talent. There's no reason why he won't be successful. If he isn't successful, well someone at Earnhardt-Ganassi will have a lot of explaining to do.