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NASCAR Next Drivers Are Top 10 Hits – Class of 2018


With the announcement of William Byron taking over the 5 car in 2018, NASCAR Next Program drivers want their shot.

The number of drivers that have graduated from the previous classes of NASCAR Next Program has reached the top 10.

Starting in the Monster Energy Cup series are (in alphabetical order):

  • Ryan Blaney
  • Alex Bowman
  • William Byron
  • Matt DiBenedetto
  • Chase Elliott
  • Grey Gaulding
  • Erik Jones
  • Corey Lajoie
  • Kyle Larson
  • Daniel Suarez

Rising Through The Ranks – Where are they Now?

With the rise of Byron from the Xfinity Series to a Cup car, let’s take a look at those who got their start in the NASCAR Next program and have made their marks on The NASCAR K&N Pro Series, just a step below Xfinity greatness:

NASCAR Next Series Drivers With K&N Pro Series Wins

Car Number
*2018 car assignment
DriverWin/AlumSeries LocationYear
#3Austin Dillon1st NASCAR WinK&N Pro Series EastGreenville2008
#4Kevin Harvick1st NASCAR Win K&N Pro Series WestLas Vegas 1998
#5William ByronAlum/1st win K&N Pro Series East Greenville2015
#6Trevor Bayne 1st NASCAR Win K&N Pro Series East Thompson 2008
#12Ryan Blaney Alum/1st win K&N Pro Series West Phoenix2011
#13Ty Dillon 1st NASCAR Win K&N Pro Series East Gresham 2010
These NASCAR Next Alum are either winners of the NASCAR K&N Pro series or have ties to the Next program

Erik Jones in the 20* car is also a program alum.

Other drivers that got their start in the program that have made it to Xfinity or Cup Series rides are:

Clint Bowyer in the 14 car (two starts in the K&N Pro Series West for Bill McAnally in 2004)

Daniel Suarez in the 19 car (Peak Mexico Series, 2012; K&N Pro Series East, 2013)

Joey Logano in the 22 car (K&N Pro Series West, Phoenix, 2007)

Chase Elliott in the 24 car (K&N Pro Series, Iowa, 2012)

Jeffrey Earnhardt in the 33 car (K&N Pro Series East, Dover, 2007)

Cole Whitt in the 72 car scored his first NASCAR Pole Award in the K&N Pro Series East in 2010 at Greenville

Martin Truex Jr in the 78 car (K&N Pro Series East, New Hampshire, 2000)

Alex Bowman in the 88* car, a NASCAR Next alum and 2011 K&N Pro Series East rookie of the year

*Denotes 2018 car number


Click on the picture below to learn more about the NASCAR Next program, narrated by Monster Energy driver Ryan Blaney

NASCAR unveils 2017-18 NASCAR Next class


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