NASCAR is in the process of seeing an influx of young talent, and many familiar names are being replaced by drivers in their early 20s.
Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and even 19-year-old William Byron are considered to be rising stars in the sport, and they had meteoric rises through the ranks to reach the Cup Series.
But there are plenty of other young, talented drivers who haven’t made their way to the Cup Series yet, and their path to racing on Sunday isn’t as clear as someone like Byron.
NASCAR analyst Pete Pistone of Motor Racing Network offered some advice to the younger drivers still searching for their big break, and he said they should be patient and work their way up the ladder.
“While it’s understandable that getting to the top of the ladder in any profession as quickly as possible is human nature, the sport’s history is littered with names forever attached to ‘what might have been,'” Pistone said.
“Perhaps the better plan is to make a mark in a lower series rather than moving too quickly up the ladder. Consistent top-five performances in the Truck or XFINITY Series have a much better chance of gaining a prospective team owner’s attention rather than a series of 35th-place finishes or worse sprinkled among the DNFs.”
Pistone went on to say that patience is a virtue, and young drivers are learning that lesson the hard way by trying to racing in the Cup Series with a lesser car.
It’s far more likely that a bigger and more well-financed team would notice a young driver if that driver had success in a lower series than if he was at the bottom of the pack in the Cup Series.
It’s hard to tell a 20-year-old to be patient when other drivers his age are competing for top teams in the Cup Series, but Pistone makes several valid points. Sometimes the break won’t come until later, and it’s better to be patient than to try and rush into the Cup Series with a car that isn’t capable of competing.