Holding Their Own: Ladder System Doing Its Thing
The NASCAR ladder system is continuing to churn out new names across its developmental series. Those young drivers are doing themselves a favor in their attempt to get to the top step by winning races and securing finishes that open eyes and gain respect among competitors, media and fans.
In the NASCAR Nationwide Series alone, Austin Dillon, the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, and Cole Whitt, who finished ninth in the Truck series standings last year, are third and sixth, respectively in the standings. The average age of drivers in the top 10 in the points is 27.2, but seven of those are 25 or under. Whitt (20), Dillon (21) and 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne (21) are the youngest of that group.
Numerous NASCAR Sprint Cup stars made that climb and currently are the majority that makes up the top five in the Cup standings heading to Martinsville. Greg Biffle, the points leader, is a former Truck (2000) and Nationwide Series (2002) champion. Kevin Harvick, second in the standings, is a two-time Nationwide Series champion (2001, 2006) as is third-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998-99) and Martin Truex Jr. (2004-05), who’s in the midst of a breakout Cup season.