HOMESTEAD, Fla – The veterans of the sport are still thriving. All four Championship 4 drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series were 34 and older. Three of the four were 39 and older.
While Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. are shining, the youth wave is coming. I know this was highly publicized last year and this year saw veterans still dominate, but another year in the books shows continued growth for the youngster.
Just look at fifth through 12th in the final standings.
Joey Logano clams fifth in the final standings following a fifth place effort on Sunday at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. While he won the title last year and has been in the sport for a while, a lot of people forget that he’s only 29 years old.
In a tie for sixth in the standings was 25 year old Ryan Blaney and 27 year old Kyle Larson. Blaney, ended 2019 with five top 11 finishes over his final six starts including a win in Talladega. Larson, had a strong car again at Homestead before his engine expired to go along with a win in the Round of 12 at Dover and his first ever trip to the Round of 8.
10th in the standings was 23 year old Chase Elliott. He beat out his 21 year old teammate William Byron by one point for that position. Elliott, won three times again in 2019 and also made the Round of 8 for the third straight year. Byron, improved drastically in literally every category from 2018 to 2019.
12th in the standings was Alex Bowman. He’s just 26 years old and earned his first career win on June 30 at the Chicagoland Speedway. He also made the Round of 12 and looked very strong at the end of the year as well.
That’s six of the eight drivers from fifth through 12th all under the age of 30. All were strong when it mattered the most and look to be on the verge of breakout years for 2020.
You also can’t count out Erik Jones who’s in a contract year again with JGR. He won the Southern 500 and ended the season great. Jones, had four top 10 finishes over his final five starts including a third place run in Homestead. He’s just 23 years old.
On top of that, Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer all move up to the Cup Series for 2020 and all are 23 and younger too. They combined to win 21 of the 33 NXS races in 2019.
The future is still bright in NASCAR.