Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What if NASCAR had a draft?

With the NFL draft just several days away, I pondered what a NASCAR draft would be like. Unfortunately with the number of Cup regulars tearing it up in the “minor leagues” it is difficult for the average fan to find talent these days. And do you really see the worst team (Front Row Motorsports) getting the best prospect? That doesn’t seem fair to the drivers. So instead of speculating which team gets who, lets simply ask ourselves – who is the number one prospect for a Cup series ride? For me, several names pop up.

Justin Allgaier
– It certainly looks like he is the best talent out of the Nationwide regulars. A few weeks removed from picking up his first career win at Bristol, Justin has made great improvements over last year. It does appear that he might have a tendency get off to a great start only to fizzle down the stretch. Nonetheless, Justin would be an upgrade behind the cockpit for teams like Roger Penske (Hornish) or even Jack Roush (Ragan).

Danica Patrick – It is important I put Danica in here for one reason – sponsorship. While Patrick has had a horrid start to the 2010 season in both NASCAR and IndyCar, she continues to have the largest fan base in all of racing. These days, the ability to attract sponsors and fans is even more important than the ability to drive a racecar.

Trevor Bayne – Look at his statistics in the Nationwide series and you will see only three top tens in twenty-two starts. However, at the age of nineteen he has yet to run a full time season so it’s still a little early to write him off. And despite his young age, he acts more like a long time veteran of the sport than a rookie teenager. If I were a sponsor looking for an up and coming driver, Trevor Bayne is exactly the type of guy I would be looking for.

Ryan Truex – Truex already has something going for him, and that is his name. Ryan’s older brother, Martin is already a popular driver who has enjoyed moderate success in his Sprint Cup career. Having just turned eighteen, Ryan is trying to make a name for himself - he is the defending champion of the K&N Pro Series East, a series that many are saying is the best to watch when it comes to potential.

Like I said earlier, it is more difficult to scout talent when guys like Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick have taken over the Nationwide and Truck series. Because of that, my list is fairly small. Other drivers I am still undecided on but will be curious to watch in the upcoming seasons are Brian Scott, James Buescher, Sergio Pena, and Darrell Wallace.

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