What do Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Dylan Kwasniewski have in common with the likes of Kenzie Ruston, Brandon McReynolds and Ryan Gifford?
They’ve all been members of the NASCAR Next program that helps promote young drivers in NASCAR’s national and touring series. Larson, Elliott and Kwasniewski used it as a springboard to bigger and better endeavors in stock cars, while the likes of Ruston, McReynolds and Gifford are part of a talented 2014 NASCAR Next class that hopes to do the same.
The 2014 class gathered Wednesday, July 16, at the GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, N.C., for a day of fellowship, meeting and talking with the media – and racing go-karts against each other and the media in a friendly, yet competitive environment.
This year’s Next class includes not only Ruston, McReynolds and Gifford, but also rising stars such as recent NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner Erik Jones, Cole Custer, Ruben Garcia Jr., Gray Gaulding, Austin Hill, Jesse Little, Dylan Lupton, Ryan Preece and Ben Rhodes, who has won five K&N Pro Series East races this season overall, including four in a row.