The 2016 NASCAR Next drivers was announced on FS1's NASCAR Race Hub on Tuesday night.
Established in 2011, the NASCAR Next program is designed to provide the next generation of motorsports stars with opportunities to develop their skills both on and off the track.
Nine graduates of the program have gone on to win races in one of NASCAR's three national series, highlighted by Erik Jones winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in 2015 and Chase Elliott winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship in 2014 at only 18 years old.
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Elliott delivered a career-best performance at Dover International Speedway last weekend, finishing third, and currently shares the rookie spotlight in the NASCAR Sprit Cup Series with fellow Next alumni Ryan Blaney, who has top-10 finishes in the last three consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This year's NASCAR Next class was selected through an evaluation process that included input from industry executives, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers Council and media. Drivers must be between the ages of 15-25, have tangible and expressed goals in eventual competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and demonstrate the potential to realize that goal.
Check out the Next class of drivers who could rise to stardom:
Harrison Burton (@HBurtonRacing) -- The 15-year-old from Huntersville, North Carolina, is the son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton. He has climbed to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series after setting the record last year as the youngest Division I race winner in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series history.
Collin Cabre (@CollinCabre12) -- In his second season driving for Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, the 22-year-old from Tampa, Florida, captured his first career win last October after making the successful move from racing sprint cars.
Spencer Davis (@SpencerDavis_29) -- The 17-year-old Dawsonville, Georgia, driver has shown a proficiency in nearly everything he's raced. After winning the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award last season in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, Davis has transitioned to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, where he has established himself as a championship contender with top six finishes in his first seven series starts dating back to last season.
Alon Day (@Alon_Day) -- One of two international drivers on the list, Day is the first NASCAR Whelen Euro Series driver to earn a NASCAR Next recognition. Day, 24, from Ashdod, Israel, completed his first full season in the Whelen Euro Series as championship runner-up. Including the final two rounds of 2015, Day has won four of the last eight Elite 1 races and is again a threat win the title.
Tyler Dippel (@Tyler_Dippel) -- An accomplished dirt racer, the 16-year-old from Wallkill, New York, has already scored his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory in March. Dippel previously competed in the DIRTcar Racing Series in the northeast, earning the rookie of the year title and becoming the youngest race winner in that series.
Todd Gilliland (@ToddGilliland_) -- The son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran David Gilliland, the 16-year-old from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, made NASCAR history by winning his first four career NASCAR K&N Pro Series starts. He became the youngest winner in series history with his victory last fall, and has followed it up with wins in both the K&N Pro Series East and West season openers this year.
Noah Gragson (@NoahGragson) -- The 17-year-old from Las Vegas finished second in the championship standings last year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, collecting the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the process. Gragson followed the path set by Kyle and Kurt Busch, learning his trade in the Legends and Bandolero Divisions at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He earned a pair of K&N Pro Series West wins in 2015 and is again a championship contender.
Gary Klutt (@Garyklutt) -- The second Canadian to be named to the program and the first full-time driver from the NASCAR Pinty's Series, Klutt represents a crop of young drivers making an impact on Canada's championship stock car series. The 23-year-old from Halton Hills, Ontario, earned his first career pole and win last year en route to being named the Jostens Rookie of the Year. He finished fifth in series points and will be among the title contenders when the series opens later this month.
Julia Landauer (@julialandauer) -- Landauer, 24, from New York City, got her start racing a variety of cars -- from Formula BMW to Ford Focus Midgets to stock cars. The versatile Landauer was a contestant on the hit reality show 'Survivor' before graduating from Stanford in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Science, Technology, and Society. She became the first female to win a Limited Late Model division championship at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia, last year before graduating to the K&N Pro Series West this season.
Ty Majeski (@TyMajeski) -- The 21-year-old from Seymour, Wisconsin, showcased his ability with a dominating display at Florida's New Smyrna Speedway in February, collecting three wins and earning the 2016 Super Late Model championship in the 50th Annual World Series of Stock Car Racing. Majeski added a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model track record and victory in the FrostBuster at Wisconsin's LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway in April.
Matt Tifft (@Matt_Tifft) -- A development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, the 19-year-old from Hinckley, Ohio, is driving part-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for JGL Racing as well as JGR, and racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Red Horse Racing. He earned his first career pole in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Talladega earlier this month.
The last two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookies of the Year have been NASCAR Next alum, as are the top two contenders for this year's award: Blaney and Elliott. The last three Sunoco Rookie of the Year winners in both the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series were also part of the NASCAR Next program.
"The NASCAR Next program has introduced current stars such as Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney to the NASCAR fan, and we believe this year's class has the same potential," said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president of marketing and industry services. "These drivers have shown the talent and intangibles to climb the NASCAR ladder, and we look forward to watching their careers grow."