Here's proof NASCAR's youth movement is hitting on all cylinders

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NASCAR's youth movement his hitting on all eight cylinders right now.

Thursday night at Kentucky Speedway, 18-year-old William Byron won his fourth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in just 10 career starts.

In the NASCAR XFINITY Series, the current points leader is 24-year-old Daniel Suarez.

And at the top of the sport, two rookies and one third-year driver are in championship contention.

With nine races left in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season, including Saturday night's Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, rookies Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney are right now eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, as is Austin Dillon.

A lot can happen in nine races, certainly.

Heading into Saturday night's race, Elliott is eighth in points and a virtual lock to make the Chase. Dillon (12th) and Blaney (15th) aren't as solid, perhaps, but they still have good shots to advance to NASCAR's playoff round.

Right now, though, what each of them wants is a race victory, which would all but guarantee they'd be racing for a title come September.

And they are especially anxious because while each of them has victories in lower series -- Elliott and Dillon have championships, in fact -- none of the three has ever won a Cup race. Yet.

"Our goal is to try to get to Victory Lane," said Elliott, the son of NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bill Elliott. "I feel like I have a team that can do that. As I've said before you can sit around and talk about it all day long, but until you do it it really doesn't matter. Just trying to go get the job done and just focus on what matters."

Blaney concurred.

"I don't really pay too much attention to the points situation. ... Right now, we're focused on going for wins," said the driver of the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford. "We're not gonna be conservative. I want to go win races. I'm not gonna back out of a situation where I think I can win a race just to points race right now."

The situation is much the same for Dillon, the grandson of Richard Childress.

"We want to really win a race to lock ourselves in solid and then we have tracks that we know we've got to improve on, places that we haven't run great in the past," he said. "We need to jump up five, 10 spots because the other guys are going to be good going to those places."

All three of these young guns have had impressive seasons.

Elliott is ranked highest in points among all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers, while Dillon is likewise tops in the three-car Richard Childress Racing team. And Blaney's in the top 15 in points with a team that's racing full-time for the first time since 2008.

And with young talent like these three plus the drivers in the lower series, NASCAR has a deep pool of drivers who could become the stars of tomorrow.

"From our perspective, there is a promising crop," said NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller. "Some good -- not only drivers, but personalities coming up. That bodes well for the future."

Judging from the way the young guns have been racing in all three of NASCAR's national touring series, the future might be here sooner than anyone thinks.