NASCAR has lowered the age limit for drivers competing in its regional touring series from 16 to 15.

The change is effective immediately and applies to drivers in the K&N Pro Series East and West, Whelen Modified Tour, Whelen Southern Modified Tour and Canadian Tire Series.

George Silbermann, NASCAR's managing director of racing operations, says the change is the "next logical step" for developing young talent in the sport.

Silbermann says it will increase the opportunities for drivers to "gain experience at the regional level and prepare them for the higher levels of the sport."

In 2007, NASCAR lowered the age minimum for the regional touring series from 18 to 16. Current Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano, then 17, won the K&N Pro Series East championship that season.