CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Rico Abreu, the reigning USAC national champion and winner of this year's Chili Bowl, is among the 12 drivers named to NASCAR's latest "Next" class.
The Next program is designed to spotlight NASCAR's emerging stars, and has included in its previous four classes 2014 Sprint Cup rookie of the year Kyle Larson and reigning Xfinity Series champion Chase Elliott.
Of the 28 drivers who have previously been part of the Next program, 21 have competed in one of NASCAR's three national series and 11 are currently full-time NASCAR drivers.
The Next class is selected through an evaluation process that includes input from industry executives and veteran racers. Drivers must be between the ages of 15 and 25 and demonstrated potential and desire to reach the Sprint Cup Series.