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Top NASCAR Drivers Under 18

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

As fun as it is to watch the modern stars of NASCAR tearing up the Cup Series, it can be just as fun to watch the future of the sport. Some of these prospects are not even 18 years old, and these are the best NASCAR drivers amongst this group.

  • For this list, we will consider any current NASCAR prospect under 18 years old as of this writing (June 19, 2024). It doesn’t matter if they are turning 18 this year as long as they are under 18.
  • The age of 18 is a sort of magic number in NASCAR. Drivers must be 18 to race on superspeedways and in the Xfinity or Cup Series. Drivers under 18 are relegated to short track or road course races in the regional touring series or, occasionally, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
  • Fans love seeing the top prospects in NASCAR. It’s a classic “I saw them before they were famous” moment.

William Sawalich

William Sawalich is the next big prospect at Joe Gibbs Racing. The defending ARCA Menards Series East Champion has ten wins across the ARCA East and West Series over the last two seasons, and he is set to make his Xfinity Series debut this fall with Joe Gibbs Racing.

He will be one to watch as he works his way up the JGR pipeline. Could he eventually overtake drivers like Chandler Smith and Sheldon Creed on the ladder to the Cup Series?

Conner Zilisch

Connor Zilisch was a relative unknown before signing a development contract with Trackhosue at the beginning of 2024. He’s impressed this season by taking home class wins in two of the most prestigious endurance races in the United States, the Rolex 24 and the 12 Hours of Sebring. He joined NASCAR, and he continued to win.

He started on the pole and finished in the top-5 in his first Truck Series race at COTA. He’s also battled with William Sawalich tooth and nail as the 2024 season has rolled on, with Zilisch earning three victories so far and holding the points lead. Zilisch could find his way moving upwards in 2025 since he turns 18 later this season. He is also set to make four Xfinity Series starts with JRM later this year.

Brent Crews

Brent Crews took home his first ARCA Menards Series win at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield in 2023. He’s been competing in the CARS Tour this year and currently sits third in points with one win so far.

Crews is only 16 years old, so he has some time before he jumps to the NASCAR ranks full-time. He could take the mantle Connor Zilisch and William Sawalich leave empty once they move up to the NASCAR National Touring Series ranks.

Caden Kvapil

Caden Kvapil is Carson Kvapil’s younger brother, and both are the sons of 2003 Truck Series Champion Travis Kvapil. While Carson is starting to get some cracks at the National Touring Series ranks, Caden is the defending CARS Pro Late Model Tour Champion. He has a win this season as well.

Caden could take the mantle from Carson as the top CARS Tour prospect if Carson gets a full-time National Touring Series opportunity. Could Caden be the next big thing?

Jake Bollman

Jake Bollman took home a CARS Tour win in the Pro Late Model Series at Carraway this season. He’s made occasional starts in ARCA, with a best finish of seventh coming at Bakersfield and Irwindale in 2023.

Although his resume is not as impressive as others on this list, wins put drivers on the map. If he continues to win, the 17-year-old Bollman could soon be on NASCAR teams’ radars.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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