NASCAR's youth movement of the early to mid 2000s is officially dead. After years of teams seeking the latest and greatest young driver who team owners and sponsors hoped would be the next Jeff Gordon, sticking with veteran drivers has become the norm in the Sprint Cup Series. It didn't help that the economic downtown drastically cut available sponsorship dollars and eliminated many teams' driver development programs.
But as always, NASCAR will still need a crop of young drivers who will slowly but surely take over the ranks of the Sprint Cup Series. A few of them are already making starts in the top division, but others are still battling through the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series in a bid to be the next big star.
Here's a ranking of NASCAR's best young driver prospects who have the best chance to become household names in American auto racing's top series.