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Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 99 in the Nationwide Series, narrowly missed the top 10 but is a driver to watch in the coming years.
Alex Bowman doesn't get enough credit for the season that he's having in the Nationwide Series this year. Driving for RAB Racing, a mid-level team at best, Bowman earned a third-place finish at Daytona in February and has scored three more top-10 finishes since.
His 10th-place run at New Hampshire, a race track where a good driver can overcome the limitations of his car, is probably his most impressive run to date. Though he doesn't have a driver development contract with a big team, he is just 20 years old and has plenty of time to impress the Sprint Cup garage.
There may be no more interesting prospect than Drew Herring. According to Racing-Reference.info, Herring has an average finish of 8.5 between Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series competition since signing with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2011.
But Herring is rarely used, having run just one Nationwide Series race in each of the past two seasons. He's 26 years old, slightly older than most of the drivers on this list, but he has shown that he can get the job done. For whatever reason, he hasn't yet been given an opportunity to show it on a full-time basis.
Chris Buescher, the 2012 ARCA Racing Series champion, has a bright future in NASCAR. The 20-year-old is under contract with Roush Racing, a team for which he has scored two top-10 finishes in seven Nationwide Series starts.
His seventh-place runs at Bristol and Michigan this year were impressive, but he is currently without a full-time ride. Buescher will remain an unknown commodity until Jack Roush is ready to give him a full season of work in the Nationwide Series. Hopefully, that opportunity comes soon.