“NASCAR Confidential” delves in youth movement
By Official Release
October 22, 2008
03:32 PM EDT
Young drivers are the hottest commodity in NASCAR but a look back through the years reveals a very different landscape and key players … and a time when the average age of drivers was mid-40s instead of mid-20s.
In the season’s fifth episode of NASCAR Confidential, SPEED will explore the current and pervasive trend of youth in NASCAR alongside the generation of a young Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Confidential: The Next Generation at 9 p.m. ET on Nov. 3.
NASCAR on SPEED
Joey Logano stepped into the national spotlight a few months ago with much fanfare, but for every one Logano there are 100 more young drivers who will never garner the same attention or opportunity. NASCAR Confidential chronicles the everyday dreams and challenges of these “young gun” hopefuls, as well as a collection of Late Model and Modified racers who most likely will never get the break needed to reach the highest levels of racing.
Archival footage and interviews set the scene for the beginning of the youth evolution in NASCAR and document other current Sprint Cup Series stars and their rise to fame.
“We’re so accustomed to 18 and 20-year-old drivers on the big stage that we’ve almost forgotten how much older Dale Earnhardt and his counterparts were in their rookie years,” said Steve Craddock, SPEED Senior VP of Programming. “Not only will NASCAR Confidential explore the marked age difference in today’s rookies and those of previous generations, it will also delve into the world of kids whose parents sacrifice their life savings to fund their racing careers out of their home garages.
“Joey Loganos don’t surface often, so SPEED will document the unsung struggling drivers seeking the big breaks that never materialize. We will highlight the evolution of a NASCAR driver from all angles and show viewers how the face of NASCAR has changed drastically over the years.”
Highlights of the one-hour special include:
Joey Logano: He has been one of the most talked-about new drivers in recent years. Documenting his career since 2006, NASCAR Confidential shows viewers his early development races; meetings with J.D. Gibbs and the Joe Gibbs Racing team; NCWS victories and the 2007 championship; and his NASCAR debut in May. The program also follows Logano as he prepares for his first Cup event and contrasts the warp speed with which he has climbed the NASCAR ranks to Kyle Busch’s historic rise to stardom.
Marc Davis: NASCAR Confidential documents his path through the NASCAR system since 2005; his role in the Joe Gibbs Racing diversity program; his Modified wins at Hickory and his quest for the NCWS championship. Davis’ attempt to become the first fulltime black Sprint Cup Series driver since Wendell Scott is detailed by a collection of home movies and footage.
Austin Dillon: He is the grandson of Richard Childress and son of Mike Dillon, a former NASCAR Nationwide Series driver. NASCAR Confidential documents all three drivers’ careers and takes viewers back to Austin in the legendary No. 3 at a Talladega dirt track in 2006 with Childress in attendance, as well as his NCWS career and win at Greenville.
Logan Ruffin: Cameras go inside the 14-year-old’s home and on the road with him as he is home-schooled by his mother so he can attain his eighth grade education while maintaining his focus on racing. In Charlotte, the program documents each step as Ruffin’s team prepares for a major opportunity, from the seat fitting to car preparation.
Alex Yontz: At 22, Yontz awaits his big break — but his family-sponsored car can’t get him to the next level. He works on his race car every day in the family’s home garage hoping to gain notice. Yontz’s family discusses finances and the Modified race in Martinsville that could be his big break.