It has been NASCAR's policy and rule that drivers must be 18-years old in order to compete in any of it's top three series. That will change in 2013 when NASCAR will drop the age to 16-years old in the Camping World Truck Series at road course races and tracks that are 1.1 miles or less in length.
The Truck Series saw a record number of first time winners in the 2012 season and the youth movement in the sport and especially the Truck Series is in full effect. Those factors meant reducing the minimum age made sense.
"One of the things I think that was evident to everybody was the influx of young talent that we've got coming up through the ranks," NASCAR's senior vice president of racing operations Steve O'Donnell said. "We announced previously an age limit change in the [lower-level NASCAR touring series] where we went to 15. And based on the opportunities for a lot of young drivers out there that are coming through our system faster and faster, you're seeing it in the tours; you're seeing it in our [Drive For Diversity] program."
Now race fans will get to see it in the Camping World Truck Series. The 2013 schedule was released on Tuesday and of the 22 races, 10 will be on tracks that are 1.1 miles or less or road courses. It will be interesting to see how many drivers under the age of 18 will make their debuts this season at those 10 races.
The second race of the 2013 season on April 6 at Martinsville Speedway will be the first race where the 16-year old minimum rule will be in effect. From there the other tracks that will allow 16-year olds to race on them are Rockingham, Dover, both races at Iowa, the dirt race at Eldora, Bristol, the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, a second race at Martinsville, and Phoenix.
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