Drivers Who Started Their Careers Early
By Claire Miles - May 16, 2023

If you’re a young person who wants to get into NASCAR, it’s never too soon to start.
Drivers who started their careers early in NASCAR have a huge advantage over those who didn’t because they’ve learned how to handle the pressures of being on the track and in the spotlight. They understand what it takes to win at this level, and they know what it means when things go wrong. This is a great way to get your feet wet before you even start driving! When you can handle those situations on the track, you’ll be able to handle them anywhere in life.

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Bobby Labonte, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth are three NASCAR drivers who started their careers early in the sport. Bobby Labonte is a two-time Daytona 500 winner who began his career as a road racer before he made the switch to stock cars. Denny Hamlin has won four times in the Sprint Cup Series and has also won several other races at local tracks in addition to driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Matt Kenseth has won five times in the Sprint Cup Series and has numerous victories at local tracks as well.

Dale Earnhardt is also a driver who started his career early in NASCAR. He began racing at a young age and then went on to become a three-time winner of the Daytona 500 and a two-time Winston Cup champion. Another driver who started his career early in NASCAR was Richard Petty. He began racing at age 14 and won his first race at age 17. By the time he retired from racing, he had won 200 races in NASCAR, including five Daytona 500s and six Winston Cup titles. All of these drives achieved great thighs during their careers and starting young gave each of them a head start.