Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano make up a small portion of the dozens of prolific drivers who cut their teeth in a U.S. Legend Car during Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Summer Shootout series over the last three decades. Fifteen-year-old Young Lions driver Nathan Lyons has high hopes of etching his name into NASCAR history alongside them. 

Lyons, whose family relocated from Texas nearly three years ago so he could pursue his dream of racing, had no trouble feeling just as at home in Concord as he did in Fort Worth. The common denominator is simple, Lyons said. 

“Racing is home,” he said. “It’s been the highlight of my life ever since I started watching it. There are race shops everywhere here, and since I signed with Rev [Racing], I go to a race shop everyday. I never had to get comfortable being at home here; it just clicked on.”

Rev Racing, the team with which Lyons initially signed in 2023 and will continue to race for throughout the 2024 season, has played an equally integral part of the Texan’s acclimation to the Charlotte area. Through Rev Racing’s NASCAR Drive for Diversity initiative, Lyons has participated in crucial developmental programs to prepare him for a future in racing while simultaneously working to encourage awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in motorsports.

When he was named recipient of the NASCAR Diversity Developmental Series Youth Driver Award after just two short months with Rev Racing, it wasn’t an achievement he took lightly. Lyons has already seen firsthand the kind of impact such a program has on the sport.

“As you look more into the Cup Series, Xfinity Series, ARCA, Trucks, you see drivers like Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez, Bubba Wallace – and you see a lot of new people coming into the sport who are from diverse backgrounds,” he said.

Wallace, who is scheduled to pilot the No. 76 Legend Car in the Pro Division at Summer Shootout this year, forged a strikingly similar path through the ranks. Much like Lyons, he battled his way through Summer Shootout and into Rev Racing’s Drive for Diversity program.

For Lyons, Wallace’s 2024 return to the summer competition is especially important. 

“It’s awesome to see bigger drivers in the top ranks of NASCAR come down to grassroots,” Lyons said. “It inspires new drivers to start and inspires fans of the Cup Series to come see a new kind of racing. It gives me hope. I feel like I actually have a shot to make it to the Cup Series like him.”

Lyons returns to the famed quarter-mile of historic Charlotte Motor Speedway following a successful 2023 season, and is feeling more confident in the car than ever. He’ll look to better a third place finish in Championship points, including one win and three podiums last season. Through the first two races this year, Lyons has once again established himself among the drivers to watch, finishing fourth and sixth against a stacked field.

“Come and watch me race,” he said. “‘Cause I might win.”


Tickets are $10 for all Cook Out Summer Shootout events excluding July 2 and July 30’s fireworks show; kids 12 and under get in FREE. For tickets, schedules and more details, visit  www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets.


Follow all the thrilling Cook Out Summer Shootout action at Charlotte Motor Speedway on X, Facebook and Instagram.