Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Carl Edwards all retiring younger than usual from NASCAR Cup Series
But is it really younger than usual? Or are we just coming out of an unusual era of long NASCAR career’s.
Ken Schrader ran 763 races over 29 years in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He’s been around long enough to see all the cycles.
Ken Scharder spoke to Kenny Wallace on the ‘Late Shift’ via Sirius XM NASCAR radio, “I never really got going enough to really, get done. I stuck around an extra 10 years because I enjoyed it. I had a riot, doing it. And I wanted to do it.”
“But, you know, everything goes in cycles. It’s not a big deal these guys are quitting in their mid-forty’s. Back in the 60’s, guys were quitting in their late-thirty’s.”
“They were quitting when they were young men because they made a few dollars. Some of them had invested wisely and it was friggin’ dangerous.”
“Then, it got safer and guys wanted to do it longer because there was more and more money coming in. So, we had a generation of us that did it to late-forty’s and fifty’s.”
“Now, there’s more money in it. The guys can make enough money in their thirty’s. That, ‘Hey, I don’t need to do it anymore. I wanna do something else.’ ”
Ken Schrader concluded, “So it just goes in cycle’s, it’s no big deal.”
Was it hard for you to retire when the money was really starting to roll into the sport?
Ken Schrader declares, “Yeah. But it was really starting to roll in for those guys that were really fast every week. I was fifty-eight or nine, whatever it was. I was driving for Franky Stoddard. You know, it was a low dollar team. But let me tell you what, I enjoyed the hell out of driving for him.
He concludes, “Yeah, it’s always hard to quit. But, I had other stuff I wanted to do too.” Like head to the the dirt track…
The future of NASCAR
“I’m excited about the kids we got now.” He lists; Christopher Bell, Ryan Preece, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson.
Schrader continued, “I mean, Kyle Larson going out and winning all kinds of sprint car races. We got so much talent out there now, it’s unreal.”