NASCAR Drivers Who Might Retire at the End of the 2021 Season

Published 12/26/2020, 7:02 AM EST
PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 11: Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, walks away from pit road following an on-track incident during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


For obvious reasons, nobody can expect their favorite sports stars to play the game forever. Until someone discovers the secret to immortality and eternal youth, every great athlete has to retire at some point. The same holds true for NASCAR drivers, especially since quite a few of them are in their late 30s and early 40s.

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At the end of the 2020 season, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, and Clint Bowyer retired from the sport. Now, with one more year passing, there is a chance that others could hang up their boots.

The likes of Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch are already in their 40s, with Newman being 43 years old, and Busch, 42. Even a driver like Martin Truex Jr is in his 40s, though he seems to be in a good run of form.

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Additionally, Busch’s contract at Chip Ganassi Racing is expected to last only until the 2021 season.

KANSAS CITY, KS – OCTOBER 20: Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, stands by his car during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 20, 2018 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Some NASCAR drivers could spring a surprise after the 2021 season

There is also a very slim possibility of 45-year-old Kevin Harvick becoming a surprise retiree. In 2020, he stormed to nine wins in a single season, but he could not go the final step and win the title.

If he can carry on that red hot form in 2021, he will definitely try and give it his all for possibly one last hurrah and another title before retiring on a high.

PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 09: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Light Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Moving away from the Cup Series, there are a number of Truck and Xfinity drivers who are arguably ‘over the hill.’

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Drivers like Caesar Bacarella, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Tim Viens, Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, and Ray Ciccarelli are well into their 40s and 50s. In fact, Cicarelli is 50 years old and could retire soon.

Initially, he announced his retirement in June, set for the end of the 2020 season. However, he quickly backtracked and affirmed that he would stick around in 2021. Since he will be 51 next year, one has to wonder how much he has left in the tank.

One thing is for sure, none of these drivers will race forever. In fact, there are a good number of drivers in their mid-30s, who could potentially call time on their careers.

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Dhruv George

11647 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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