PODCAST: Hard Left Turn - Drivers start younger and retire younger

By AccessWDUN Staff
Posted 9:41PM on Wednesday 12th January 2022 ( 1 year ago )

With the surprise announcement this week that 38-year-old Aric Almirola will be hanging up his helmet as a full time driver at the end of 2022, our Hard Left Turn crew was reminded of some off-season discussions they had.

Several weeks back, Pete McCole mentioned about how dramatically different the average ages of the fields and the retirement ages of drivers had changed over the past 25 years.  Brandon Reed remembered how drivers such as Richard Petty, Harry Gant and Bobby Allison raced well past the half-century mark.  Amy Henderson remarked on how the pressures of today's NASCAR differs from how it was just 10 years ago, much less 25.

With that in mind - and seeing whereas it was his idea - Pete McCole will take the reigns of this week's Hard Left Turn podcast, as we discuss how young the average driver is now, and how they are looking for an escape route from the sport at a younger age as well.

Plus we'll take a look at practice from Daytona and the first two nights of the Chili Bowl in Tulsa.

For up-to-the-minute motorsports information, follow @WDUNRacing on Twitter and log on to the Around the Track page daily.

Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark (left) salutes Harry Gant (right) on his last NASCAR Cup Series career start on November 13, 1994 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gant is the oldest winner in series history, having won his final race at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 1992 at the age of 52. Photo: NASCAR Media
Pete McCole (left), Brandon Reed (center) and Amy Henderson (right) stand in the infield at Charlotte Motor Speedway prior to the 2019 Coca-Cola 600. Photo: John K. Harrelson
Aric Almirola celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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