The 2013 NASCAR season will look completely different in the eyes of thousands of fans, crew members, and everyone else involved in the sport we all love.
Several top driver’s are switching teams as mostly everyone that follows the sport knows by now.
Joey Logano, who has been under contract with Joe Gibbs Racing since he was just 15 years old, is moving onto a new team at Penske Racing. The now 22 year old driver who has two Sprint Cup Series wins under his belt is set to leave the team which gave him his first opportunity in NASCAR at such a young age.
Now Logano is moving on. So is Roush-Fenway Racing driver Matt Kenseth who has been on the team for over a decade. Ironically, Kenseth is moving to Logano’s current ride at JGR in the No. 20 car with Logano’s sponsorship.
Kenseth and Logano are both moving onto bigger and better things, well at least they hope so. But, the two drivers aren’t setting the greatest example for younger drivers entering the sport.
There are several top young drivers racing in ARCA, the K &N Pro Series, the Canadian Tire Series, etc.
These drivers have all of the talent in the world. Some of them also have the resources of top teams within the sport which enable them to quickly move up the series’ ranks.
A few drivers to name include Darrell Wallace Jr., Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Dylan Kwasniewski, David Mayhew, etc. Each of these drivers have large corporate backing with top tier teams.
Say each of these drivers ends up racing within the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series ranks within the next two-three years.
All of these drivers have the potential to end up with careers such as Kenseth and/or Logano if they were to make it to the top of the rankings with their current teams. After their team’s hard work and determination to fulfill the driver’s needs throughout each season, eventually, a better opportunity may come along.
But, even though there seems to be a better opportunity on the market, it may not be the best option. Drivers’ fan bases grow as they are coming up with their first team. When they leave their team for a different one, they can lose and gain numerous fans.
Either way a person can look at it, they are simply being a bad example for the future of our sport.
There was once a time where driver’s rarely changed teams until late into their careers because they were simply wasting a top quality seat in NASCAR’s elite series.
Let’s face it. Driver’s will always switch teams at some point or another in their career. Well, unless your name is Jeff Gordon and you drive for Hendrick Motorsports.
But, a driver such as Kenseth, who has been with Roush for such a long time, it comes as quite a surprise that he would leave a team which he has contended for a championship with since his rookie year.
Logano is a different case. The Connecticut native could have been the “next best thing since sliced bread,” according to Mark Martin, but he never fulfilled that vision. He came up through the series with such high expectations, but ending up being like Casey Atwood and Reed Sorenson were simply rushed through the ranks up to the Cup Series.
There may not have been much of a choice for Logano when it came to moving out of the JGR driver lineup, especially considering the sponsorship issue.
Some of the young, up and coming drivers will probably end up in the same situation such as these two drivers. But, the truth of the matter is, they are setting a bad example by leaving the teams which gave them their first shot at glory.