For the third straight season, the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series season will end with not just a race for Championship but a farewell to a legend. In this case, two legends say goodbye to the sport. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth will slip down into the cockpit put their helmet on, tighten the belts, put the wheel on, fire the engine and roll onto the track. These two men have combined for a Championship, 63 wins, including four Daytona 500’s, 417 Top Tens, and 30 Pole’s.
Doing this in the Jimmie Johnson Era make it all the more impressive. Both seem content in their retirement and ready to move on to the next chapter of their lives. Earnhardt already signed onto to join NBC Sports broadcast coverage next season and will continue with his ownership of JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. Kenseth plans are unknown and he has not ruled out a return to the sport in the future. But his overwhelming emotion in victory last week in Phoenix shows at least to me this is probably it.
When these two men cross the finish line Sunday Evening and climb out of their cars I am sure tears will flow. They will look out on the track and see Martin Truex Jr, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch or Kevin Harvick celebrate a title. And possibly another man celebrate a race win or maybe even one of them. In a couple weeks time they will give a farewell speech at the Awards Banquet just like Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart did the past two years.
And at the end of the day, the only two words left to say to these two Hall of Famers is Thank You.
Follow Cam on Twitter: @CamInTaunton