LOUDON, N.H. — NASCAR president Mike Helton says it all has happened before. And it likely will happen again in the not-too-distant future. In NASCAR’s six decades, the sport always has replenished its ranks by replacing a crop of aging stars with a new breed of racers eager to make their own mark.
“We’ve seen it cycle from Lee Petty to Richard to Kyle,’’ Helton said, referring to the passing of the torch among NASCAR’s royal family. “And now we’re looking at this next generation in Cup become players, and when that happens it wakes you up to the fact that the drivers you remembered being like that, they’re now older.
“It’s mind-boggling when you think about it, because you’re like, ‘When did that happen?’ ”
Well, it’s happening again.
Once part of a youth movement that helped usher marquee names such as Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, and Bill Elliott — all NASCAR Hall of Famers — to their retirement, the young guns are fast realizing they are not so young anymore.
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