Some things might not be as difficult as they appear in NASCAR.
When Steve Letarte announced that he was giving up his job as crew chief for driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. at year’s end to work in the NBC Sports broadcast booth, there were many who questioned his decision.
Then, when he and Earnhardt won the Daytona 500, the doubts he actually would walk away grew louder.
That’s not because Letarte’s word can’t be trusted but because of the culture in NASCAR, which for many goes like this: Work your tail off to win, savor the win for about five minutes and then restart the process.
Letarte won his first Daytona 500; surely he would want another. He could win his first Sprint Cup Series championship with Earnhardt this season; surely he would want another.
There are some things more important than racing, though. And after another victory with Earnhardt last weekend at Pocono (Pa.), Letarte offered a fairly simple explanation why he won’t be changing his mind.
“You guys only get to see the great stuff, which is a win at Daytona and a win here,” Letarte said. “But Saturday (May 10) of Kansas my little girl had her first communion and I was in Kansas. When moments like that happen, it reaffirms why I made my decision.
“I’ve loved my job for 20 years. I love the people I work with. This is my life. This is how I was raised. But I chose nine years ago, 10 years ago, 11 years ago now to have a family, and when I made that decision, that was not a casual decision, that was a decision for forever.”
Successful drivers, crew chiefs and car owners can enjoy productive careers for decades but forever is forever.
Thanks for the reminder, Steve.
She was one of the founding members of the Racing Wives Auxiliary, a charitable organization that provided assistance to those in need within the racing community.
The award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.
Montoya will run the No. 12 Ford for Team Penske. In 14 races at Michigan, Montoya has three top-10 finishes.
Montoya, who also will race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during July, is seventh in IndyCar points with three top-five finishes.