“Well, see you guys later” – Cole Pearn.
After five years as a NASCAR Cup Series Crew Chief 37-year old Cole Pearn has decided retirement has a nice ring to it. The 2017 champ with Martin Truex Jr. went all Andrew Luck and announced Monday that he would be leaving Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR effective immediately.
Pearn became a Crew Chief in 2015 with Martin Truex Jr. at then still underdog Furniture Row Racing team. Truex and Pearn quickly clicked and knocked off their first win together at Pocono that season. Over the next 5 seasons, the would capture 24 wins, 70 Top-5s, 110 Top-10s, a Championship, and two runner up finishes in the championship. They went one an absolute tear. If things fall their way the last two seasons we’re looking at a Jimmie Johnson type of run. A Cale Yarborough-esque story for Martin Truex Jr.
When FRR announced they would be closing their doors following the 2018 season (shoutout JGR) many wondered if Pearn would follow Truex to Joe Gibbs Racing in North Carolina. Pearn had been outspoken about not wanting to live in North Carolina again, the Denver lifestyle of FRR suited he and his family’s life much better. Pearn eluded to not wanting to be in North Carolina on the Dinner With Racers podcast:
So when Pearn announced Monday that he was done with NASCAR and was moving to Western Canada most of us we’re like “yeah, good for him.” This wasn’t about the money, Joe Gibbs Racing was likely paying him very handsomely but it isn’t about the money. Money is great but Cole was more focused on his life outside of racing.
Pearn is off to Canada now to spend time with his family and watch his kids grow up. He’ll be talked about in NASCAR lore as one of the best to ever do it. His name will constantly be tossed out every year as a “maybe they can pull Pearn back” but it seems unlikely. Cole Pearn is a free spirit in a sport that has increasingly throttled creativity and personality. People like him because he acts differently and pushed the boundaries. NASCAR lost one of their last truly creative minds.
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