Hours after finishing twenty-fifth in Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway, Cole Whitt has confirmed it will be his final NASCAR race.
“Today’s race at ISM Raceway not only marked Cole’s last race with us for the 2018 season but the last of his career as he has elected [to] hang up his helmet and step away from life behind the wheel,” his team TriStar Motorsports posted on Facebook.
“THANK YOU Cole for your many contributions to our team as a competitor and a friend. Thank you for always remaining solid and steadfast through the good times and the bad times. Thank you for caring, for the many laughs and memories we’ve shared and most of all, thank you for being YOU! You will ALWAYS be a valued member of our TriStar family and you will be missed. All the best to you, Kendra and your family.”
Whitt joined TriStar in 2017, running the full Monster Energy Cup schedule in the #72 car and finishing thirty-third in points. For the 2018 season, he split the ride with Corey LaJoie as he wanted to spend more time with his family. In 13 races in 2018, he recorded two top-twenty finishes and a best run of nineteenth at Texas Motor Speedway in the spring.
A former JR Motorsports development driver, Whitt began competing full-time in the Cup Series with Swan Racing/BK Racing in 2014; he had previously run part-time in the top series between 2011 and 2013. He finished thirty-first in the standings in his rookie year. He moved to Front Row Motorsports for the 2015 season and recorded another thirty-first-place points finish, followed by a limited 2016 Cup schedule with Premium Motorsports.
In 2011, Whitt became the first rookie to lead the Camping World Truck Series points standings as he ended the season ninth in points. A year later, he moved up to the Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series with JRM, where he finished seventh in the standings.
Nicknamed the “Ginger Lion”, Whitt has 161 career Cup starts across eight seasons. He has 13 top twenties and a best finish of eleventh in the 2016 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.