<
>

Phoenix was Cole Whitt's final race

UPDATE:

ORIGINAL POST 11-1-2019:

Dustin Albino, Frontstretch: How hard has it been mentally to be running with the same team as last year but with a reduced schedule?

Whitt: It's not too bad and I've been enjoying it. At first, it was tough to step away, but I've been enjoying spending time away from the track and with my wife, friends and family and do some things that I haven't been able to do in a long time.

It's been mentally challenging to come back to the track and get in the rhythm of everything, but as far as my mental state I actually feel really good where I'm at and how it's been.

Albino: Were there ever any similar thoughts this past off-season where you weren't sure if you wanted to continue racing?

Whitt: It's been a slow, steady drive of me to get away from racing and move back to be around family and friends and to live a normal life. That's been a drive for the past couple of years. I'm glad I haven't done it yet, because I'm glad of the things I've been able to do over the past couple of years and experiences that I've had with that. Slowly, when that time will come - maybe it will be this off-season, we'll just kind of see. I haven't set any sort of timeline. We're holding our plans loosely and kind of seeing where life takes us.

Albino: So for you, that decision will be more family-oriented than anything?

Whitt: For me, yeah. It's not about the sport or the team - it's definitely not team-related at all. I told Bryan [Smith, team owner] that if I'm racing for anyone, they are the only team that I've been with. I just don't have much of a desire to do anything, and there are not many opportunities, anyways. They are the people who have given me opportunities when no one else would and I've tried to help them elevate their team when I can.

At the same time, it's been the drive to go back to family. It would be different if my family lived in North Carolina and I was able to see them throughout the week and spend time with them. I'm watching my niece grow up through a computer screen and different things like that. It's pretty hard to see them all do their life without me. I feel like it's something me and my wife would like to be around.

Albino: Do you know what 2019 holds?

Whitt: Nope, not yet. I'm sure other people would like to know sooner. I'm taking it one day at a time right now.

See much more at Frontstretch.