At the conclusion of Friday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards banquet in Las Vegas, the 2016 offseason will officially begin.
That means it’s time to relax, right? Not so for some drivers.
Rookie of the Year Chase Elliott had a simple answer when asked about his plans: “Get away.”
Kyle Busch hopes to do the same. With his son, Brexton, still not old enough to completely understand Christmas, Busch hopes the family has at least one more year to get away.
“Stay away from home, not necessary set up a tree, all that,” Busch said. “Next year, that will be a big Christmas year.”
Austin Dillon will be going away, and soon. After making his first Chase for the Sprint Cup and participating in Champion’s Week activities in Las Vegas, Dillon said next weekend he’ll be taking his No. 3 team hunting in Texas.
Another driver who also enjoys the outdoors, Martin Truex Jr., also has some trips planned.
“I went and did a little bit of boat racing this past weekend, that’s one of my hobbies, so I got to do that,” Truex said. “Got some hunting trips planned, and looking forward to Christmas, my favorite time of the year. Hopefully spend a few days back home with the family and enjoy all that.”
Of course, racing won’t be completely forgotten this offseason.
Kyle Larson has already been back to victory lane and will have many more chances. Larson is gearing up for sprint car races in Australia as well as the 2017 Chili Bowl.
“I ran a dirt midget race last week and won (the Turkey Night Grand Prix), that was good,” Larson said. “Looking forward to all that and kind of also looking forward to relaxing.”
A few drivers, however, are looking forward to staying home.
Joey Logano said he’s going to have a “normal person Christmas” and is looking forward to seeing his family. He jokingly apologized for not having anything exciting going on because he’s not big into going out.
“I think most people stay home and see their family, or if not, they probably should see their family at some point,” Logano continued.
As for the championship team from Hendrick Motorsports, crew chief Chad Knaus is also looking forward to the downtime. Mostly so he can let the accomplishment of winning seven championships sink in.
“I’m looking forward to this winter,” Knaus said. “I’m going to spend some time with my wife. Go do some snowboarding, maybe hit a vacation spot or two and I’m thinking at that point I’ll really start to enjoy it.”
Knaus and the rest of the NASCAR community have 85 days to enjoy their free time before engines fired for the 2017 Daytona 500.