NASCAR is a pretty intense sport. While many might think that it can't be all that hard to drive around in a circle a bunch of times, they'd be wrong. NASCAR is a grueling race of aggression, speed, and most of all endurance. Try spinning around a track at 200 plus miles per hour for hundreds of laps at a time, see how "easy" it really is.
Due to the grueling nature of these races, it's no wonder that many NASCAR drivers retire from the sport around the age of 40 or so. Some people claim that this makes the drivers "past their prime" and won't race as good. But not all NASCAR drivers quit the game early, some don't even start until their twilight years. Let's take a look at some of the oldest drivers to hit the NASCAR track.
18 Morgan Shepherd
Morgan Shepherd, pictured here, looks like he's about as chipper as it gets, ready to get racing as soon as possible, flashing a thumbs up and a massive smile. And while he's aged quite a bit, at the ripe age of 77, that doesn't hold him back from racing his heart out doing the thing he loves.
17 James Hylton
This gentleman is exactly right where he belongs, in the seat of a NASCAR race car, full uniform, strapped into the safety harnesses, smile on his face as he either just finished a race or is about to get back out on the track. James Hylton is 83 years old.
16 Harry Gant
With a wide smile on his face, Harry Cant makes clear how special and important racing is to him, despite his age or the fact that many racers retire long before him. At the age of 79 years of age, and despite his retirement, that doesn't stop him from occasionally racing whenever he sees fit.
15 Hershel McGriff
Hershel McGriff is the oldest person to get on the track. According to washingtonpost.com, " a 90-year-old former stock car-racing champion played the national anthem on his trombone. He then put on his helmet and competed in a race. That made Hershel McGriff the oldest driver to participate in a NASCAR-sanctioned event, breaking a mark he last set in 2012."
14 Jeff Green
Jeff Green is seen here stepping into his beautifully decked out race car, getting ready to race in a long and grueling NASCAR event. He is a bit older than the average racer, but that doesn't stop him from showing up and racing his heart out. He's 56 years old, but that doesn't mean a thing on the track.
13 Derrike Cope
Derrike Cope is a seasoned racing driver for NASCAR, competing in races despite the fact that he's now 60 years of age, and he's out there on the track against other racers who have the advantage of youth on their side. But he has the advantage of experience.
12 Mike Harmon
Mike Harmon, recently embroiled in quite the spat of legal issues, is still one of the older racers to hit the NASCAR track. At the age of 61, he still competes in races part time, proving that his passion for racing doesn't know anything about age or the "right time" to retire from the sport.
11 Bobby Gerhart
Pictured here in front of his massive sign with his name on it, slightly out of focus in the background, it seems that he is thinking hard about the car, about the race, or something in relation to his NASCAR interests. Still in the game, despite being 61 years old.
10 Norm Benning
As part of a racing team after his own namesake, Norm Benning is rocking the NASCAR scene at the age of 67, and despite that he still competes part time, proving that his career as a race car driver is something very important to him, no matter his age.
9 Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson is the oldest person to compete in the Daytona 500 at the age of 66, and that's a pretty impressive feat, considering just how grueling and intense of a race that is, and how many younger talents are driving in the same race. It takes tenacity, it takes passion, both of which Mark has.
8 Greg Biffle
A younger in this list but by no means a young driver anymore, Greg Biffle is a NASCAR racer who got his start early, and has been racing a long time. At the age of 50, there are many drivers who have retired before him, but he doesn't seem to be retiring anytime soon.
7 Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick is a NASCAR driver who has had a long history in the sport, and while he might be tired, that doesn't mean his passion has dwindled at all. One of the younger on the list, he's half the age of our oldest at 45, but he shows no signs of stopping despite his ability to retire right now if he wanted to.
6 Dale Earnhardt Junior
According to time.com, Dale Earnhardt Junior has officially retired. While it seems like a very sad day, and while he most definitely could continue his career, he has decided to focus on his family and other interests instead of just racing. Still, he's pretty up there on the track, at the age of almost 45.
5 Michael Waltrip
A lot of racers and people will say that the prime of a NASCAR driver is up around forty, or even younger, but that's just not always the case, many racers join later or are still going strong by that age. Michael Waltrip is 56 years old.
4 Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon is one of the most well known and well loved NASCAR racing drivers of all time, both immensely successful and immensely popular. At the age of 48, he's getting up there for a driver, and while it's clear that he could continue racing for many more, he has decided not to. He had a long run, though.
3 Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart, pictured here clearly loving the fan attention and fame that comes with being a successful NASCAR race car driver, has had a long career in the sport, at the age of 48 he still has some time left as a team manager, though he's retired. Let's hope he gets back out on the track in his twilight years.
2 Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson is a NASCAR driver who has enjoyed the sport and competing for quite a long time, grueling race after grueling race, he makes it his career. At the age of 45, he isn't the oldest to hit the track, but he isn't the youngest by quite a long shot.
1 Bryan Dauzat
Bryan Dauzat is best known for terribly injuring a member of his pit crew when he took off prematurely, but he claims that it isn't because of his age at almost 60, according to mopays.com, but to failed brakes. While to many that means retirement, for some it means the beginning of a career.
Sources: Washington Post, Mopays & Spokesman