Whitt focused on finishing season, no 2018 plans at this time

Dominic Aragon

October 26, 2017

Cole Whitt does not have any announced racing plans for 2018, the driver confirmed to The Racing Experts.

Whitt is currently competing full-time in his first season with TriStar Motorsports in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

“I haven’t talked with any teams or anything, and we haven’t had conversations here [at TriStar], really. We’ve been focused on trying to end the year strong.”

“...I’m proud to be with the team, so if it works out, then that’d be great, but I understand if things change. Like I said, the family's been amazing to me, so the Smith family alone has just been something I’ve been proud to represent in my racing career.”

The focus, according to Whitt, is to finish the year strong. With four races left on the 2017 schedule, he ranks 33rd in driver’s standings.

Whitt opened the first two races of the season with top-20 showings in the Daytona 500 and the following week at Atlanta.

Since then, Whitt finished inside the top-20 twice over the 30 proceeding races, with a best finish of 12th at Indianapolis in August.

“For us, the big thing was just to get the full year under our belt, and just try and build our program,” Whitt said.

“It was a double-edged sword, because really good performance early in the year but it set the bar higher then probably it should have been, and it made everyone expect us to run in the top 20.”

Whitt said the team had pressure to keep performing at the top-20 level because of the start they had to the season. He said the pressure was mostly internal among the team.

Additionally, Whitt and crew have been racing with heavy hearts this season, as team owner Mark Smith passed away in July.

“When we run top 20, we’re competitive racers, we want to run better than top 20,” Whitt said. “Anytime we move backwards, we start putting pressure on ourselves, each other, sometimes not for the better, it doesn’t help the situation.

“That’s just part of the learning curve, and new guys working together, and kind of learning what we have as a program.”


Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts



Will Cole Whitt be back in the Cup Series in 2018?