6 Drivers Who May Need a Change of Scenery to Jumpstart Their Careers

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6 Drivers Who May Need a Change of Scenery to Jumpstart Their Careers
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Matt Kenseth's new home for 2013 is on the horizon. But why are so many other drivers reluctant to change teams?

There's no question that change in NASCAR is cyclical. Today's heroes can be next year's answer to "Whatever happened to...?" (And no, cynics, I'm not talking about what's happened to Carl Edwards this season)

As the late Frank Sinatra sang in "That's Life," "You're riding high in April, shot down in May." Such is the life of NASCAR drivers.

But oftentimes, drivers are afraid of change. They grow comfortable within an organization and team and stay there—oftentimes overstaying their welcome in the eyes of some observers. Or, they become so readily identified with a sponsor that they decide to stick around as long as the sponsor does.

As a result, their performance and careers both suffer. And then, maybe 10 years after they retire, they're left asking themselves, "What might have happened if I had gone to Team X?"

Even when they know their careers are stuck in neutral, instead of looking at new pastures and horizons, some drivers wind up essentially embracing a "same thing, next year" or "second verse, same as the first" kind of mindset, not to mention their place in a season's final standings. If they finish 15th or 20th or 25th one year, it's not a total surprise if they finish 15th or 20th or 25th the following year…or years.

And frankly, given the money some drivers make, it's not surprising why some ride out a string with one team for far too long—even though they ultimately might be better off pulling a Lebron James and taking their talent elsewhere.

Sure, there are some drivers that haven't been afraid to change teams. Look what it's done to the careers of guys like Kyle Busch (Hendrick Motorsports to Joe Gibbs Racing), Brad Keselowski (Hendrick Motorsports to Penske Racing).

And let's not forget that Matt Kenseth is leaving his longtime home at Roush Fenway Racing and moving on to what he hopes are greener pastures—we're still waiting if it's indeed the rumored Joe Gibbs Racing or some surprise alternate—after this season.

Granted, with only a small number of seats coming open at the end of each season, wholesale changes of multiple drivers from one team to another isn't likely. But how many drivers have turned down overtures of "Why don't y'all come race for me?" by other team owners over the years?

Going to a new team, with new personnel and new ideas, is good for the driver, team and sport, for that matter. Would we ever have been blessed with the greatness of Dale Earnhardt had he not decided to leave one team for eventual greatness at Richard Childress Racing?

Or, how many teams did NASCAR Hall of Famer and beloved broadcaster Darrell Waltrip drive for in his career? He wasn't afraid to make changes, and more often than not, those changes led to even greater success for old DW.

Bleacher Report decided to look at some of the veteran drivers on the Sprint Cup circuit today and compile a list of those who may be better off with other teams, where new energy, new sponsorship and a totally brand new mindset would be nothing short of a positive—not to mention a jumpstart for what to many has been a sagging career the last few years.

Here's our picks, listing their current team and potential teams that might bring about performance and career reinvigoration if the opportunity arose.

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