This sport is in a three-year period in which it's losing a lot of star power with the retirements of Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, and now, the most popular driver in the game, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.  Many are ready to call in the priest to perform last rites.  Apparently, those folks haven't been around very long.

It's called the circle of life.  When I first started covering this sport, in the late '70s, it was Petty, Pearson, Yarborough and the Allisons.  Surely NASCAR would be doomed when they were done.  

Not quite.  Instead, it grew like crazy with Earnhardt, Waltrip and Wallace leading the way.  It's the guys who are retiring now, who took the baton from them.

While the years of huge growth may be behind us, there is plenty of star power and talent on the way to fill the void.  In fact, a lot of it is already here.  Think about this: among Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott; Brad is the old man at the age of 33.  In other words, these guys aren't going anywhere for the next 10-20 years.