Legendary NASCAR Journalist Godwin Kelly to Retire after 40 Years at Daytona

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Legendary NASCAR Journalist Godwin Kelly to Retire after 40 Years at Daytona

After several long years, legendary NASCAR journalist Godwin Kelly is set to retire. Kelly is walking away from The News-Journal after 40 years of imparting his expertise in the sport.

The man is so experienced and well-known in the sport that he has practically written about every major racing moment. Without a doubt, he is quite literally is motor racing royalty in a journalistic sense.

It is worth noting that Godwin’s photo sits right next to NASCAR founder Bill France’s photo at the Daytona media center. According to The News-Journal editor, Pat Rice, Godwin was a heck of a team player.

Dale Jarrett at NASCAR race at Suzuka, Japan
23 Nov 1996: NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett leads in his Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford Thunderbird during the Thunder Special 100 at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka City, Japan. Mandatory Credit: Yukio Yoshimi /Allsport

Rice cited a notable memory of the 2011 Cup Series season at the Daytona International Speedway. Apparently, it was also the 10th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt Sr’s fatal crash. In that respect, many were hesitant to pitch ideas until Kelly galvanized everyone in the room.

How instrumental was Kelly in the NASCAR scene?

Later on, when plans emerged to launch a weekly NASCAR page, Godwin was right there to see it into fruition. One thing lead to another and that page soon evolved into a racing podcast and a daily radio broadcast.

Of course, what Kelly’s retirement also means is that he will not be able to cover the 2021 season. This season is hugely important, as it marks several key changes to the calendar. Additionally, it also heralds the final year under the old technical guidelines. This is because, in 2022, the sport is set to introduce the Next Gen car.

With that in mind, a journalist of Godwin Kelly’s caliber will not be able to write about it. Of course, with this decision, Kelly obviously feels that it is the right time to step away from the sport. However, the NASCAR community and the NASCAR journalistic world shall surely miss him dearly.