The 2010 season was one of NASCAR's finest and featured several of the sport's biggest stars. Veteran names such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman and Michael Waltrip competed against relative newcomers in Scott Speed and Aric Almirola. Ultimately, a stacked field of competitors failed to prevent Jimmie Johnson from securing his fifth consecutive Cup Series championship.
Entering 2020, many of these drivers are no longer active. Some have stepped into the booth while others have spent time relaxing on boats. This is not the case for all of the top names from 2010 considering that four of the top seven drivers are still competing in 2020. They are also among the top contenders once again. Although one simply returned to help out a racing team that parted ways with one of its drivers. So where are some of the top names 10 years removed from the Cup Series championship?
Jimmie Johnson broadened his fanbase during the 2010 season with six more victories. He finished the year as the Sprint Cup Series champion, the fifth consecutive of his career. Fast-forward to 2010, and Johnson is still racing. He is currently in his final full-time season and has hopes of securing a record-breaking eighth championship title. He is 11th in points after 12 races.prevnext
Like Johnson, Denny Hamlin is still active in the NASCAR Cup Series. He has never won a championship but is still a top contender every single season. He currently sits in seventh in the 2020 points standings. He took the victory during the season-opening Daytona 500, as well as the Toyota 500 and Dixie Vodka 400. Hamlin is the first driver in the 2020 season to win three races.prevnext
Kevin Harvick, who finished the 2010 season third overall, has remained active. He is a top contender and won the 2014 Cup Series. Harvick is also a two-time Xfinity Series champion. The 44-year-old driver shows no signs of slowing down and currently leads the field in the points standings after winning two races and finishing in the top-five six different times.prevnext
Following a fourth-place finish in the 2010 Cup Series, Carl Edwards competed for the trophy once again. He tied with fellow driver Tony Stewart in points but lost on a tiebreaker. Edwards continued racing until the 2016 season, his final full-time year. He won three races during this final year and finished among the top-four drivers. However, his championship hopes ended with a crash during the final race. Edwards announced his retirement at the end of the year and walked away with 28 career wins.prevnext
Matt Kenseth, the winner of the 2003 Cup Series, technically retired from full-time racing after the 2017 season, but he has since returned. He started 15 races during the 2018 season for Roush Fenway Racing before walking away again. Midway through the 2020 season, Kenseth returned to the Cup Series. Chip Ganassi Racing fired driver Kyle Larson after he used a racial slur during a virtual race and hired Kenseth to serve as his replacement for the remainder of the season.prevnext
Greg Biffle, 50, has not been a full-time driver in the Cup Series since he and Roush Fenway Racing parted ways at the end of the 2016 season. He walked away with 19 career wins and 92 top-five finishes. Biffle has occasionally taken part in one-off races but has primarily spent his time with his girlfriend, Cristina Grossu. The couple is expecting their first child together sometime in the fall.prevnext
Jeff Gordon retired from full-time racing following the 2015 season. He walked away with four Cup Series championships to his name and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2019. Now Gordon works as an analyst for FOX. He joined Mike Joy in the booth in order to provide commentary for the 2020 Cup Series season.prev