- Associated Press - Saturday, June 15, 2013

BROOKLYN, MICH. (AP) - Former NBA All-Star Jason Kidd wasn’t retired for long when the Brooklyn Nets hired him to coach the franchise.

The big four North American professional sports leagues are filled with former players who became coaches _ it’s the norm, really _ but that’s hardly the case in NASCAR.

Why don’t retired drivers become crew chiefs?

“I think there are certain students of the game when you look at other sports,” four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon said. “Most coaches were players. I think it’s kind of opposite in our sport.”

The hours and degree of know-how required of a crew chief, he added, keeps drivers from seeking the job. The sport has come a long way from the days when drivers like Junior Johnson turned the wrenches before hopping in a car to start a race.

“There are few drivers that I know of at the highest level that could pull that off,” Gordon said. “If you’re an engineer and you have an engineering background or a very good understanding of engineering, then you could be a crew chief.”

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