NASCAR Crew Chief Finds Second Career as Backcountry Skier

by Courtney Blackann

He was arguably at the top of his game when NASCAR crew chief Cole Pearn announced he’d be leaving the sport to pursue ownership of a ski resort. Fans and experts in the NASCAR industry took surprise at the announcement. But for Pearn, backcountry skiing and switching gears brought him solace.

He won the Cup championship in 2017 alongside Martin Truex Jr.‘s No. 19 for Joe Gibbs Racing team. And since that time, he’s been considered one of the best. However, Pearn says he wanted a lifestyle that would let him become more family-oriented while pursuing other career goals.

And skiing brings the former NASCAR crew chief peace. Since he moved to Golden, B.C., the 37-year-old has been trying to get as much skiing in as possible. Both he and his wife Carrie bought the Golden Alpine Holidays. It’s a place where the Canada native and his family have unparalleled views of mountains and crisp, white blankets of snow.

So why did Pearn leave the world of NASCAR when he was at the top of his game?

“I’ve missed a lot of years already with my kids,” said Pearn, who has a 7-year-old son, Callum, and 5-year-old daughter, Freya, per Jayski’s. “I had a ton of great memories when we do get time together, but that day-to-day life, they’re not used to me being there, so for me I felt like the window was closing. I think once they’re teenagers they probably won’t want anything to do with me. If I was going to be part of their lives, the window was now. I think that really pushed us to make the decision as early as we did.”

Cole Pearn Leaving NASCAR Allowed Him Time to Pursue Other Passions

In addition to having more family time, Pearn also missed being able to pursue other passions a part from racing. So the move – and the purchase of the resort, just made sense.

“It just seemed to cross a lot of the things off the list of what we were looking for,” said Pearn, who has been vacationing at Golden Alpine Holidays for the past six years and ranks hockey and skiing as his life’s passions alongside stock-car racing. “We finally came to a point this year where we found an avenue that we felt could work and we were excited about and we just decided to act on it. We’re either going to do this or we’re not, and we didn’t feel good about any other options and that’s kind of how we settled on our plan.”

“My wife and I were really passionate about having our kids grow up in Canada – that’s something that we really wanted,” he said. “We kind of promised each other that we would do that, so the fact that we’re able to live in Canada, live in the mountains and have something that we can work at that we care about is really what it came down to.”