Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali died last night at age 74 after a long, hard-fought battle with Parkinson’s Disease. A living legend within the world of boxing, Ali was known just as much for his life outside the ring, respected by millions as he worked tirelessly to make the world a better place.
Here’s what some of the best in NASCAR had to say about the passing of a legend:
“My high school has his grandson playing for him. So fortunately, the last couple years, I’ve gotten to see Muhammad Ali a lot. It’s definitely the end of an era and the passing of an icon. But I’ve always believed in remembering the things he did and the things said instead of that he just passed away. Because he was such an iconic man, great, great man. Did a lot of great things for a lot of people, not just boxing.
“You look at all the things he did, the way he fought, the things he said. I like more some of the things he fought for and some of the things he did then the fights themselves. You couldn’t pick one iconic moment from Muhammad Ali and say ‘That was your moment.’ There was millions of them.
“Having him gone now, you definitely feel it. The world definitely feels different without him, especially because, at my high school, we see him every week. My thoughts to his grandson and their family. The whole world lost somebody that was very special.” – Brendan Gaughan
“He’s just an amazing personality. It showed people that you could be the best in you chosen profession, you could be the best there ever was, and you could enjoy and have fun and just tell people about it. He’s from Kentucky and, obviously, I’m from there as well. I’m just so glad that he was a part of my life growing up. I enjoyed every second of it.” – Michael Waltrip
“I obviously wasn’t a huge boxing fan or anything like that growing up, but there’s a lot of quotes and a lot of things. A lot of people have been inspired by Ali. I know back in his day, he was a little bit of an arrogant, feisty guy. As he slowed down I think people realized that he encouraged people into stuff, especially battling Parkinson’s and all the stuff he had been through. It’s really sad to lose anybody.” – Trevor Bayne
“I wasn’t necessarily a big boxing fan growing up. But he definitely changed the face of sports for young guys growing up in whatever sport they come to do. His drive to be the best there is, I think we can all take something from that. It’s definitely a loss to the sports community and life in general. Every time we lose someone that influential definitely makes it tough.” – Justin Allgaier
“It impacts everybody. Muhammad Ali was a big sports icon and I think everybody is mourning his loss today. It’s a sad day to know that he is gone.” – Ty Dillon
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) June 4, 2016
It was an honor to not only meet the great Muhammad Ali, but to be awarded at Muhammad Ali… https://t.co/hOitYl6pN8
— Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) June 4, 2016
“Ali paved the way for many young athletes. Basically, he transitioned the way athletes react in the media. They evolved and he basically made that transition a whole lot easier. We saw it last night when they announced it live and Sage was so taken back by it. The guy is a legend. There is only one Ali.” – Jody Karam, Sage’s dad
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The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.