Tag Archives: Darrell Waltrip

Driven to the Past: Taking A Risk At Michigan…

Heard a lot of talk on the TV broadcast from Michigan, as well as in all the shows recapping the race, about crews taking the risk on fuel mileage. Big deal. All they were worried about was finishing the race. I gambled on fuel mileage once during a Cup race at Michigan and had a lot more to risk. Like getting home and to work the next morning. When I was with ASA, we used to race at Berlin the night before both Cup races. Naturally, the thing to do was find a place to crash and head for MIS the next day. This may have been the same night we were looking for a place to sleep--Rusty Wallace said to go to the nearest motel, where he had some rooms reserved, and tell them we were with Wallace Racing.

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Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Hall’In Class

I’ve gotten a lot of email from readers asking me which five people I hope, or think, will make up the first set of inductees into NASCAR’s Hall of Fame. I’ve debated the topic with more than a few fans and have to agree that narrowing the group down to just five individuals is a difficult task -- though, in my mind, selecting four of the first five folks so honored is a no-brainer few can dispute. Let me preface my picks by saying that I feel no active driver, or even semi-active driver, should be considered for induction into the Hall of Fame.

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Bowles-Eye View: Beating And Banging At Its Best – NASCAR’s 5 Greatest Bristol Finishes

I hear you, guys… I hear you loud and clear. No matter what problems we face in the sport these days, the ½-mile track in Thunder Valley is still looked at as one where lightning strikes twice on the Sprint Cup circuit each year. While a repave has changed the type of racing we’ve seen over the past few seasons, Bristol still provides at least a threat of the type of action that’s attracted millions to sit down and get addicted to cars driving "round in circles." It’s classic, old-school NASCAR at its best, where side-by-side racing comes with donuts plastered on the side of the car, and slowpokes learn their lesson in the form of a slam on their rear bumper – one that may or may not turn them into the inside wall. The close competition is usually reflected in the attendance at this race track, with each date earning a sellout every year since 1983.

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Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Are NASCAR Broadcasters Getting Too Impartial?

Last week, former NBA star and current ABC/ESPN analyst, Brad Daugherty, announced that his fledgling Cup team has formed a “technical alliance” with Michael Waltrip Racing. The JTG car, to be piloted by Marcos Ambrose and sponsored by Little Debbie, will naturally field Toyotas as a result. I wish all involved the best in this new endeavor. Certainly, Daugherty faces a daunting task getting his new team up to speed for the Cup Series, and I wish him more success than some other athletes from the stick and ball sports who have attempted the same with limited results. He's off to a good start with a driver, at least: Ambrose is both a talented and likeable guy who'll serve him well. But what bothers me instead is yet another TV “journalist” is getting paid to comment on and analyze races, while also accepting checks from a sponsor and manufacturer who he’ll have a chance to promote during his time on the air to the exclusion of others.

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Did You Notice? Petty’s Like Waltrip, Drivers Get Paid Too Much, And Parity’s Lost

Did You Notice? That the way Kyle Petty’s career is ending is very reminiscent of… Darrell Waltrip? Before I covered this sport through TV and print, I made no secret of the fact Waltrip was my favorite driver. His fall from grace in the years leading up to retirement (save for a few races in ’98 with DEI) was painful to watch, especially for a kid that idolized him growing up.

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The Yellow Stripe: Drivers I Never Got To See, But Wish I Had

This list of drivers I never saw but wish I had is about as unscientific as you’re going to get. I’ve not restricted myself at all in terms of criteria, and in a couple of cases, I quote from sources that know much more than I. Where relevant, I’ve explained my reasoning, so you know I'm just not pulling these things right out of thin air. Some choices are obvious and others may surprise you; so if you think I’m missing someone, write in and tell me why.

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Thompson in Turn 5: The 2008 Sprint All-Star Challenge A Dud!

You would think that after 23 previous All-Star Races under NASCAR’s belt they would pretty much have a formula in place that guaranteed an exciting and fun evening of racing entertainment. But last Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Challenge demonstrated just how little it is possible to learn in almost a quarter century. The truth is, with the exception of the Kasey Kahne storyline of winning after being voted into the event by fans... the race has left little in the way of NASCAR journalists to expound on.

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Driven to the Past: Darrell Waltrip

I first met Darrell Waltrip when he was still in his teens, racing on Sunday evenings at Kentucky Motor Speedway near Whitesville. A bunch from Louisville used to go down there every weekend, and, when I didn't have to be somewhere else with ARCA, I went with them. It was pretty obvious even then that the kid had a lot of talent, along with a ton of ambition. One night when he crashed his own car--the result of a blown engine, if I recall correctly, he ended up in the backup car of a guy named PB Crowell from Franklin, Tenn.

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Convenient Crashes – Karma or Coincidence?

How many times did your mother tell you to treat people the way you want to be treated? You probably laughed and stuffed your little brother in the laundry chute anyway. Maybe you went outside to play in the yard a few days later, and stepped right where the same brother walked the family dog after a particularly large dinner. Ever see something like this happen to our favorite driver? He gets a little rough with some guy and runs over debris a few laps later, popping a tire and losing a lap fixing it. Maybe he gets caught with some "creative engineering" and spins out in qualifying two weeks later. You sometimes have to wonder if greater forces are at work.

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