DARRELL WALTRIP WILL WHEEL TRUCK ONE LAST TIME AT MARTINSVILLE BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 24, 2005) -- It will be "One and Done" for Darrell Waltrip at Martinsville Speedway, October 22, when he takes the steering wheel of the No. 12 Darrell Waltrip ...
DARRELL WALTRIP WILL WHEEL TRUCK ONE LAST TIME AT MARTINSVILLE
BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 24, 2005) -- It will be "One and Done" for Darrell
Waltrip at Martinsville Speedway, October 22, when he takes the steering wheel of the No. 12 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Toyota Tundra for his final appearance as a NASCAR driver in the Craftsman Truck Series race at the Virginia short-track.
"I love racing at Martinsville -- always have," says Waltrip. "I've won there 11 times in the past, but knowing this is definitely the last time racing there does make me sad.I love the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series because it's a great place for these young drivers to get their feet wet, and it gives old guys like me the chance to go out and have some fun.But we're definitely 'One and Done' this time at Martinsville."
During his stellar racing career, Waltrip has made 16 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts since 1995, including six races at Martinsville Speedway. In 1996, Waltrip recorded the best career result of his Craftsman Truck Series career when he had a fifth-place finish at Martinsville.In that same race, Waltrip started on the outside of row one, his best starting spot in an NCTS race.Overall, the Owensboro, Ky.-native has eight top-10 finishes in his 16 NCTS starts -- which includes a pair of 2004 starts in the No. 11 Toyota Tundra at Martinsville and Indianapolis.
"Toyota Motorsports and TRD, U.S.A. have been fortunate to be able to work very closely with Darrell and have him field a Toyota team during our first endeavor in the upper levels of NASCAR," says Pat Wall, vice president and manager of Toyota's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series program.b^0x001cObviously, we've benefited from DW's expertise and years of experience, as well as his relationships with fans, team owners, drivers and NASCAR. Not only is DW a tremendous representative for the sport, but he's been a great ambassador for the Toyota Tundra NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racing program."
"I'm not going to race competitively again," explains Waltrip.bPeople need to realize something, I retired in 2000.Ever since then, everything I've done is for fun. It would be no different if you were a professional baseball player or a golfer and you still liked to play the game. I still like to play the game and I still want to do that. It's not that I'm never going to get in a car or truck again, I'll probably hop in there every now and then just for fun."
A three-time NASCAR Cup champion (1981, 1982 and 1985), Waltrip recorded 84 wins (third all-time) and started 59 races from the pole position (fourth all-time) during his NASCAR Cup career. Highlights from his career include capturing the checkered flag in the 1989 Daytona 500 and winning the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway five times (1978, 1979, 1985, 1988 and 1989).In addition to his role as team owner at Darrell Waltrip Motorsports and as a Toyota spokesman, he serves as a broadcast analyst on FOX Sports NASCAR coverage. His autobiography debuted on the New York Times best-seller list in 2004.
"Getting together with Toyota is the best thing I've ever done," says Waltrip, who recently earned his first win as a Toyota team owner when David Reutimann captured the checkered flag at Nashville Superspeedway (Aug. 13).b^0x001cWhen I talk about desire, commitment and purpose, Toyota has the same goals I have.That's why I love working with them.I want to do whatever Toyota wants me to do, whether it's being a truck owner for the rest of my racing career or doing something else."
One thing Waltrip will not be doing after the October Martinsville race is sitting in the driver's seat when the green flag waves to start a NASCAR race.
"I've been fortunate to win many times, in many series," says Waltrip. "But there is still that goose egg in the truck series.I plan on changing that come October 22nd when it's 'One and Done' for me. The No. 17 made it to 'Victory Lane,' so I'd like to get the 12 there too!"