Sunday’s race at Sonoma Raceway marked the final race of the season covered by Fox but, more importantly, the final race in Darrell Waltrip’s broadcasting career.
Darrell Waltrip recently announced that he would retire at the end of Fox’s season and it was an emotional farewell on Sunday as he said bye to his co-workers and race fans.
Waltrip, whom all of you know as a racecar driver, has been in the broadcast booth since 2001. If you aren’t too familiar with his career in broadcasting, the phrase, “Boogity! Boogity! Boogity!” probably rings a few bells and gives you that “a ha!” moment.
I dug up an article about Waltrip’s retirement from a month ago that was a joy to read. The article briefly discussed Waltrip’s career but really went into depth about his relationship with team owner Rick Hendrick.
The last paragraph is a quote from Waltrip about the current state of the sport. The quote reads: “It’s a tough time to be in the sport. It really is. It’s probably a good time for me to step aside. Because I’m old-school and it will never be the way it was. And I don’t think I can tolerate the way it’s going to be.”
How many greats is NASCAR losing because of the current style of racing?
Whether one loved Darrell Waltrip or hated him (I know a lot of people who absolutely cannot stand his commentary and “boogity, boogity, boogity!”), he left a positive mark on NASCAR both on and off the track and he will be greatly missed.
It will probably come as no surprise to anyone who regularly watches NASCAR that Martin Truex Jr. defended his Sonoma Raceway win on Sunday. Teammate Kyle Busch might’ve had fresher tires, but Truex held him off after leading 59 of the 90-lap event.
“I just dug down deep and tried to be smooth and hit my marks,” Truex said. “Luckily I began with a big enough gap where I could get away and not feel too much pressure.”
Busch said it “sucks” to finish second to a teammate but it was good for the company and that he’s “pumped” he actually ran well there.
Truex’s win makes 10 victories in 16 races for the Joe Gibbs Racing team.
The race was caution-free. Ryan Blaney finished third, Matt Dibenedetto finished fourth and Denny Hamlin finished fifth.
NBC takes up coverage of NASCAR beginning this week, which means Dale Earnhardt Jr. is back for his second season as an analyst. Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte and Rick Allen will join him in the booth.
Live coverage from the Camping World 400 at Chicagoland Speedway begins Sunday at 2 p.m. on NBCSN.
NASCAR columnist Jennifer Lowe lives in Ellisville.