NASCAR comes down hard on Waltrip

2013 Memories: NASCAR comes down hard on Waltrip Racing

December 31, 2013 

181319738JH00031_New_Hampsh

Michael Waltrip had to face more than the media after his team’s actions at Richmond.

JERRY MARKLAND — GETTY

I’ve never seen someone so rattled as Michael Waltrip looked that September morning in New Hampshire.

NASCAR had sanctioned his organization, Michael Waltrip Racing, for gaming the system, looking to assure that Martin Truex Jr. would make it into the Chase. NAPA Auto Parts was pulling its money over the scandal.

Waltrip called a media availability outside one of his haulers. He radiated “scared” and with good reason – despite NASCAR’s history of applying rules haphazardly, the France family was coming down like a hanging judge.

Waltrip performed his mea culpa. He acknowledged he couldn’t resent NAPA’s decision because, “We put them in that position – in a bad spot.”

But the questions wore down Waltrip’s corporate shell. NASCAR, built on a moonshiner heritage, has often treated its rule book as malleable. Why come down so hard on his team for maybe staging a convenient caution?

“Do they want an arm?” Waltrip asked of the constant criticism.

Most honest thing said in 40 minutes of nervous spin.

Rick Bonnell

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service