Darrell Waltrip is leaning toward retiring from broadcasting following Fox’s 2019 portion of the NASCAR season. A stalwart of the Fox booth since 2001 would retire after a nearly 20-year career in the booth. Adam Stern from Sports Business Journal dropped this surprising news, a bit of news that will be welcomed by many NASCAR fans.
When Darrell joined the booth in 2001 he had just stepped out of the #66 car for Haas-Carter Motorsports. At that time he knew how these cars drove, he understood the set ups, what the drivers were feeling, etc. As the years progressed and NASCAR introduced the COT car and now the Gen 6 car Darrell’s insight became less and less. He’s two generations removed from knowing how these cars handle. Fox added Jeff Gordon to the booth in an effort to fill that void left by Darrell’s lack of insight.
NASCAR fans have complained vocally for the last 5 years that Waltrip needed to be replaced. His catch phrase “boogity, boogity, boogity” has worn thin on fans. At times it appears we aren’t watching the same race as him. And sure age plays a factor in this, the older you get the slower you get. NASCAR moves fast, literally, combine that with different paint schemes each week, a rotating driver lineup over the last 3 years and it’s hard for an older guy to keep up.
One thing Waltrip has over pretty much anyone else making their debut in a broadcast booth is two iconic moments. First calling his brother to victory in the Daytona 500 followed seconds later by what is now an unforgettable line “I hope Dale’s OK. I guess he’s alright, isn’t he?”
Waltrip was pretty solid when he came into broadcasting back in 2001 and for the first handful of years. Over time though you get tired of schticks, his brother coming on board, and then nonsensical ramblings.
As for who will replace Waltrip NASCAR fans are hoping and praying to God Dale that it won’t be Michael Waltrip. One long shot name to keep an eye on, Carl Edwards.
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